2003-07-18 / Editorial/Opinion

Where Is Joe Addabbo When We Need Him Most?

Where Is Joe Addabbo When We Need Him Most?

Where Is Joe Addabbo When We Need Him Most?

Approximately 1,500 Rockaway residents jammed the boardwalk between Beach 116 Street and Beach 117 Street on July 9. The majority of them were present on the boardwalk that pleasant night to let the city know that they and their neighbors are unhappy about the beach and boardwalk access rules. Others, arguably a much smaller group were there because of what had happened on Beach 130 Street on Independence Day. In either case, that’s a lot of people for a demonstration, particularly for Rockaway. The one person who can do something to address the needs of those 1,500 residents and their neighbors was not there on the boardwalk, however. Claiming "previous commitments on the mainland," City Councilman Joe Addabbo, the chair of the prestigious Council Parks Committee, was nowhere in sight. He did have three representatives, including his chief Rockaway aide, Sandy Doreemus, at the rally, but they huddled together, collected signatures on petitions and declined to speak to the crowd. Sandy did speak with The Wave, however. When asked for a comment on whether the turnout would satisfy Addabbo that Rockaway residents wanted the rules changed, she said that the majority of people were there to address the July 4 incident, not the beach rules. She was totally wrong, and so is Addabbo for not showing up and addressing his constituents. We know that Addabbo comes from an old political family and that he literally cut his teeth on politics, but we believe that he has made a bad mistake on a seminal political issue. We hope that he would recover by insuring that the rules are changed before the summer turns to fall. Also on the boardwalk was another man who could do something about the rules if he wanted to. He is Liam Kavanagh, the Director of Operations for the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation. He also declined to speak to the crowd and declined comment to The Wave. He has said that all parks have to be treated equally. We know now that is a lie. Some parks are more equal than others, with Rockaway’s beaches on the lowest rung. Addabbo should know now that his constituents want the rules changed. If he does not do so, it is at his own peril.

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