Smith Answers Questions During Appearance
During what was probably a first for Rockaway, embattled State Senator Malcolm Smith gave a State of the District speech last week during a visit to Rockaway Park. The April 29 speech touched on topics from schools to the environment to jobs to health care was given at the Knights of Columbus.
Smith, the Senate President Pro Tempore, has been under a cloud of scrutiny lately but on this night his speech centered on his recent accomplishments in the Senate as he called for bringing the Rockaways together.
“It’s all about one community,” said Smith.
While he went over past accomplishments, Smith also looked to the future saying, “2020 will be here before you know it.”
It’s a plan that calls for controlling spending, tax relief, creating jobs, and health care reform.
“You guys up in Albany need to do more to put handcuffs on the [city] school system,” said one resident.
“He’s [Mayor Bloomberg] pretty much been doing things with unbridled challenges,” said Smith. That’s one. “… we challenged him on the closing of the schools. It was a victory. It’s not at the end yet, but it still was a victory. The mayor has another three about. A lot of people want to make it sound like it’s the wrong thing to do, but that’s their fault. They don’t understand. I’m not going to have our kids in the streets going to jail if we can stop them.”
The Wave asked Smith how he is handling the expanding allegations of ethical misconduct, conflict of interest violations and misuse of taxpayers’ dollars. A federal investigation is currently underway into Smith’s actions.
“I’m not,” said Smith. “I’m not worried about it. I’m doing the work of the community. That’s what I was there for.”
When asked if the allegations made him vulnerable in the next election cycle he said, “You have to ask other people that. I couldn’t tell you. I’m just going to keep doing my work. I work for the community … The best thing to do is ask the public. I’m here as long as they want me to.”