2013-08-09 / Columnists

Simon Says

From the Desk of Lew M. Simon, Democratic District Leader, 23rd A.D.

Lew M. Simon Lew M. Simon We are in the process of asking NYS Attorney Eric Schneiderman to investigate the awarding of the $25 million contract for the lifeguard stations and bathrooms now located above the beach without competitive bidding or public input.

There are procedures that government agencies must follow before awarding contracts.

We are also trying to determine if City Comptroller John Liu had a role in approving the contract.

There was no discussion of these condos in the sky at any of the community meetings I attended.

When we found out about it, many people spoke out against the idea, but the Parks Department turned a deaf ear.

All this money could have been put to better use building a new boardwalk and fixing the existing bathrooms.

It’s time that we get answers. We urge everyone to fill out a complaint form for the Attorney General. You can get a form by going to the website for NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Go to Resource Center. Go to Public Integrity Bureau Complaint Form.

The Public Integrity Bureau is located at 120 Broadway, 22nd floor, New York, NY 10271.

Why are we the last community to get our boardwalk restored? The Coney Island and Staten Island FDR boardwalks are in use.

It is nine months since Sandy and Rockaway is still waiting.

On Sunday, August 4th, we had the honor and pleasure of standing with our great friend Uncle Chucky Schumer, State Senator Joe Addabbo, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder and community leaders for the announcement that the replacement sand is coming.

Three million cubic yards will be pumped onto the beach between Beach 19th Street and Beach 149 Street.

The first phase of 600,000 cubic yards will be on Beach 89th Street to Beach 149 Street at a cost of $10 million.

Senator Schumer expects jetties within three to five years. This work is paid for with federal funds. We asked how the sand will be kept on the beach when the winds and storm waves batter our beaches.

Rebuilding the boardwalk and dunes will help keep the sand where it is needed.

Last Wednesday night we spoke at the Candidates Night sponsored by the Friends of Rockaway Beach. We’d like to thank John Cori and Eddie Pastore for allowing me to speak and running the meeting so well.

My love and passion for our community came out that night.

Thank you for all those who called, texted or inboxed me on Facebook with your kind words and support.

To make one thing clear, I chose to run for City Council to represent all the people all the time.

This position does not require me to be out of my district except for attending a few Council meetings and committee meetings near City Hall each month.

I will still be accessible to the people of our community.

I am proud to have the support of Local 1180 Communication workers and Local 580 Ornamental Iron Workers and friends in almost every other union.

As I travel through the district to various block parties, the response has been excellent.

I have chosen my path in life. My calling is to be married to my district and all my constituents. I eat, sleep and think how to help all. The life I have chosen is to give back at all times.

The date of my birthday party has been moved to Thursday, August 15th at the Irish Circle from 7 to 11 p.m. For $50 you will get a buffet dinner, a DJ and beer.

My victory will be our victory. We need your help. Call 718- 945-1216. Checks must be made out to Lew M. Simon 2013. Campaign finance rules require a contribution card must be filled out.

We have been working diligently to make sure that St. John’s, our one remaining community hospital, keeps its doors open.

We cannot afford the loss of this hospital. We will be marching and getting out the message to the Mayor and Governor on Wednesday August 14th from 4 to 7 p.m. around St. John’s. We may start at Mott Avenue and Beach 20th Street and march down to the hospital.

We expect all of our elected officials to be with us. If our community does not turn out to show their support for St. John’s it could wind up like Peninsula. For information you may call Local 1199 at 855-616-1199 or my office at 718- 945-1216.

We taped a video Voters Guide last Friday.

It will be available on You Tube and the CFB website, simprov.com.

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