During his five years in the city council, Dennis Gallagher has essentially been a non-player. He has absolutely no relationship with Mayor Bloomberg, has not introduced any bills, never calls press conferences to highlight community issues and we can't remember the last time we've seen a press release from his office. Gallagher has even been invisible as a member of the city council's Parks Committee over the past 5 years. He never followed up on the problem of unleashed dogs in our parks, a big issue especially in his community. As a result, the JPCA was forced to file a lawsuit.
One thing Dennis has been busy doing is accepting money from developers. The August 3rd edition of the Queens Ledger reported that Mr. Gallagher supplied a letter to the Board of Standards and Appeals in favor of a proposed College Point massage parlor that both the community and Councilman Tony Avella, a good friend of JPCA, were vehemently against. The Board voted to allow the spa to operate. Why would our councilman write a letter on behalf of a project that is nowhere near his district? You got it ‒ a $1,000 campaign contribution from the project's developer. It's sad to know that Dennis will not stop at selling out his own community, but also will invade other districts if it means a few extra bucks in his pocket. It's no wonder that the rezoning of Middle Village and Maspeth is stalled in city planning. We have no one in our government fighting for it to get done, and a lot of real estate interests lobbying against it.
In early September, Dennis Gallagher made the following demands of us in an attempt to restore peace between JPCA and himself: Bob Holden must apologize to him and Ed Kampermann must be removed from our executive board. At this time, he also stated that Tony Nunziato would never be reappointed to Community Board 5.
Bob Holden has nothing for which to apologize to Dennis Gallagher and it will be a cold day in hell before that happens. Ed Kampermann has single-handedly run the civic's 9/11 street banner program for the past three years and is a volunteer who is loyal to his community, as is Tony Nunziato. You may remember that Gallagher removed Nunziato from Community Board 5 when Tony, a Republican, indicated that he might challenge Assemblywoman Markey in this year's election. Gallagher then levelled bogus charges at Tony to hide the fact that he sees him as a threat within his own party. Nunziato is very popular in Maspeth and a cousin to Councilman Eric Gioia.
The acceptance of our councilman's wish to deny Holden, Kampermann and Nunziato the opportunity to be civically involved and voice their opinions, simply because he doesn't like what they have to say, would be ludicrous and unacceptable. These men don't make a dime off of their community roles. Dennis Gallagher is paid well to do what he does and has a checkered tenure, which is evidenced by the myriad of complaints that JPCA has received from residents who have dealt with his office.
Of course, Dennis Gallagher made these demands knowing full well that they would never be honored, and also knowing that his brand new platform, a phony political group hastily formed this summer under the guise of a civic association, would always welcome him. Joe Cimino, Dennis Gallagher henchman, fundraiser and event emcee, is the president of the recently founded Middle Village – Maspeth Civic Association. Councilman Gallagher lost his public forum when he declared war on the Juniper Park Civic Association, so he had no choice but to form his own civic group. This way, he will be able to make political speeches to a nucleus of people who are on his side, a.k.a. his handpicked followers, who nod in agreement with everything he says. If that sounds familiar, it's because Joe Cimino wrote those very words in a letter to the editors of the Times Newsweekly and Queens Ledger newspapers earlier this year about JPCA. He obviously wrote that based on his own experience acting as one of Gallagher's bobbleheads. Expect big name invitees and lots of press at these meetings ‒ with absolutely no action. Dennis Gallagher formed the Midville Civic years ago, and could not sustain it. It petered out very quickly. Running a civic association means that you have to back up the promises you make with results, not just do nothing while enjoying the perks of public office, as politicians like Gallagher do. This new association was meant to confuse you ‒ by scheduling meetings in close proximity to the meetings held by Juniper Civic.
We'd love to see to whom the MVMCA gives their Man of the Year award... we're guessing that over the next few years, as our councilman revs up his campaign for the State Senate, it will be Dennis Gallagher! By the way, quietly Mr. Gallagher has raised about $80,000 for his Senate run. Now he's trying to buy support by creating his own civic association. Again, he continues to underestimate his constituency.
Council Speaker Christine Quinn has asked the mayor to consider a 25% pay increase for city council members. Currently, they make an annual salary of $90,000 for a job considered to be part time. Does Dennis Gallagher deserve a pay raise? We think not.