GOTHAM GAZETTE: SEARCHLIGHT 2002: District 27 JUMP TO YOUR DISTRICT
 
 

District 27
St. Albans, Hollis, Cambria Heights



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District 27 - Leroy Comrie
113-43 Farmers Blvd., Queens 11412
City Hall: (212) 788-7084
District: (718)776-3700
Fax: (212) 788-7093 Email: comrie@council.nyc.ny.us

Committee Assignments:
Rules/Privileges & Elections, Chair
Finance, member
Governmental Operations, member
Housing & Buildings, member
Land Use, member
Landmarks, Public Siting & Maritime, member of Land Use Subcommittee


Maintaining Our Communities

By Leroy Comrie

Decisions made in City Hall can either help a neighborhood thrive and prosper or leave it to stagnate and die. A community's health is measured by the condition of its schools, after-school programs and senior centers. The quality of parks, libraries, police and fire protection can make someone want to live somewhere or move away.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the dynamic communities that I represent in the 27th Council District of Queens. These communities are viable, but proposed budget cuts threaten their future.

As we adopt a city budget for next year, we must consider both revenues and expenditures, something that previous administrations have avoided. It is unfair to balance the budget on the backs of future generations. And so, the City Council is calling on the state to renew the commuter tax. This will allow us to borrow less money in fiscal year 2003 than Mayor Bloomberg has proposed.

The state has not dealt fairly with the city in many areas, including education, funding for Medicaid, direct financial assistance, elimination of the stock transfer tax and so on. In the wake of the September 11 attacks, we have received sympathy from Albany. But we need more than that to address the concerns of the 27th Council District and the entire city.

Our schools remain the number one issue. They continue to be overcrowded, and reading and math scores are not acceptable. This is why the council, in its response to the mayor's preliminary budget, made education its highest priority, developing a new funding source for school construction. We would accept the state's mandate "to maintain effort" in terms of educational funding.

The issue of how schools are governed is certainly important, but no chancellor, regardless of how he or she is chosen, can be successful without enough money. New York spends less per student than other districts throughout the state. Governor George Pataki must end his support of the discriminatory aid formula that short-changes New York schools.

But there are things we can do as well. We must spend our education dollars wisely. The central administration for the Board of Education has not always done this. It over-spent and sometimes used money foolishly. This can no long be tolerated.

In addition, Youth gangs are emerging as a major problem in some schools. I have called on the police to beef up the Youth Intelligence Unit to deal with this problem. But equally important, we must give young people alternatives to the street. I am seeking the restoration of funds for after-school programs and summer youth job programs.

Environmental issues are also a concern in my district. The city has proposed that the wells of the former Jamaica Water Co. be used to supply drinking water. Many residents, though, worry that toxic waste sites near the wells could contaminate the water. I have been among those opposing the use of the wells and have introduced legislation to provide people with more information about what could be polluting their drinking water.

The communities of Rosedale, Cambria Heights, and Springfield Gardens feel cheated by the absence of a police precinct in their area. The 105th Precinct in Queens Village, which is responsible for these neighborhoods, covers the largest area of any precinct in Queens, creating long response times. The police department has proposed putting a task force in this section but this is not sufficient. These communities need a new precinct to serve them effectively and swiftly.

Another issue is multi-family housing being built on sites previously occupied by single-family homes. This changes the quality of life in our community. Neighborhoods are up in arms, and residents feel helpless to control this blight. I will work with our community boards and the Department of City Planning to initiate "down-zoning," which in many cases must be voluntary.

As one of 38 new members of council, I have played a key role in efforts to reform both the council itself and city government as a whole. For example, as chair of the Rules, Privileges & Elections Committee, I have begun alerting advocacy groups of council hearings on proposed appointments so they will have time to present their opinions. Too often in the past, key appointments came as a surprise to the groups most concerned.

The Fresh Democracy Council, of which I was a member, recommended a number of new rules for City Council. I worked with Speaker Gifford Miller to insure that all the proposed new rules for the council established by our freshman class passed without dissent.

I have introduced legislation that would penalize the city for avoidable delays in paying money it owes contractors, Too frequently, small contractors-often businesses owned by women or minorities - are unable to compete for city contracts because they cannot afford the long delays in payment. I have also introduced legislation that would set up a database of minority and women contractors dealing with the city so we can ascertain how open the contracting process really is.

Much is wrong with the city's contracting process -- especially in the area of capital projects. Regulations allowing "pass through," negotiated and sole-source contracts eliminate competitive sealed bidding. The city does not provide enough oversight over contracts, which leads to cost overruns and an over dependence on private contractors. Reform is obviously needed.

As majority whip and head of the Queens council delegation, I recognize my city-wide responsibilities. However, I was elected by the residents of the 27th Council District to be their advocate. They expect me to fight for, maintain and improve the quality of life for all the residents of the district. Our communities represent the heart and soul, as well as the future, of our great metropolis.

Leroy Comrie represents the 27th City Council District Posted April 22, 2002


Community Boards for District 27
Community Board No. 12
90-28 161st St., Jamaica, NY 11432
(718) 658-3308
Mr. James Davis, Chair
Ms. Yvonne Reddick, District Manager
Community Board No. 13
Queen Reform Church
219-41 Jamaica Ave., Queens Village, NY 11428
(718) 464-9700
Mr. Richard Hellenbretch, Chair
Ms. Sally Martino-Fisher, District Manager



Ethnic Makeup and Political Registration


Ethnic Makeup

Political Registration



Public Schools

Elementary Schools


Middle Schools


High Schools



To find out what school district you live in, call the Board of Education at 718-935-2000 or link to Public School Reports



Police Precincts

Although many precincts cover areas solely within one City Council district, there are many which overlap with other districts. In most cases the overlap of precincts among districts is no more than a few blocks. Wherever there is overlap, we have made sure to alert you.


City Parks
Click thumbnail for larger image of parks in this district

Learn more about the condition of the city parks in your district at the New Yorkers for Parks (PDF file).



Community Gardens



Click for larger image
Find out more about community gardens from
the Council on the Environment of New York City


Historic Districts and Landmarks
Learn more about the historic districts and landmarks in this area.


The Waterfront

A
map listing suggestions for use and improvement of the waterfront in this district from the Metropolitan Waterfront
Alliance. (pdf format only)