Whether you voted in every election for the last 75 years or this was your very first election, you had to experience joy at some of the outcomes and misery at other parts. The more you vote, the more you understand that the range of emotions is natural when any election is finally over and all the votes counted.
With that thought in mind, let's congratulate the winners and express best wishes to those who ran and lost.
Farewell to Senator Serph Maltese, who served the community and state for many years. We had our disagreements with Senator Maltese in recent years. We believe that Senator Maltese should have aggressively removed Gallagher from the Republican Party. He could have done so and should have done so. On many other issues, the Senator sat on a fence, fearful of engaging in any controversy, afraid to explain his positions to any who disagreed. He failed the leadership test.
Some fault the JPCA, saying that the Senator maintained the funding of the civic. Yes, funding continued but his loyalty disappeared. Funding is the use of our tax dollars anyway. It never costs any politician to fund a group.
Loyalty is always two ways. We expect loyalty. When it is delivered it, we return it in spades.
The JPCA, at meetings and through the Juniper Berry, printed and online, is not fearful of expressing support or opposition on so many issues. We win often enough; sometimes we lose. Either way, we are always making new friends as we lose old ones. We never like to lose friends but we are definitely NOT a tea and crumpets organization.
We expect our elected officials to take a stand on issues of concern to us. Frankly, any politician who would believe that silence or the disappearing act on any issue is his or her right is automatically unfit for office. For any politician unable to take a stand: You're afraid to take a stand? Go away and flip burgers at a stand on the corner.
We supported Tony Nunziato. We believed and continue to believe that he is a superbly qualified candidate for State Assembly in the 30th Assembly District. The election is now over. Marge Markey was re-elected. Why has she been so silent for so long on all these issues? Saint Saviour's and the Cross Harbor Tunnel would have a direct impact on Maspeth and the surrounding communities. From the State Assembly, legislation could be initiated to prohibit use of eminent domain when private property would be transferred to private, profit making developers. Why is it that an unelected, unpaid volunteer community activist such as Tony Nunziato must do all the heavy lifting we pay elected officials to perform? Think about that one.
On April 21, 2008, a majority of the New York City Council's members expressed their "adamant opposition" to the proposed Willets Point redevelopment in writing to Robert Lieber, New York City Deputy Mayor for Economic Development. On August 12, 2008, they reiterated their concerns in a letter addressed to City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden. These "adamant opposition" letters were signed by 29 City Council members including Joseph Addabbo, Jr. and Tony Avella.
Originally, we were thrilled to see City Council Member Joe Addabbo win the Senate seat in the 15th Senate District, retiring Serph Maltese. That is, we were thrilled until November 13th. On that day, Senator-Elect Addabbo, in probably his final vote in the City Council, decided to agree with Bloomberg that taking property from private owners for profitable use by private developer friends of Bloomberg was necessary for the economic health of New York City. It won't help the economy. It will help Bloomberg and his wealthy friends. Past misdeeds by the City lead us to believe that the people who own land and businesses there will not get a fair shake.
Anthony Como, the departing City Council member for the 30th Council District, former intern of Senator Maltese, and the successor to the disgraced Gallagher (successor to the seat, the office and the staff) voted to implement eminent domain at Willets Point. To be most honest, we really had no expectation that Como could or would do the right thing. He failed to surprise. He did the wrong thing.
So, congratulations to the newly elected City Council member, Elizabeth Crowley. She just about reversed her June loss by one-hundred-fold. Elizabeth's victory over Como was by 12 percentage points.
Congratulations and best wishes on your new post. It means you get to work real hard.
Elizabeth, we expect to see you at the various meetings throughout the district, including the monthly COP104 meetings, the JPCA Town Meetings, and other events so that you can speak and listen directly to the voters who have a number of unresolved concerns. Both Gallagher and Como left a lot for you to do, but, you're young, energetic and intelligent, so you will be able to use your talents to handle all these matters.
We want you to be successful. If you're as good as your promises, this community will be all the better for your success.
A final word: Thanks Tony Avella. You have principles. You demonstrate your principles with every act you take. You have the courage of your convictions. You voted against and have refused your pay raise. You helped us throughout the effort to save Saint Saviour's – that's in Maspeth; you're from Bayside! You spoke out in opposition to the savaging on Willets Point; then you voted against it.
You were our City Council representative on loan; now, we have Elizabeth Crowley, so you're off the hook there. Elizabeth, now it's your turn. Don't let us down!