2009-06-12 / Letters

Shocked To Hear

Dear Editor,

Supporters of Lew Simon are shocked to hear that Lew will not be a candidate for the Democratic nomination for City Council. We thought Lew would always shrug off adversity and come back again for another fight.

It seems like Lew has always been there; getting street lights replaced, streets paved, illegal SROs vacated and loudly advocating for better transportation, schools and lifeguards for our beaches. Finally as City Councilman, he would gain the clout to force the city administration to stop ignoring our needs.

It was not to be this year. Without giving the voters of the district an opportunity to express themselves, Democratic leaders from Howard Beach, Ozone Park and Woodhaven decided that Frank Gulluscio of Howard Beach was less divisive and would better serve our community.

Gulluscio is not new to the Rockaways. For years he has been Democratic District Leader of the 23 A.D. Part A which extends from Far Rockaway to Rockaway Beach. If he ever supported efforts to improve this community, he did it so quietly, that no one would mistake him for a leader.

Eric Ulrich is an intelligent young man. Unfortunately, he has adopted a political strategy which could lead to disaster. The most significant legislation he has introduced in his short term on the City Council has been to require a two-thirds vote to approve a tax increase. While support of needed services can be approved by a simple majority, a minority of the Council would be able to block the taxes required to pay the bills.

The wealthy state of California is facing this type of problem. California voters rejected a batch of measures on increasing taxes and borrowing funds to close a multi-billion dollar budget gap. With the cuts that Gov. Schwarzenegger has been forced to propose, poor children would have no health insurance, prisoners would be released by the thousands and state parks would be closed. If they succeed in blocking taxes what services would Mr. Ulrich and his friends cut in New York City?

Unfortunately, Mr. Gulluscio stated several times during his abbreviated special election campaign that voters should not expect any new improved services because of the economic crisis. This is not satisfactory for those who have already been ignored by the city administration. City Council member? The 2010 Census will certainly show sufficient population. No longer will we have to have to beg for attention from a candidate whose attention is fixed in Howard Beach or Springfield Gardens. After the census the City Council will be reapportioned to reflect the population changes. We must demand the constitutional standard of compact and contiguous districts. In 2001 when we elected our Council Members they promised that we would have two members working for us. Unfortunately, most of the time, we had none. We must do better.


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