Whose Side Are Our Elected Officials On? - JuniperCivic.com
Serving Middle Village and Maspeth since 1938.

Originally published in the June 2011 Juniper Berry Magazine

Whose Side Are Our Elected Officials On?

(l-r) Assemblywoman Markey, Rep. Crowley, Bloomberg, Assembly Speaker Silver, Councilwoman Crowley

Based on recent events the trend I am witnessing compels me to write this article. There is a blatant lack of loyalty expressed by this city's leadership for the American people and in particular those of Maspeth and Middle Village. As the sign on the Maspeth Federal Savings Bank in Maspeth states, Maspeth is America, it looks like the politically correct crowd takes exception to this statement and in truth may be holding such patriotism against us.

Can you name one thing Assemblywoman Marge Markey, Congressman Joe Crowley and Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley have done for Maspeth since they took office? Markey and Joe Crowley have been in office for well over 10 years. Crowley's cousin Elizabeth, who took office in January 2009, has already made her dubious mark. She dumped a massive public high school on us that will further erode the quality of life of our town.

Lack of leadership at all

levels of government

Last year we experienced a major lack of response during the September 2010 tornado, which spawned a weather event that was labeled a microburst. Where was the NYPD during this emergency?

The JPCA jumped in, assumed leadership during the emergency as hundreds of cars poured on to our local streets from the LIE to safety. It was rush hour, the LIE had closed certain exits because of fallen trees and stranded cars, and there were no cops; they were sent home! The JPCA criticized our flamboyant mayor's lack of control and leadership during an emergency and his indifference to the safety of the residents in Middle Village and Maspeth.

There is no leadership in NYC except for the local community civic associations. These are the dedicated people who volunteer their time because they love their neighborhoods and they do not earn a penny for all the help and surveillance they provide. They have real jobs where they actually go to a place of business, they produce and they pay taxes. They are the real leaders in NYC and Mayor Bloomberg and his Commissioners should take a leadership 101 lesson from these dedicated citizens particularly since it is these hard working volunteers who are doing the jobs that the mayor and his appointed commissioners should be doing.

If you remember the blizzard of 2010 and the grilling of these commissioners after the storm you will agree with me that the word to describe them is vacuous, nary a constructive thought going on in any of their heads!

St. Saviour's is another example. This church and its grounds were a historic part of Maspeth's heritage. JPCA led a valiant fight to save this landmark. But, it's not over yet. Through hard work and persistence the possibilities of a public park at the St. Saviours' site remains a distinct possibility, no thanks to our elected officials who hopped on the bandwagon when it seemed possible that the fight might be won!

Illegal Apartments Everywhere

The JPCA sounded the alarm about illegal apartments on Craigslist. JPCA President Robert Holden alerted Building Commissioner Robert LiMandri about the hundreds of postings and even suggested that the Department of Buildings (DOB) conduct an undercover investigation. DOB did their first ever undercover investigation and Bloomberg in his press conference patted himself on the back and DOB for the investigation but never mentioned Holden nor the JPCA. After the initial press conference the boarding houses are still in operation. If you don't believe me, walk or drive through Maspeth in the early morning. Look around and you will see that there are no parking spaces, they're all occupied by the illegal rentals. The result is that Maspeth's residents, those who pay the taxes, cannot park in front of their homes and cannot use their driveway because someone else is blocking it with their vehicle.

This is not simple congestion or urban sprawl. THIS IS WHAT CITY PLANNERS ARE PAID THE BIG BUCKS TO PREVENT! It is what happens when a predominately one family community is under siege when the Department of Buildings allows questionable construction, which isn't in the best interest of the community. The result is that classic one family houses are being demolished for multi-family structures, many of which end up packed with illegal occupancy.

Our neighborhoods are besieged with garbage trains on the CSX RR which cuts through our community as well as ever increasing aircraft noise, overcrowding, illegal boarding houses and with other despicable situations. Where are our leaders, where is the Department of Buildings, the Department of Transportation, where's immigration enforcement on any level of government?

The JPCA's current challenge with the illegal trucks in Maspeth went unanswered until the civic leaders, Robert Holden and Tony Nunizato, put pressure on the NYC Department of Transportation, the NYPD and our elected officials.

Still, the result was a truck stop/check performed by NYPD, which was performed so poorly that Grand Avenue was gridlocked. Mr. Holden was personally involved in policing the 104th Precinct regarding the inspection and the NYPD's clumsily coordinated efforts. This was done in spite of the risk to his (Holden's)civil rights and freedom. These conditions DO NOT happenin communities like Malba, a well-heeled neighborhood in Queens County. This is something that everyone needs to understand. We are all equal but it is apparent that in the Bloomberg Administration some, specifically those with mega-bucks, are MORE equal!

I guess we can call this a testament to the geniuses in charge, you know these are the people with all the paper degrees, the ones with the fancy titles which command the big bucks. It is obvious that those in charge have no vision so the question becomes why don't they tap into the expertise of local volunteer leaders who have all the right stuff to get the job done quickly and efficiently and without the gridlock?

You're Fired!

Let's put an end to the Bloomberg Administration fiasco as he sleepwalks through his third term in office. Our elected officials work for us and if they are unable or just refuse to do a good job, remember, we have in place term limits and it's called Election Day. YOU'RE FIRED should become the operative words of what they hear.

Bloomberg may be eyeballing a job at the federal level of government. You see his commercials on TV telling you how great he is, commercials that he himself pays for because he's rich enough and has a huge ego to go with his bucks.

On election day please stop voting for the current gangster government. Let's vote for people who have demonstrated that they care and can lead.