Dec. 11th 7:45pm

The Juniper Park Civic Association is pleased to announce that Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been named 2003 Man of the Year Award. The Mayor will accept the honor at the next JPCA Town Hall meeting on Thursday, December 11th, 7:45 pm at Our Lady of Hope Auditorium (Eliot Ave. corner 71st St.).

The night will also feature a victory party where the entire neighborhood is invited to celebrate the Keyspan success. The communities of Middle Village, Maspeth and Elmhurst were overjoyed when Mayor Bloomberg stepped into the Keyspan Elmhurst Gas Tanks controversy and with amazing speed worked with Keyspan CEO Bob Catell to secure the 6.5 acre site for a park. Without the Mayor’s involvement the site would have been a massive commercial retail development which would have included a Home Depot, a 100,000 sq. ft. self storage company and a bank. Instead the area will be designated as a park with hundreds of trees.

“I want to commend Mayor Bloomberg, Senator Maltese and the work of all the elected officials at the Federal, State and City levels for their efforts in trying to turn the Elmhurst-Maspeth gas tanks site into a community space a reality. Instead of looking at asphalt and being subjected to more traffic, these children and families will now have the opportunity to take advantage of an open community space, which will improve the quality of life for the residents of Maspeth, Middle Village and Elmhurst,” said Congressman Joseph Crowley.

“Well done Mr. Mayor! With your help and Mr. Bob Catell, we can now look forward to future development that benefits local communities. Their voices have been heard. As the Mayor has stated, ‘The neighborhood needs more open space…and local community groups can make a difference,” said Borough President Helen Marshall.

“This wonderful outcome comes as a result of the combined efforts of a united community, great civic organizations led by the Juniper Park Civic Association and Bob Holden, and the concerned, involved public officials,” said Senator Serphin R. Maltese. “The Mayor deserves our sincere appreciation and a great deal of credit for stepping in and helping rescue a grateful community.”

Councilman Dennis Gallagher said, “This represents the true essence of democracy, the people taking the power into their own hands to decide the fate of their community. This serves as a great sign that the voices of New Yorkers are still heard throughout every level of government and even in the halls of America’s most powerful corporations.”

JPCA President Bob Holden said, “Mayor Bloomberg moved with lighting speed to get our neighborhood a great park and save it from overdevelopment. We will be forever grateful to him for this wonderful gift.”