Forum Photo by Michael V. Cusenza
Howard Beach native Tracy Catapano-Fox is running unopposed for Civil Court justice.
By Michael V. Cusenza
The Candidates Forum on Tuesday evening during the monthly meeting of the Howard Beach-Lindenwood Civic morphed into a blast Bill fest, with the majority of those running for office taking turns verbally lashing a figurative piñata in the form of Mayor de Blasio, much to the delight of the hundreds that packed inside St. Helen Catholic Academy’s cafeteria.
“I’m seeing a city that I love deteriorating, and a mayor who has an I-don’t-care attitude,” said Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, who is running on the Republican line against de Blasio on Nov. 7. “We’re headed in the wrong direction. We’re paying more but getting less results.”
Sal Albanese, a former public school teacher and City Council member, will also be competing for votes in the mayoral race on Tuesday.
“I’m running because the city really has diminished under Bill de Blasio,” he said, citing homelessness, affordability, and lobbyist-fed corruption as three problems plaguing Gotham at the moment. “Homelessness is an issue that has been badly mismanaged and it’s hurting the city.”
Bo Dietl, the Ozone Park native and retired decorated City Police detective running on the “Dump de Blasio” line, easily was the crowd favorite of the evening. The residents and business owners in attendance genuinely responded to his shoot-from-the-hip, outsider style.
“I’m different than anybody you’ll hear today – I’m not a politician. I used to be one tough cop,” Dietl said, referencing the title of the autobiography he published in the late ’90s, “now I’m one compassionate grandfather.”
The 66-year-old Dietl went on to rip de Blasio as “a nitwit,” and promised potential voters, “I can beat this guy.”
“My platform is common sense,” Dietl added. “I’m not kissing up to Republicans or Democrats—I’m kissing up to you, the people.”
Incumbent City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), who arrived late to the forum following his daughter Lily’s birthday dinner at Matteo’s, also elicited passionate cheers from the crowd.
“I’m proud of what we’ve done at the City Council,” Ulrich said. “But I’m more proud of the high-quality constituent services me and my staff have been able to provide over the last eight-and-a-half years.
I’m asking you to vote for me so I can serve this district for another four years.”
Tracy Catapano-Fox, a Howard Beach native who is running unopposed for Civil Court justice, did not bash Bill, but endeared herself to the audience nonetheless.
‘I’m a Howard Beach girl born and bred,” she said. “It would be an honor and a privilege to represent this community.”