2002-06-22 / Columnists

Simon Says…. From the Desk of Lew M. Simon, Democratic District Leader, 23rd A.D. Part B

Simon Says….
From the Desk of Lew M. Simon,
Democratic District Leader, 23rd A.D. Part B

As we once again write our weekly column there is so much to mention. Mayor Michael Bloomberg got the official green light to take control of the Board of Education as the governor signed the legislation. Effective 2003, community boards will no longer exist.

Board of Education, which now has seven (7) members, will grow to thirteen (13) members. One member will be appointed by each borough president while the mayor will appoint 8, including the chancellor.

We’re hoping that the mayoral takeover will mean more accountability. The mayor’s control of the school construction authority will allow him to hold their feet to the fire, stop the waste of millions of dollars and speed the building of new schools.

On Tuesday evening we attended the Community Board 14 monthly meeting. At this meeting there was an election for chair due to the resignation of Rosemary Murray. Dolores Orr and Al Moore were supposed to be running against each other. When Al Moore was through, the secretary cast one vote for Dolores Orr. Congratulations and best wishes to Dolores Orr. We know this job comes with a large salary of aggravation, no pay and a lot of work.

There were two nominations to fill the vacancy caused by the death of the late great Mario Russo. The nominees are Boomie Pincer and Moushe Bian, formerly executive director of the Neponsit Healthcare Center. The election will take place at the September meeting.

A new school will be built in Far Rockaway on the Shaaray Tefila site on Central Avenue and Nameoke. It will be designated P.S. 253. The cost is expected to be $48 million. It is due to open in September 2004.

The Jewish Community Council will have its annual concert on the evening of Tuesday, June 25 at Fort Tilden. The concert is free and open to all.

On Friday, June 28 at 2:00 p.m. there will be an opening and dedication to the Roy Gwirtzman Triangle at Beach 145th Street on Beach Channel Drive. The late Roy Gwirtzman was the former President of the Neponsit Property Owners who spent many, many years as community civic leader fighting to improve the quality of life in the Rockaways. He truly deserves this distinguished honor.

At the Community Board Meeting, Muriel Donohue put a motion on the floor that the developers of Arverne-by-the-Sea should be working with the Construction Trade Council, headed by Ed Malloy. When Beechwood was at our Democratic Club we made it clear that we would like to see them employ union workers. They stated no commitment to the use of union labor.

Let me remind everyone that most local residents are union members. Some are currently unemployed or underemployed. We hope we don’t have to go out with the union members and picket the work site with the inflated rat they use at non-union sites.

Congressman Weiner’s staff said that the new district line will divide Rockaway at Beach 90th Street. Weiner will run at the West End of Rockaway and Broad Channel. Congressman Gregory Meeks will run in the whole East End of Rockaway to the Nassau line.

If you are driving near the American Legion going to the bridge, watch yourself. There is a red light camera installed at the corner of Beach 94 Street on the freeway.

We have just been notified that petitioning for the September 10 primary has been held up by a lawsuit challenging the new district lines.

Please call me if you any questions. I am always available to get involved with and help with community problems.


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