We have been searching for Assemblywoman Marge Markey for quite some time.

I have been attending Juniper Park Civic Association Town Meetings,COP 104 Meetings, Community Board Five Meetings, and Maspeth-Middle Village Task Force rallies for years and I believe that I once saw Marge Markey live and in person at one meeting. It might have been back in 2003, but I’m not quite sure. There is however recent evidence that Marge Markey is a living, breathing person.The Queens Chronicle was able to get her picture in the November 3, 2005 edition on page 17. The picture related to how she teamed up with Captain Scott Shanley of the 104th Precinct to organize this crackdown on the many trucks that parade through Maspeth.

The article also appeared in a couple of other publications. Now that I have actually seen a photo of Marge Markey I can say it is likely that she is a real person. However the text that accompanied the photo was pure fiction. Marge Markey never had anything to do with any crackdown on trucks.

Here is the real story leading up to Marge Markey being in a picture with the Captain of the 104th Pct. We’re talking pure luck here because the fact of the matter is it was the Juniper Park Civic Association and the Maspeth-Middle Village Task Force that were the initiating force behind the truck protest day on Grand Avenue in Maspeth. Marge Markey’s presence in the picture was just a fortuitous move on Markey’s part to give good face in a truck protest photo-op picture!

As Maspethites know, for the past several years truck traffic and illegal truck parking have been a complaint atevery COP 104 meeting, as well as other key meetings held for her constituents, namely the meetings of the Juniper Park Civic Association and Community Board 5. Never have we seen Ms. Markey in attendance even though other elected officials often attend the meetings. Markey herself never attends JPCA, COP 104, or Community Board 5 meetings. Once in a blue moon she may have a representative present but they too are not qualified to speak on any issue in the community.

On Friday, June 24, 2005 the Juniper Park Civic Association and the Maspeth-Middle Village Task Force jointly sponsored a truck protest march to illustrate the need to implement a truck enforcement policy particularly on Grand Avenue.

Indeed it would have been a good opportunity for Assemblywoman Margaret M. Markey to stand with her constituents. who filled Maspeth Memorial Square on that very hot June morning. and inspire them with words of encouragement and then lead the march down Grand Avenue. Once again, however, Markey was missing. Subsequent to the day of the protest Robert F. Holden, President of the Juniper Park Civic Association, contacted Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s office requesting the Mayor to participate in solving the truck traffic dilemma on Grand Avenue.

The Mayor quickly responded to Mr. Holden’s request. On the morning of September 27, 2005 members of the Juniper Park Civic Association and the Maspeth-Middle Village Task Force along with NYC Department of Transportation Commissioner, Iris Weinshall and the Deputy DOT Commissioner, David Woloch met on the corner of 69th Street and Grand Avenue.

Commissioner Weinshall acknowledged that she was in Maspeth at the behest of Mayor Bloomberg and would work with us to alleviate the truck problems on Grand Avenue and complete the necessary road work and signage required to open the Maspeth By-Pass for trucks. The Maspeth By-Pass plan was devised by Tony Nunziato and Frank Principe back in 2001.

This plan would essentially prohibit trucks from using Grand Avenue. The plan was supported unanimously by Community Board 5 and the Maspeth Chamber of Commerce.

During the month of October, Deputy Commissioner Woloch contacted Mr. Josh Tabek at the NYS DOT with regard to truck enforcement on Grand Avenue. Following Mr. Holden’s discussion with the State DOT and Captain Shanley, a plan was put in place to inspect trucks traveling through Maspeth. For Assemblywoman Markey, the timing of this event was a matter of coincidence because precisely at that point a constituent just happened to be in her office complaining about trucks on his block. That complaint from the constituent motivated Markey to call Captain Shanley to her office. It was Shanley who advised Markey that the Juniper Park Civic Association and Mr. Holden had been working with him, Shanley, to implement an enforcement operation. He told her that Holden even selected the location.

Subsequently, on the first day of many truck enforcement check points Marge Markey ran out of her office, got an aide to snap a photo of her next to a truck and she sent it to all local newspapers claiming she was responsible for the initiative.

The same thing happened with the Elmhurst Gas Tanks fight. Markey took a backseat until the newspaper photographers showed up. Then she positioned herself in the front row of every photo taken with residents who really carried the fight to Keyspan officials. More phony P/R marketing by Marge. Now it’s bad enough that Assemblywoman Markey would call in Captain Shanley (who is overwhelmed with his duties running the 104th Precinct) to her office for just one constituent. The constituent should have been directed by Markey to attend a COP 104 meeting where residents can speak directly to the Captain. Just imagine if every elected official did what Markey did. The Captain would not have any time to command the precinct.

For all of us who complained, protested and marched, it is most gratifying to look forward to seeing the initial truck enforcement results conducted by the State Department of Transportation and the New York Police Department.

The following statistics will put in perspective the need to enhance and continue this policy: summonses issued – 41; overweight – 30; administrative code – 33; miscellaneous Criminal Court Appearances – 3, for a total of 107 summonses. Also, 7 trucks were seized. This enforcement activity netted over $300,000 in fines, which should be used to expand the program in the same fashion that drug money is used to help apprehend drug dealers.

I should say this, that although Captain Shanley is not shown in Marge’s photo, he and the many hard working community leaders and activists truly deserve the credit for a job well done, especially Bob Holden and Tony Nunziato.

However, Assemblywoman Margaret Markey, deserves credit only at being clever about marketing herself. In fact we should call her “Marge Marketing.” After all, anyone with a part time job that pays $100,000 taxpayer dollars plus per diem expenses for traveling etc. would certainly want to keep that job and will stop at nothing to hold on to it. She recently told one civic leader that she will be in office for a very long time. That’s how confident she is that no one will ever notice that she does nothing for her constituents.

Well, “Marge Marketing” let this article be the first to blow the whistle on your superficial facade of being a hard working elected official. Normally we don’t mind when elected officials either overstate, exaggerate or lay claim to accomplishments they had little to do with. Most of us in civics have become accustomed to that elected official trick. However, in Marge Markey’s case it is reprehensible. She has made a career out of using political clubs to get where she is and cushioning her future.

Before her “appointment” to the State Assembly she was given the important job of Director of Queens Tourism, hardly a background for elected official leadership.

Political cronies and hacks are a dime a dozen. Markey has not earned her title nor her office. After this article you may begin to see Marge Markey appear in the local papers with more self-created photo-ops to do damage control. You may also get more meaningless newsletters from her that of course will be paid for from your tax dollars. What Assemblywoman can’t repair is over 7 years of inaction and Assembly seat-warming.

In the meantime we will continue to search for Marge Markey. We may have upset her enough to flush her out of her hiding place in her classy office on 69th Street in Maspeth (that we all paid for) especially if she gets a little nervous that her constituents may just start holding her accountable and demand more leadership out of their State Assembly Member. Stay tuned, the search is officially on for Marge Marketing.