2002-07-27 / Columnists

Simon Says….

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

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

This week we had the pleasure of a great conversation with Peter Florey, Vice President of Benjamin Development Co., one of the builders of the Arverne-By-The-Sea. We addressed the issue of hiring union workers.

Peter said they are now in the process of setting up a meeting with the unions to solve this problem. I explained to him that this country's prosperity was built by union labor. Peter gave me his assurance this problem will be rectified.

We also questioned him on why none of Rockaway's real estate brokers can represent them or act as co-brokers. He stated this was in the HPD guidelines for the development of Arverne. He also stated there are a number of job opportunities available. Applicants can visit the trailer on Beach 73 Street to get further information.

After looking at the beautiful brochure given out by the developers, we were impressed by the plans and renderings. The pictures of the low-rise houses are beautiful. They will add class to our community.

We also spoke about how we can purchase a home or condo and move in. According to an HPD ruling it is based on a lottery. Rockaway residents will have a 70% chance of approval. Judging from the reaction of people I've spoken to on the streets, people are excited and waiting to purchase.

Once again, the issue of term limits has raised its ugly head. Again they are looking to change the rules voted on by New York City voters. When term limits became effective in 2001, a majority of the City Council had to retire. A number had thoughts of running for reelection in 2003.

Now, the Speaker of the City Council, A. Gifford Miller, is leading the fight to get an additional two-year term for himself and others due to be eliminated by term limits in 2003. It is quite apparent that several of the current Council members will be seeking city wide elected office in 2005.

When Ron Lauder fought for term limits, he got the support of the majority of voters in a referendum. He refused to back down when a group of City Council members tried to remove the term limits. Now Ron Lauder seems to want to work with the Council Speaker to allow these changes. Why are they changing their mind now. It is quite obvious that the tweaking of the term limits law is moving ahead. It is time for you the voters to call up Speaker A. Gifford Miller at (212) 788 7210 to let him know how you feel. You can let your local Council member know as well. It is important they hear from you since they represent you.

On Sunday evening the RMAC had another fantastic concert at Fort Tilden, Enrique Lopez and his group entertained performing salsa, meringue and other Latin sounds. This concert was superb. Numerous attendees danced the evening away. Norma and I enjoyed a neat dance. A number of people remarked they didn't know I could get down and boogie. Susan Locke, publisher of The Wave, and I talked about a recent Marc Anthony concert. She agreed he was excellent.

I suggested working on bringing Marc down to a concert in Rockaway. Susan thought it was a great idea. I thought it could be quite costly. I asked if The Wave would like to sponsor the concert. She smiled back.

Hats off to Gary Toms, the G-Man, who is always there doing major research on issues and events that affect our community and its residents. You are a great friend to the Rockaways and make a major difference. We look forward to reading your column each week. Thank you and God bless you for all you do.

We wish to thank Lucy Malcaus and her two children, Bianca and Daniel for caring and helping volunteers at the last two RMAC concerts. The job of being a volunteer is not always easy. I found out when you get a good volunteer, you must thank and praise them. Rest assured I personally appreciate your assistance and will call upon you and your children to assist at other community events.

The Good Government Regular Democratic club invites all registered Democrats to get involved and join our club. We are open every Thursday evening from 7:30 to 11 P.M. Our club is located at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive. Membership is a nominal fee.

Any person who will be 18 by October 11, 2002 is eligible to register to vote in the primary and general elections this year. Anyone who would like to register or switch their party enrollment may stop by. If you would like to make a special appointment call 945-1216.

We would like to personally thank Johanna Mazza, who I consider to be my right and left arms, for being the best petition carrier you've ever seen. Johanna single-handedly obtained over 700 signatures to put my name on the ballot. Some of the other candidates we helped put on the ballot include Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, State Senator Malcolm Smith, Civil court candidates Timothy Dufficy and Diocia Pineda-Kirwan and Democratic State Committee members Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. and Patricia Young O'Connor. Your long tireless hours of hard work have paid off. God bless you for all you have done.

We were saddened to hear of the passing of Josephine Johnson, Chief of Staff to Congressman Gregory Meeks. Josephine was an outstanding individual who worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life in the Rockaways as well as other parts of Queens. She was involved in helping many young people obtain jobs and make a difference in their lives.

We are sorry we did not know of her passing until we read it in the WAVE. Since the division of Rockaway into two districts sometimes people forget that although we do not represent certain areas, we still love and care about them. My deepest sympathy goes to Josephine's family. She is definitely an angel in God's kingdom.

To members of St. Camillus parish as you can see the milling and paving I have promised has been done in front of the church and Springman Hall. We hope this eliminates any future ponding condition.

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