2002-11-02 / 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

The next meeting of the Good Government Regular Democratic club will meet on Thursday, November 14 at 7:45 p.m. Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown. He will address issues affecting the quality of life in our district. Some of the topics expected are illegal drugs, prostitution, gang violence, and the working of the criminal justice system. We will have a chance to speak up and ask questions about issues that concern us. The Good Government Regular Democratic club is located at 112-20 Beach Channel Drive in Rockaway Park opposite the Waldbaum's parking lot.

Our next Atlantic City bus trip will be on Saturday, November 16. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 8 a.m. We have 8 1/2 hours at Trump Marina. The cost is $28 with $16 returned.

If has come to our attention that Mayor Bloomberg is considering closing at least four firehouses in Queens. We have been made aware that Rockaway may be losing one. It is quite apparent that our heroes of 9/11, our firefighters and police officers, will be hit by the fiscal crisis.

According to Mayor Bloomberg, due to expected retirement of many firefighters, there would not be enough to man all shifts in the firehouse. We must be prepared to be vigilant and not allow cuts or closing in these essential services. Our lives are worth more than budget cuts. We must prepare to mobilize to keep all firehouses open.

Tuesday is Election Day. All enrolled voters are eligible to vote. I want to remind everyone that our local incumbents Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, State Senator Malcolm Smith and Congressmen Gregory Meeks and Anthony Weiner are up for re-election. In the Governor's race as a proud Democrat, I stick with Carl McCall with Dennis Mehiel for Lt. Governor, Carl McCall has done the right thing for the state employees pension fund, investing wisely and avoiding most of the losses due to corporate greed. It is definitely time for a change in Albany.

Michelle Titus deserves a chance to continue to prove herself to the residents of the 31st A.D. Attorney General Elliot Spitzer has done the right thing by forcing GE to clean the Hudson River and taking the lead in prosecuting corruption in the securities business. He has been vocal, visible and responsive. We are also advising everyone to vote straight Democratic for State Supreme Court and Civil Court judges. I stick with Audrey and Malcolm because their hearts are in the right place as they work for the needs of their districts.

The Good Government Regular Democratic club welcomes your membership. We have open meetings every Thursday evening from 7:45 p.m. to 11 p.m. with speakers of great interest.

For the past few weeks we have received numerous calls regarding unsafe conditions in the elevators in 320 Beach 100 Street, Bay Towers. On Friday afternoon Terry Harris, Bay Towers President, and I spent four hours reaching out to various officials for assistance.

320 Beach 100 Street has two elevators serving almost 200 apartments. It has 14 stories and a number of senior and disabled. One elevator was put out of service because it needs a motor. The other elevator is getting stuck between floors, opening its doors between floors and skipping floors. We have been told that the U.S. housing Management Co. which manages Bay Towers is also responsible for the building in East New York where a 70 year old woman was killed when the elevator she was entering began to move. Negligence has no place in taking care of elevators.

We immediately reached out to Commissioner Magdi Mossad P.E., Queens Commissioner of the Department of Buildings. He always goes above and beyond and is always helpful. He immediately reached out to get an immediate inspection of Bay Towers elevators.

We reached Rone Koltin, head of elevator inspection for the Department of Buildings to verify when the last inspection of the elevators occurred. We also reached Gary Sloman, director of Operations for HPD, who assisted us graciously.

Let me remind everyone that these buildings are supervised by HUD and HPD. We reached out as well to Anthony Gigante, HUD's person in charge of Bay Towers. He promised to have an inspector check Bay Towers elevators immediately. I also called U.S. Housing Management's Donna Stewart and got a response from Adelina Rodriguez. She gave her assurance that a motor would be put in at the beginning of this week. She spoke of constant vandalism and waiting for the execution of a capital improvement overhaul for two elevators. Rest assured this matter will be rectified or else.


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