2012-03-09 / Community

‘How To Spend A Million’Vote Set For End Of Month

By Howard Schwach


Participants at West End Temple listen to the oral presentations. Participants at West End Temple listen to the oral presentations. Rockaway residents who are represented by City Councilman Eric Ulrich are poised to vote the end of this month on how to spend $1 million of his discretionary funds for public projects.

Ulrich is one of three council members who are testing the idea of “participatory budgeting” in this year’s funding cycle.

Under the plan, residents got together to talk about ideas for spending the money. Then, volunteers became “delegates” who met in committee to codify those broad ideas into specific spending projects.

Now, with those projects nearly ready for public vetting, every resident over the age of 18 who lives in Ulrich’s district, which includes the west end of Rockaway and Broad Channel, will get a chance to vote for his or her favorite project at a series of voting sites during the period between March 25 and March 31.


Dan Marzano, representing the public safety committee, speaks to the group. All photos by Howard Schwach Dan Marzano, representing the public safety committee, speaks to the group. All photos by Howard Schwach Residents may vote only one time and will have to provide proof of residency and age at the polling places.

An online database of those who already voted will be maintained so that nobody can vote more than once.

Voting will be held at Ulrich’s office at 98-16 Rockaway Beach Boulevard from Monday, March 26 until Friday, March 30, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Voting at the Knights of Columbus Hall, 333 Beach 90 Street, will be held on Sunday, March 25, from 2:30 p.m. until 5 p.m.

The Peninsula Library at 92-25 Rockaway Beach Boulevard will host the voting on Monday, March 26 and Thursday, March 29, from 4 to 8 p.m.

Voting at the Seaside Library, at 116-15 Rockaway Beach Boulevard, will be held on Monday and Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m. The Breezy Point Activity Center will be utilized on March 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Two sites at Dayton Towers will also be utilized for the vote. Voting will take place at 7800 Shore Front Parkway on March 27, from 4 to 9 p.m. and at 102-00 Shore Front Parkway on March 28, from 4 to 9 p.m. Voting at PS 114 will take place on March 29, from 4 to 8 p.m. and at the Broad Channel Community Center at St. Virgilus on March 31, from 3 to 7 p.m. Residents may vote at any site.


Two members of the Broad Channel Volunteers look at the public safety presentation boards. Two members of the Broad Channel Volunteers look at the public safety presentation boards. Bart Haggerty, who is running the process for Ulrich, said that there will be 20 to 25 projects on the ballot. Each will be explained and voters will have time to peruse the ballot before voting for their favorite five. More than 250 project proposals were submitted to the delegates, and committees have whinnied those down to the 25 that will be voted on.


Bernie Feuer looks at the presentation boards submitted by the Parks and Recreation Committee. Bernie Feuer looks at the presentation boards submitted by the Parks and Recreation Committee. “We had to get rid of those that were too expensive and those that were just not feasible,” Haggerty said.

Last week, the delegates held a public meeting at West End Temple to outline the proposals made by four of the delegate committees – Environment, Health and Public Safety; Parks and Recreation; Education and Arts.

The projects recommended by the Parks and Recreation committee, for example, call for water lines at the Rockaway Dog Park, as well as dog waste stations and compacting trash cans.

In addition, the committee wants to winter-proof the Beach 86 Street comfort station on the boardwalk and install a changing area for surfers who use that beach all year long.

The Education Committee wants to buy more technology for four schools in the area – PS 114 in Belle Harbor, PS 47 in Broad Channel and the two Waterside Schools that have replaced PS 225 in Rockaway Park.


Bart Haggerty, representing City Councilman Eric Ulrich, tells the group about the process and the coming voting process. Bart Haggerty, representing City Councilman Eric Ulrich, tells the group about the process and the coming voting process. The Public Safety Committee wants to buy security cameras, scooters, breathing equipment and communication devices for the NYPD, FDNY and the local volunteers.

Results from the late March voting will be posted as soon as they are available.

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