2002-03-16 / Editorial/Opinion

Moving In The Right Direction

Moving In The Right Direction

It was, at one time in the not so distant past, Juanita Watkins represented the east end of Rockaway in the City Council and Al Stabile represented the west end in the city council and never the twain shall meet. Sure, they met occasionally at award dinners and at council sessions. We doubt, however, that they ever said more than a dozen words to each other about what was actually happening in Rockaway. That has certainly changed with the advent of term limits and the election of a younger, leaner council. Last weekend, James Sanders, who now represents the east end of Rockaway and is the chair of the council's prestigious Economic Development Committee, persuaded Dan Doctoroff, the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, to come to the peninsula for a tour and a discussion of Rockaway's needs. Last year, that tour would have stopped at the border between council districts. Watkins would have never thought of bringing a dignitary into Stabile's district, and vice versa. Sanders not only invited Joe Addabbo along for the ride, he held the breakfast meeting scheduled so that Doctoroff could meet with Rockaway residents, at Patrick's Restaurant on Rockaway Beach Boulevard and Beach 110 Street, which is physically in Addabbo's district. This is indeed a new city council. And it could mean new things for Rockaway. We have long advocated that Rockaway be made whole, that it be placed in one Councilmanic District. That made sense when our two city council reps often acted as cross-purposes. In this new world, however, where Sanders and Addabbo work together and vote together on Rockaway issues, we may have two important votes on those issues rather than one. It is too early to tell what this cooperation really means for Rockaway, but after that one breakfast, we can tell right away that Rockaway is moving in the right direction at last.

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