2009-03-20 / Front Page

Bloomberg Swears In Ulrich

By Howard Schwach

The atmosphere was festive and the house was packed as Mayor Michael Bloomberg swore in Eric Ulrich as the City Councilman for the 32nd Councilmanic District at PS 207 in Howard Beach on Sunday.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg gives the oath of office to City Councilman Eric Ulrich at PS 207 in Howard Beach last Sunday. Photos by Howard Schwach
Ulrich, 24, won the February 24 special election to fill the vacancy left when Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. was elected to the State Senate.

Ulrich defeated longtime Rockaway Democratic District Leaders Lew Simon and Geraldine M. Chapey, as well as mainland businessman Mike Ricotta, to take the seat.

Bloomberg was effusive at the Sunday ceremony. He offered Ulrich some free advice.

"Don't ever vote against the mayor's proposals," Bloomberg said. "If you ever march in the Rockaway Irish parade after you've made a controver- sial decision, you're going to get a lot of one-finger waves. And, speaking of Waves, the community paper of the same name will either be your best friend or your worst enemy."

The Rockaway Republicans show their choices, perhaps for the coming election.
After being sworn in by the mayor, Ulrich told the crowd that many people told him that he was too young and inexperienced to win.

"People who say that something can't be done should get out of the way of those who can do it," he said. "I am not a placeholder, not a benchwarmer. I am here to stay."

He added that in a district with many ethnicities, he was happy to represent them all.

Father Frank Callamatti, who presented the opening blessing, got a laugh from the large audience in the school auditorium when he blessed all of Ulrich's opponents for "being so inept that it gave Ulrich a real chance to win."

The Breezy Point delegation at the ceremony
A large crowd filled the auditorium at PS 207 in Howard Beach. There were even a few Democrats scattered around the room.

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