Familiar Faces At It Again
With the election finish line in sight, a number of candidates are stepping into higher gear. A dozen candidates came to the Knights of Columbus Wednesday night hoping to convince locals they’re worthy of the Rockaway vote.
Some were new faces, some were very familiar. No one was more familiar than Anthony Weiner who is running for mayor.
Weiner, on what many consider hometown turf, addressed issues that have concerned those living on the peninsula since before Sandy.
“The thing that almost everyone agreed upon was if we only had put some real thought into this – we build some groins or some jetties, we keep the sand where it is, if we had done that, we wouldn’t have those tides to the east where people were dying most of the time.”
The City didn’t understand then, the City doesn’t understand the challenges after the storm Weiner said.
Weiner also called for a subsidy for the ferry and retrofitting them to take MetroCard while charging a reasonable fare. He added the city still has the $15 million he allocated in 2004 to purchase new ferries.
He called the Biggert-Waters Act that threatens to send flood insurance premiums soaring was “flawed from the beginning, the people paying the premiums had to sustain the program,” Weiner said. “The program has to change. Either broaden the program or subsidize people so that they can make the improvements or pay their flood insurance.”
There was only one question concerning the sexting scandal to which Weiner replied, “If you believe that disqualifies me, don’t vote for me. Let the people of New York decide who should be mayor.”
On the city council side was a couple of other familiar faces and a newcomer, William Ruiz, who introduced himself as a candidate for the 32nd District Council seat. The familiar, the two main candidates – incumbent Eric Ulrich and his challenger Lew Simon both gave statements and answered questions from the crowd.
Ulrich touted his accomplishments since he was elected to the city council in 2009.
“In those four and a half years, I have been able to secure, with your help, millions and millions of dollars in capital improvements, programming for senior centers, for schools, for libraries, to keep our firehouses open and to start new and innovative programs.”
Ulrich instituted a participatory budget in his district saying, “People should have a say in how money is spent.”
Simon, worrying about protection and the rebuilding of Rockaway said that, as councilman, he would be at the door of the new mayor on January 1st “screaming loudly that the boardwalk be built immediately.”
On health care Simon said, “We lost Peninsula Hospital, now we might lose St. John’s Hospital…. We’re in trouble folks. There’s no secret here, I don’t care where you live, what party you’re from – I’m here to help you.”
Simon also advocated reactivating the old Rockaway Beach line of the Long Island Railroad.
Familiar faces. Familiar outcomes? The coming elections will tell.