2003-10-10 / Community

Council Runners Speak Up About Quiet Race

By Brian Magoolaghan
Council Runners Speak Up About Quiet Race By Brian Magoolaghan


In each of the two City Council races for the seats that cover Rockaway there’s a confident incumbent, and a hopeful, but unproven challenger. All four men spoke recently to The Wave about issues, and the progress of their campaign.

Running in the 31 councilmanic district is Democratic incumbent City Councilman Joseph Addabbo, Jr., and Republican challenger Michael Mossa, a real estate attorney and insurance broker.

In the 32 councilmanic district there’s Democratic incumbent City Councilman James Sanders, Jr., and Republican challenger Everly Brown, a developer.

"We want to have a good win," said a confident Addabbo about his race. He told voters, at this week’s meeting of the Rockaway Beach Civic Association, that there is a correlation between the voter turnout from a given community and the amount of services it gets from the city. He also addressed "voter apathy," by saying he hopes people are interested enough to turn out in high numbers.

Sanders said the same of his race when he spoke with The Wave before his unusual primary, in which he defeated the same challenger that he will face in the general election. He said he needed a "mandate from the people." He also spoke about his achievements as chair of the Economic Development Committee, and a recent multimillion-dollar plan that will benefit his constituents in Springfield Gardens. He said the voters could reelect him based on his record, or side with Brown and his "nebulous promises."

Brown told The Wave that he is running "to give voters a choice." The candidate held a rally against crime last Sunday, on Central Avenue, which was attended by a few dozen people. The Brown campaign said the rally was "festive," and had "positive religious overtones."

Meanwhile, Mossa is challenging Addabbo largely on the issue of property tax. "I’m taking the message to the property owners…that’s the tie that binds us," he said.

Mossa said he has been going door-to-door in Belle Harbor, and visited Waldbaum’s to introduce himself to voters. He accused Addabbo of "beating the liberal tax and spend drum," and said, "We’re starting an anti-tax movement."

Addabbo said his challenger’s logic is flawed. "It’s foolish to say ‘I’m going to repeal taxes,’ because it means cuts in services," he said.

Each candidate will be featured in The Wave during the last two weeks of October.

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