Ever since Benjamin M. Haber’s letter titled “Willets no; Avella yes” was published in the March 28, 2013 edition of the Queens Chronicle wherein he clearly notes: At a forum held in Astoria on March 14, as the Queens Chronicle reported in its March 21 edition (“Schools, jobs top boro pres, forum”), the six Democratic candidates for the office of Queens Borough President said small businesses must be nurtured if they are to provide the jobs needed for the borough and the city. On the small business issue alone, the only credible candidate is State Senator Tony Avella.
The others, Councilman Leroy Comrie, former Councilwoman Melinda Katz, State Senator Jose Peralta and Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. not only lack credibility but also exhibit hypocrisy that negates qualification for the office they seek. Only Avella has come out against Mayor Bloomberg’s ill-advised Willets Point proposal, the others all supported the proposal, and therein lies the hypocrisy.
The question of hypocrisy now rises to the forefront of the campaign for Borough President. Again, only Tony Avella, when he was a sitting councilman, exhibited the moral courage to vote against Mayor Bloomberg, who with the help of his “Political Mistress” speaker Christine Quinn and her gaggle of self-serving council members voted to override the will of the people and approve a third term for “Nanny Bloomberg.”
The question of hypocrisy or double-dealing has plagued Queens politics for many years. Queens has been a cauldron of corruption, whose fire has been fueled by lobbyists soliciting favor from self-serving politicians on behalf of their greedy clients, which has resulted in overcrowded neighborhoods, schools, public transportation and a demand for electric power that exceeds the ability of Con Edison to provide adequate power particularly during the summer months.
Clearly Mr. Haber is quite correct in his assessment of the field of borough president candidates. And, yes, Tony Avella spoke loud and clear in opposition to this outrageous land grab. However I would like to call to your attention the fact that neighborhoods and viable businesses have been subjected to this abusive behavior by municipalities all across America in order to raise their tax base ever since the U.S. Supreme Court’s twisted interpretation of the Fifth Amendment in Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005) Under the Bloomberg Administration we continue to see land grabs not for the public good but to accommodate the elite of our country and city which places much of the cost of private development upon the taxpayer. Think about the cost to the taxpayer for the new Yankee Stadium and the new home of the Mets – Citifield.
Again only Tony Avella in conjunction with the Queens Civic Congress has organized a rally at the USTA to protest further expansion of commercial development on park land, park land that is being used for the public good and not to service only the elite. Here again we have either silence or merely lip service from the other candidates for the borough president election of 2013.
Since announcing his candidacy for borough president Tony continues to do what he does best: push for the protection and quality-of-life not only for the constituents of his senatorial district but in the same outspoken fashion as he did during his tenure on the City Council. He continues to use his clarion voice to speak out for the preservation of parks and the environment to oppose illegal conversion and overdevelopment and other matters that concern working families all across the Borough of Queens. Because Tony Avella addresses issues without concern for your color, creed, national origin or religion and has always been sincere, never prevaricating, Tony Avella should be the “Peoples’ Choice.” We the people should not allow this election to be the party bosses’ pick.
**The views expressed in this column represent only those of the author and not the board or membership of the Juniper Park Civic Association.