2009-02-20 / Letters

Who Can Represent Rockaway?

Dear Editor,

The question before us at next Tuesday's special and open election is … 'Who can best represent Rockaway in the New York City Council?'

Last week's Wave-sponsored 'Candidate Forum' was well attended and revealing. Not surprising to those of us who know him, Eric Ulrich proved the most knowledgeable of all the candidates concerning the actual duties, responsibilities, and obligations of a City Councilperson. He pointed out repeatedly during the evening's forum that it was Albany and not City Hall that defined many of the issues the audience was concerned about. But he also reminded us that there were certain citywide areas where a well informed and proactive council member can have a genuine impact. Local park and recreation efforts are a primary case in point.

I personally found it encouraging that Ulrich did not punctuate his comments by promising the 'earth, moon and stars' to the audience. He pledged, instead, to represent our community wisely, proudly, honestly, and effectively. Unfortunately, he needed to remind one of his fellow candidates that you can't just lock up parents with their kids who have gotten into trouble. While other candidates demagogued the crowd, Eric Ulrich stuck to the facts and to the American Constitution.

Especially revealing to me was that two of the other candidates, when asked mildly tough questions, attacked the questioners rather than offering straight answers, leaving many of us wondering how they could effectively represent us in council chambers and at mayoral deliberations with that kind of an attitude. It was like they weren't ready for prime time. But Eric Ulrich clearly was, as he pledged that his first effort, once elected, will be to join the City Council's Parks and Recreation Committee, a committee whose duties and responsibilities have significant Rockaway impact.

The problems and the issues out here are well-known to most of us. What we need is a Council representative who can advance our cause intelligently and cogently to win the respect of others in city government and thus secure the remedies we need . . . not someone who can shout louder than anyone else or can evade tough questions, but someone firm and studied in his words … not a professional protester, but a solutionseeker.

I ask all our neighbors and friends to consider Rockaway's Present and Future next Tuesday when they go to vote, not just our Past, because we need forward-looking leadership, fresh leadership that is articulate and experienced in the ways of governcontinued ment. We need Ulrich in the City Council, with his savvy and political skills, to take the fight for a better Rockaway to the chambers of City Hall.

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