2014-03-07 / Columnists

Who’s Who

Edwin Williams, Community Board 14
By Katie McFadden

Tell Us About Yourself:

I live in Arverne by the Sea with my beautiful wife and two amazing sons, ages two and six. I moved here from Park Slope, Brooklyn in 2006. I work as a refrigeration engineer. Were you involved with community or civic affairs before joining the Community Board 14? Are you involved in any other community groups currently?

Before joining Community Board 14, I was a member of The Rockaway Task Force, where I met some of the greatest people on the peninsula. Currently, I also serve as President of the Palmer’s Landing Homeowners Association in Arverne. I became president of our homeowners association in 2010 and will continue o serve as long as our homeowners need my services. What committee of the Community Board, if any, are you on? What does your committee do? How often does it meet?

I am currently on the Parks and Education committees. The Parks committee currently is focusing on the design of our new boardwalk and our Youth and Education committee will be meeting shortly. How long do you see yourself being a part of the community board?

I plan on being on the community board as long as I can be effective and have the time. What do you think is the most important issue facing Rockaway?

The most important issue is better education and schools for all residents of the peninsula. What’s the best part of living in the area?

I think he beach is the best part of Rockaway. What’s your biggest complaint? I think that I should be able to get to 34th Street in Manhattan faster than my sister who comes from Freeport, Long Island. But this, I hope is a work in progress. We currently have a long ride into the city that takes over an hour and on the weekends it is even worse because of the never-ending track work. I have a remedy. Bring back the Train to the Plane, starting from JFK making five express stops into Manhattan which would take no more than 35 minutes. They should also have a late express bus from the city to Rockaway, 8-10pm.

As far as economic development, it will create jobs for residents of our peninsula and possibly bring in tourism year round to put Rockaway back on the map. I do not think it is that hard to do. Eliminate the tolls for Queens residents and business that are here. Give tax incentives to corporations like every other borough in NYC to come here and open up for business. If it can be done in every other economically deprived area in the city, Mr. Mayor, it is time to rebuild Rockaway. What advice do you have for people who are interested in getting involved in Rockaway?

To make a difference in Rockaway just volunteer for a cause you are passionate about and make a difference. Do not complain. Jump in and be a part of the solution!

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