With the 4th of July weekend behind us, here in Rockaway we are preparing to once again welcome and honor the Wounded Warriors that come to us from Walter Reed Hospital and are hosted through the efforts of the Graybeards and the citizenry and generosity of the Rockaways. They arrive on Thursday night with a police and fire department escort, and parade through Breezy Point and the western end of the peninsula before meeting their host families at the Belle Harbor Yacht Club. For many of these wounded soldiers and their families, it is their first event out of the hospital and from experiences in past years, I personally know how very much it means to each and every one of them to be received by this community with the outpouring of love and acceptance that is displayed. We hope that you will, in some way, participate and thank these soldiers for their service to God and country. We are so indebted to them one and all, for enabling us to live in safety and peace.
On the political front, with the resignation of Anthony Weiner from the US Congress, and the six vacancies that now exist in the NYS Assembly, Governor Cuomo has called for a Special Election to fill those seats, to be held on September 13, 2011.
Here in the 23rd AD that will mean that everyone will have the opportunity to go out and vote that day, either for a replacement to Anthony Weiner at the Federal level, as well as for a replacement to Audrey Pheffer at the State level. In addition, it is likely that there will be a Democratic Primary as well, which will mean that if you are a Democrat you will get the opportunity to vote in the Primary Elec-tion as well as the Special Election. Who will be running in this Special Election? The decisions will be made as this paper goes to press, as to who the candidates will be. The Democratic Leaders are meeting on Wednesday and the Republican Leaders are meeting on Wednesday and Thursday.
I am sure that you have read the many rumors that have been reported as to who is running, but it will be decided by the County Chairmen and the District Leaders who will be running on Party lines. It is rumored that Bob Turner will be running on the Republican line and after garnering 41 percent against Anthony Weiner last November, I will be supporting his candidacy and doing whatever I can to spread his message. It is also rumored that I will be running on the Republican line for Assembly. These decisions will be made this week and it promises to be a busy summer for the Republicans in the 23rd AD.
The budget crisis is not over by a long shot. August 2, 2011 is looming closer and closer and I hope that the Republicans stand firm in their resolve not to cave and pass a budget ceiling hike without the assurances of spending cuts. We have been warned that without taking drastic steps to take fiscal responsibility we will be losing our credit rating. Remem-ber that Congress has already missed the deadline and this is the doomsday deadline that has been reported. The State session is over and there have been some very successful accomplishments. The budget was passed with a $10 billion reduction in it due to the cooperation of the Governor, Senate and Assembly members. The legislature has passed a cap on real property which has continually put a tremendous burden on families throughout the state. The State has taken a look and provided meaningful mandate relief to the tune of $127 million and with the creation of the Mandate Relief Council will continue to give relief to the unfunded mandates that have helped to cripple local governments and school districts. I was disappointed that same sex marriage was passed and signed into law as I do believe that marriage is between one man and one woman. However, I was very disappointed because the Governor saw fit in these fiscally difficult times to use our tax dollars to crisscross the State to lobby for its support. I do think that this issue, which was certainly not a mandate, should have been put on a referendum for the people to decide.
Here in the 23rd AD and the 9th CD, the work that needs to be done continues even though their vacancies exist. I think that it is imperative that the steps taken by both Anthony Weiner and Audrey Pheffer in helping our community do not falter.
I believe that Anthony Weiner has money put aside for ferries from Rockaway. I believe that he was investigating whether the Marine Parkway Bridge is illegal connecting two Federal properties …I believe that the bay wall still needs repair and that Anthony Wiener is not the only disgrace, Gateway National Park, and Riis Park have to be on that list. We can still contact the US Congress and the NYS Assembly with our concerns and hope that they are listening and trying to serve us honorably in the absence of our representatives.
Have a happy, healthy and safe summer. I am sure I will see you out and about.