Category Archives: Politics

Board Member Demands CB 9 Chairman Resign Immediately

In an explosive email sent last week to all members of Community Board 9 and obtained by The Forum, a longtime board member called on Chairman Ralph Gonzalez to resign immediately. Gonzalez is already scheduled to formally hand the reins to incoming Chairman Raj Rampershad in a matter of days. But Sam Esposito wants Gonzalez out—now. The subject of the email: “Demand Ralph Gonzalez RESIGN Immediately abuse of power.” “Ralph must step down now instead of waiting until the end … Continue reading

Katz Submits Budget Priorities to Mayor, Council

Borough President Melinda Katz this week submitted Queens’ Fiscal Year 2016 expense and capital budget priorities to Mayor Bill de Blasio and the City Council. The recommendations, which were prepared by Katz’s budget staff and approved nearly unanimously earlier this month by the Borough Board, address issues that Katz, civic leaders and other stakeholders want to see included in the city’s adopted FY 2016 budget. This information included oral and written testimony submitted during the Borough Board’s budget hearing on … Continue reading

De Blasio, Giuliani Urge Albany to Protect Mayoral Control of City Schools

The old adage is that politics makes for strange bedfellows. But even Charles Dudley Warner could not have imagined this pairing. Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani on Monday sent a joint letter to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature urging them to renew and protect mayoral control of the city public school system. “This is a proven reform with broad support among parents, educators and officials from all ends of the spectrum,” said de Blasio, … Continue reading

Queens Republicans Rally Around; New Chairman Bob Turner: ‘I Want Everyone to Have a Voice’

In a spirited reception more befitting that of the return of a conquering hero, former U.S. Rep. Bob Turner last Thursday fired up the Queens County Republican Party as he addressed the club for the first time as its new chairman. “I think we can turn Queens around big time,” Turner said, eliciting one of many rounds of applause from the dozens of district leaders and members on hand at American Legion Continental Post 1424 in Forest Hills. Turner, a … Continue reading

Former U.S. Rep. Bob Turner to Lead Queens GOP

Former U.S. Rep. Bob Turner will be named the next chairman of the Queens County Republican Party, according to a published report and several sources. Turner, a retired television executive and Rockaway resident who won the 2011 special election for the 9th Congressional District seat following Anthony Weiner’s resignation amid his initial sexting scandal, will formally be awarded the post by state Republican chief Ed Cox at a meeting of the QGOP executive committee this Thursday evening in Forest Hills, … Continue reading

Borough Board Approves Budget Priorities

  The Borough Board on Monday voted nearly unanimously to approve the Expense and Capital Budget Priorities for the Fiscal Year 2016 Preliminary Budget. All members of the board, which is chaired by Borough President Melinda Katz and comprised of Queens City Council members and the chairpersons of every borough community board, voted in the affirmative, except two who had to abstain due to conflicts of interest. Two weeks ago, community board officials, agencies, advocates and civic groups brought their … Continue reading

CB 9 Selects New Executive Committee

Just a week after completing the search for its new district manager, Community Board 9 on Tuesday evening voted in a new Executive Committee during its meeting at Borough Hall. Raj Rampershad is the new chairman of the board, taking the baton from Ralph Gonzalez, who decided not to run for re-election. J. Richard Smith moved up to 1st vice chairman from 2nd vice chairman, while Joel Kuszai was elected to Smith’s previous post. Ivan Mrakovcic is the new executive … Continue reading

Lawmakers: Army Corps Should Inform Public on Rockaway Reformulation Status

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder this week urged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to immediately hold public community forums regarding their plans for the long-delayed Rockaway Reformulation Study.  Two and a half years ago, Superstorm Sandy devastated communities surrounding Jamaica Bay, however, the Army Corps of Engineers has not yet held any public meetings on a study that addresses the need for future waterfront protection. The federally-funded Rockaway Reformulation Study will ultimately determine a long-term, … Continue reading

Former City Councilman Dan Halloran Sentenced to 10 years in Prison

Former Queens City Councilman Dan Halloran last week was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for his role in arranging the bribery of city GOP bosses to allow state Sen. Malcolm Smith, a Democrat, to run as a Republican candidate for mayor in 2013; and accepting a cash bribe in exchange for designating tens of thousands of dollars in city funds to a non-profit organization that would allow the money to be embezzled through a no-show job. Halloran, 42, … Continue reading

Senate Passes Comprehensive Sex Offender Legislation Package

The state Senate earlier this month approved a package of legislation designed to provide better protection for children and victims of sexual assault from sex offenders, according to Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach). The series of bills consists of initiatives that would prohibit sex offenders who are on parole, on probation or conditionally discharged from being within 1,000 feet of a child daycare facility whenever anyone under 18 years of age is on the premises; allow the state’s searchable … Continue reading

Goldfeder to Open Howard Beach Office

There goes the neighborhood. Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Ozone Park) on Monday announced that he will be opening a new district office in Howard Beach later this month. Located at 162-38 Cross Bay Blvd., the office features free parking in a rear lot, in addition to metered spots on the boulevard; and visitors will be able to enter from the front or the lot. Goldfeder noted that this will help make the office more accessible to seniors and people with disabilities. … Continue reading

Former U.S. Rep. Bob Turner to Lead Queens GOP

Former U.S. Rep. Bob Turner will be named the next chairman of the Queens County Republican Party, according to a published report and several sources. Turner, a retired television executive and Rockaway resident who won the 2011 special election for the 9th Congressional District seat following Anthony Weiner’s resignation amid his initial sexting scandal, will formally be awarded the post by state Republican chief Ed Cox at a meeting of the QGOP executive committee this Thursday evening in Forest Hills, … Continue reading

Former City Councilman Dan Halloran Sentenced to 10 years in Prison

Former Queens City Councilman Dan Halloran on Wednesday was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for his role in arranging the bribery of city GOP bosses to allow state Sen. Malcolm Smith, a Democrat, to run as a Republican candidate for mayor in 2013; and accepting a $15,000 cash bribe in exchange for designating up to $80,000 in city funds to a non-profit organization that would allow the money to be embezzled through a no-show job. Halloran, 42, was … Continue reading

Gomes is New District Manager of Community Board 9, BP Calls Move to Proceed with Vote ‘Deeply Disappointing’

Lisa Gomes on Tuesday night was selected to be the next district manager of Community Board 9. Gomes, who has been serving as the acting district manager since Mary Ann Carey retired last October, bested former political aide James McClelland, 19 votes to 15, in a runoff at a special meeting of the board at Borough Hall. In all, 34 out of a possible 46 ballots were cast. The final vote marked the end of a tumultuous day at Borough … Continue reading

Goldfeder Plans to Create New Flood Insurance Association

An area elected official last weekend announced that, in an effort to give vulnerable homeowners a choice, he will introduce new state legislation creating an organization designed to serve residents in flood-prone communities. Joined on Sunday by civic leaders and families impacted by Superstorm Sandy, Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Ozone Park) detailed his plan to form the New York Flood Insurance Association, a joint underwriting alliance aimed at providing homeowners with an alternative to rising federally-backed flood insurance premiums by offering … Continue reading