2009-09-11 / Letters

Help With School Bus Service

Dear Editor,

I would like to thank Lew Simon for helping my family obtain the Yellow School Bus service that I want for my daughter in the coming school years.

I have spent the entire summer writing and placing phone calls to the Board of Education and the Office of Pupil Transportation trying to secure the same school bus service that my daughter had been receiving in years past. With each phone call, I was directed elsewhere, only to be told that this was not their area and then be redirected back to the person I started with.

On Sunday, August 30, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Councilman Eric Ulrich were in the Rockaways to open their re-election campaign office on Beach 114 Street. Knowing that the mayor was just reappointed as head of the Board of Education, I waited from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. outside of his office, hoping to see if he could help me.

As luck would have it, on their way into the office, both Bloomberg and Ulrich stopped in front of me and I was able to speak with them briefly. I asked for their help. I left them both with a copy of my letter to the Board of Education explaining my request and the reasons why I desired the bus service. They assured me that they would see what they could do to help and get back to me. Yet, I had to follow up with their offices myself.

While at the re-election office, I spoke with the staff there and Jane asked if I would be willing to volunteer to help with the campaign. I thought I would be unable to since I have three small children, but I was told to bring them along and the staff would find something for them to do, too.

Hoping that Bloomberg and Ulrich were going to help me with my request, I felt it was only right to give back and help them, too. During the following week, my children and I went around to local stores asking them to display re-election posters for Bloomberg. We also handed out papers for both Bloomberg and Ulrich in front of Waldbaum's. I voiced my hope that by doing all this work for Bloomberg and Ulrich they would help me in return by giving me the bus service I desired. I was told we can only hope.

While in front of Waldbaum's I met Lew Simon. Simon knows that I have Multiple Sclerosis and was concerned for me and wondered why I was outside the store in the heat. I explained why my children and I were in front of the store handing out papers and my hopes that Bloomberg or Ulrich would grant my request for bus service for my daughter. Simon told me to pack up immediately, go home, rest, and call him later with all the details. He assured me that he would do all that he could to help me and that it was not necessary for me to sit in front of Waldbaum's with my children handing out flyers.

The next day, not even 24 hours Letters after meeting Simon, he called to tell me everything was done and in place, my daughter would be able to keep riding the same school bus she had in the past.

I don't know how to thank Lew Simon enough for his help. He gets the job done each and every time he is asked by the people of Rockaway. In the past, Simon may not have received recognition for work he was involved in, but not this time. My family and I are so grateful for all his help that my children will always refer to him fondly as Uncle Lew.

REGINA MC MANUS

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