2009-06-12 / Columnists

Simon says...

Commentary From the Desk of Lew M. Simon, Democratic District Leader, 23rd A.D. Part B

Approximately two weeks ago, I made my announcement that I will not be seeking the Democratic nomination for the City Council. I'd like to correct the explanation that was in the Beachcomber column in The Wave on June 5.

At no time was I told or threatened that if I ran for City Council that I would not be District Leader. As we are all very much aware, one must run for District Leader. It is not an appointed position.

I have worked long, tedious hours and have been involved in most community issues. I ran for District Leader against an incumbent who was the Treasurer of the Queens Democratic Organization and had held the local leadership for 32 years. In 1995 I served as campaign manager for the late, great Terry Flynn Sr. who was running for the Civil Court as a Republican.

In 1998 we backed Anthony Weiner for Congress, to replace Chuck Schumer who was running for the Senate. The Queens County Democratic organization backed Melinda Katz.

We were among the first to support Schumer, while the county organization backed Geraldine Ferraro. In 2001 we supported Carol Gresser for Borough President and Mark Green for Mayor in the Democratic primary. If this doesn't show my independence and that I stand up for what I believe in, then I don't know what will.

When I marched with Republican District Leader Jane Deacy on Memorial Day, I was still determined to run for the City Council.

Later that evening, I sat with a number of my core supporters and discussed the possibility of getting an endorsement by the county organization or the possibility that the county organization would not take a stand because two district leaders were running.

After thinking about this race and assuming the likelihood of two other Rockaway candidates, Glenn DiResto and John Patrick Larkin, a member of the District Education Council, and figuring they would take some of the Rockaway votes, I felt that this would hurt my campaign.

We needed one candidate from our community. Had these two gentlemen told me that they were not running, I could have raised the money to run.

After I announced that I was not running, both of these candidates pulled out leaving Frank Galluscio as the sole Democratic candidate. It is important that Democrats unite to take back the seat that represents the people of our district. I have been meeting with Frank Galluscio. He has made a commitment to work on major issues that affect our community.

Republican Leader Jane Deacy has said that I'm not a fighter. We have to ask Jane where she was last Sunday when we were rallying outside the home of a slumlord on Beach 102 Street about the residents they put in a house at 159 Beach 119 Street, an area which we both represent. Can you find your way to Rockaway Park, or is this issue not important enough for you? Are you not a fighter?

We would like to wish a special 75th birthday to our best friend Andy McGee who is like a father to me. He is one of the best solid citizens of the Rockaways. He is a man who only knows how to love, turn the other cheek, smile all the time and never has a bad word for anyone. He is constantly out there to assist and drive all the seniors who need assistance. He is always there with his camera always taking beautiful pictures using his expertise and state of the art cameras. All the women at the senior centers love Andy to death.

Andy and his lovely wife Maureen have been like a mom and dad to me, opening their hearts and their home and welcoming me in. They are two solid class individuals.

We look forward to celebrating Andy's 100th birthday with him and his wife and their family.

On Saturday evening we attended a beautiful concert at Tribute Park put on by the P.S. 114 band and chorus. The children did a beautiful job. It was a great night with a little breeze coming off the bay.

Congratulations to Jodi Tampone for her leadership and professionalism as a choral teacher and to the children for a fantastic job. We look forward to future concerts being held there.

We are deeply saddened by the death of Linda Pereira, beloved mother, grandmother, sister and friend. Linda was an outstanding loving and happy individual. She was suffering from MS for the last few years, but nothing could break her smile and big heart. Loving her children and grandchildren was her pastime. My deepest sympathy to the family. Linda has become a special angel in heaven where there is no more suffering.

On Saturday June 20, at the old Rock Lobster House, a benefit will be held for the Friedman family. As many of us may remember, the house in which they were tenants on Beach 129 Street had a terrible fire. Bert had third degree burns.

He and his lovely wife, Barbara, lost everything in the fire. The fundraiser will be held from 2 to 6 p.m. at 375 Beach 91 Street. If you cannot attend, please make a check out to the Friedmans and leave it there. We must all help this wonderful family get back on their feet.

We have a number of positions to work on the Election Board. The pay is $200 per day. You work on Primary Day, a runoff two weeks later and Election Day. The hours are 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

There are a number of vacant positions in Ozone Park. If you are a registered Democrat in the 23 A.D. Part B, call 945-1216 immediately.

Our next Atlantic City bus trip will be on Saturday, June 27 to Resorts. The cost is $40 with $30 returned. Bagels and cream cheese are courtesy of Beach Bagels. We leave at 5:30 p.m. and return at 7:30 a.m. Call 945-1216, join us and win some real money.

We welcome your membership in the Good Government Regular Democratic Club. Your dues help to keep our office open and our phones working for you. Send $25 to the Good Government Regular Democratic Club at 112- 20 Beach Channel Drive, Rockaway Park NY 11691. I'm proud to say that I'm still Democratic Leader. I will never sell us short or let us down. Volunteers to type and work on computers are needed.

Groups have asked my assistance in obtaining a bus to attend many events. They tell me that Dr. Geraldine Chapey and Trinity Services booked their trip, but cancelled the night before.

This has angered a number of community groups. The elected officials who help fund her program must demand an accounting of her finances. If Trinity received financing the bus trips should be free for qualified groups.

We understand that Trinity pays the rent for the headquarters which she uses for her Democratic club as well. This is a violation of the rules. Not-forprofit organizations are not allowed to get involved in politics.

We think it is a shame that Dr. Chapey has not yet paid her campaign workers.

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