2009-03-20 / Columnists

Simon says...

Lew M. Simon Lew M. Simon It's been a long time since we have written our column. So many good and bad things have happened. There have been deaths of many well respected people in our community. I was not able to write about the 13th anniversary of my mother's death.

I'd like to thank all those who affixed their names to my petitions, those who voted, especially those who voted for me, and the people who did all the hard work.

I want to thank Sara Berger, Richard Berger, Jodi Orlow Mackoff , Leo Fahy, Mickey Alvino, Johanna Mazza, Norman Silverman, Barbara Reiche, Terri Hausbrack, Walter Reiche, Andy and Maureen McGee, Barbara Buffalino and SHAFT, the Board of Dayton Towers, Bay Towers Tenants Association, Grace D'Agostino, Tony Iwanczuk, Eva Ferro, Warren Bass, Danny Baatz, Scott Winick, Phil D'Agostino, Dolores Floyd, Bridget Conino, Joe and Lisa Lopez, Mary Park, Alice Ott, Roberta Di Canio, Ginger and Sean Minardi, Terry Flynn Jr., the 504 Democrats, Good Government Regular Democrats, TWU Local 100, ATU Local 1056, Local 32BJ, Dennis Malone and the gang from Broad Channel. Forgive me if I've left anyone out, it's been a long process.

The special election process really needs to be fixed. Although we knew that Councilman Addabbo would resign to take his seat in the State Senate we did not know when Mayor Bloomberg would call for a special election. We could not finish printing petitions or tell volunteers to come in to begin collecting signatures. Many of our good friends are snowbirds who were in Florida and other distant places and could not properly participate in the election. Even so, we submitted the largest number of valid signatures of any candidate.

In regards to the type of errors that could invalidate a candidate's petition and remove a candidate's name from the ballot, the Board of Elections did not follow the rules they had given us. They took an e-mail address for each candidate. If there was an error in the petition that had to be fixed, they were supposed to notify us and give the candidate an opportunity to correct the error. In the case of Glenn DiResto, he was not given an opportunity to change the name of his political group.

This year Republican inspectors kept lists of those who had voted. They gave these lists to others who called people who had not voted to get to the polls. The inspectors are paid with tax dollars. If it is legal for the inspectors to keep lists for one candidate, then all candidates must arrange this service.

At the NY1 debate, I challenged Dr. Geraldine Chapey. I asked where she had been on issues that affected our community. Now that she was a candidate, she began to speak on Crossbay bridge tolls and other issues that affect our community. For someone who has been around for so long and done so little, it is now time to stand aside.

During the debates, Chapey responded to most questions by mentioning her professional employment at Kingsborough Community College. People laughed when she equated the graffiti problem at Kingsborough, a gated facility in a beautiful community, with the gang problems in parts of our district. She referred to the youth at Leon Goldstein High School on the Kingsborough campus when asked about problems in our schools. That school is a top A-rated high school to which parents fight to get admission for their children. It is quite obvious that Dr. Chapey has obtained wonderful educational credentials but sometimes we question her common sense and personality.

Our Good Government Regular Democratic Club welcomes all members of the community to join in our civic and political activities. You can come to meetings to hear from city leaders and to question them. You can become a leader on one of the many fights we are involved in to improve our community. Our dues are $25 for a family, $18 single and $12 for seniors. Send your check to the Good Government Regular Democratic Club, 112-20 Beach Channel Drive, Rockaway Park, NY 11694.

During my campaign we had one seven-year-old admirer who campaigned diligently for my election. Joseph Featherson Jr. was brokenhearted and torn apart that we did not win the election. He personally called and delivered a handwritten letter that he would wait for me to beat my competition at the end of the year. Each and every day Joseph brought a smile to my heart. When he came to visit me, it warmed my heart. His parents have instilled the proper family values in young Joseph.

At no time am I embarrassed by not winning the election. We look forward to the future. I will continue my work as Democratic District Leader. While I suspended my paid duties during the campaign, I am returning to my job working for State Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith. We are proud to serve all who need us. When you need me, don't hesitate to call. Through thick and thin we have been together and will continue to work together as a team.

During last week's St. Patrick's Day parade, we rode in style with Joe DiCannio in his brand new two-seat Mercedes. The loud applause and compliments really touched my heart. The only thought in my heart was, could it have been any better had I won the election. You picked up my spirit and made me feel appreciated.

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