Will be Honored on March 23rd at Town Meeting in Middle Village

(Middle Village, NY –) Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been selected 2005 “Man of the Year” by the Juniper Park Civic Association. The Mayor will be awarded the honor at the JPCA Town Meeting on Thursday, March 23rd, 7:45pm at Our Lady of Hope Auditorium, Eliot Avenue & 71st Street, Middle Village, Queens.

Mayor Bloomberg becomes the first person in the 68-year history of the JPCA to win the award twice. He was selected “Man of the Year” in 2003 for his role in brokering the sale of the Elmhurst Gas Tanks site from Keyspan for $1. The site had been slated for a Home Depot complex, now it will be a park.

The Mayor was awarded the 2005 honor for supporting the community in the fight against the Cross Harbor Tunnel. Community leaders argued that if the freight tunnel were built, along with the 160-acre truck/train intermodal, the area would be overrun with as many as 16,000 trucks a day. Responding to protests from the JPCA and the Maspeth/Middle Village Task Force, in March 2005 the Mayor visited the JPCA Town Meeting to announce that he withdrew his support for the $8 billion tunnel project.

The Mayor is also credited with helping to save Maspeth’s Grand Avenue commercial district. In October 2005 he worked with Department of Transportation Commissioner Iris Weinshall to help secure the Maspeth Truck Bypass Plan. The plan, devised by community leader Anthony Nunziato in 2001, would redirect truck traffic away from Grand Avenue to the Maspeth Industrial area. The plan will be implemented later this year.

“Mayor Bloomberg has responded to the concerns of this community like no other Mayor, we owe him a debt of gratitude for saving our community,” said Robert Holden, president of the JPCA.

The JPCA also selected DOT Commissioner Iris Weinshall as 2005 Woman of the Year for her work on behalf of the community. Ms. Weinshall will be honored at the May 4th JPCA Town Meeting.

Among some of the previous winners of the Juniper Park Civic Association Man of the Year were Governor George Pataki, Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Comptroller Alan Hevesi and Congressman Joseph Crowley.

For more information please call 718-651-5865.