In late September, we wrote a letter to Nazli Parvizi, Commissioner Community Affairs Unit (CAU), Office of the Mayor to formally register our complaint regarding the tow truck chaos in Maspeth near the Flushing Avenue Viaduct.
As is the typical response to us from the Mayor's office, there wasn't even a courtesy reply to acknowledge our letter. So, we wrote a second letter towards mid-October, insisting on a response.
On October 16, we received a letter from the NYC Department of Transportation Queens Borough Commissioner, Maura McCarthy.
Oddly, that letter was dated October 8, a date before our second letter to CAU, but postmarked after our letter..
Commissioner McCarthy essentially denied DOT's responsibility for the tow truck problem, saying that the situation was the responsibility of the NYPD, to whom she was forwarding our letter. That assertion is wrong, but so typical of the Bloomberg administration and its neglect of Maspeth taxpayers (see converting Saint Saviour's property to a public park). DOT could provide signage such as "No Standing" or "No Parking" in the problem locations to give police more leverage.
Bloomberg is engaged in a vicious ticket blitz against auto drivers who stop momentarily to drop off or pick up little children, disabled adults, or to wait for a legal parking spot to be vacated. Yet, for 3 ½ years, as these tow trucks are parked relentlessly each night in a manner dangerous to children, adults and other drivers, Bloomberg has authorized this illegal parking. The taxpaying residents who have suffered daily, have been reporting the danger daily via 311, 911, calls to the 104th Precinct, calls and letters to various elected officials, have seen no remedy. So, it is reasonable to believe that Bloomberg, knowing this dangerous problem has persisted, has indeed authorized the danger.
We wrote to his Community Affairs Commissioner, Nazli Parvizi, whose only contact with the Juniper Park Civic Association was a nasty ‒ unconstitutional ‒ letter to us demanding that we taxpayers apologize for protesting Bloomberg's refusal to involve himself in converting an abandoned church property ‒ Saint Saviour's in Maspeth ‒ to a park for these taxpaying citizens of that neighborhood.
Her letter threatened the Civic with loss of its civil rights to have any further contact with city agencies until we apologized in writing and in person at "apology meetings." Imagine: a city official, using taxpayer funds, refusing to have any contact until we surrendered our constitutional right to protest (the First Amendment acknowledges all citizens' right to free speech ... for redress of grievance. Why did the Commissioner and Bloomberg fail to know the US Constitution?).
Parvizi, under the direction of Bloomberg demanded ‒ unconstitutionally ‒ what manner of speech (an apology) we were required to use to get Bloomberg to do what he spent our tax dollars to promise Maspeth taxpayers: to put a park within a ten-minute walk of their home.
That promise sounded so great until he actually had to deliver on it.
But there's another election on November 3rd. Bloomberg wishes a third term. Though a third term was twice voted illegal by NYC voters. Bloomberg is spending $100 million and more of his own money for this illegal third term, plus tens of millions of tax dollars (municipal employee tax-paid time).
So, the word from City Hall is to at least pretend to care until after Election Day.
Then, yesterday, the Civic gets a phone call from Jennifer Manley, the Queens Borough Director of CAU. This is her very first contact with the Civic since she was appointed in mid-2007 (see: http://www.junipercivic.com/latestNewsArticle.asp?nid=214).
Bob Holden informed Manley of the tow trucks' danger to that Maspeth neighborhood and the enforcement and/or collaboration was needed from the Departments of Sanitation, Consumer Affairs, Transportation, Buildings, Health, NYPD, elected officials local and state, as well as the State DMV to learn why so many tow trucks have no visible registration ‒ plates or stickers. No vehicle registration? No insurance, no inspections.
However the Juniper Park Civic Association isn't the only organization that doesn't get a response from the Bloomberg administration. Lizi Rahman's son Asif, age 22, was run down and killed by what she called a "reckless truck driver" on Queens Boulevard on February 28, 2008. She wrote two letters to Mayor Bloomberg on August 2008 and June 2009 campaigning for bike lanes on the boulevard. She never got a response.
The common complaint from groups and individuals especially in Queens is that the Bloomberg Administration is unresponsive and doesn't even answer letters. We say welcome to the arrogant world of Michael Bloomberg.
You who read this pay taxes and vote. It is up to you to demand that all tax paid officials ‒ elected and appointed ‒ do the job they fight so hard and spend so much to get. Local and state officials who use your money and do nothing in return deserve to be replaced by competent employees who respect the taxpayer.