At the last meeting of the Richmond Hill Block Association (RHBA) for the summer, Jennifer Manley, Director of the Mayor’s Queens Community Assistance Unit, addressed many of the residents’ concerns.
But before she did, Albert Baldeo awarded Simcha Waisman, Vice President of the RHBA and President of One Stop Richmond Hill Community Center, a City Council Citation from Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley for his community activism.
“Issues that affect us are the same, regardless of the area,” said Baldeo. “Simcha has been such a pillar of this community.”
Waisman was also recognized in May by the United Communities Alliance.
A guest at the meeting was Jeff Gottlieb, representing State Senator Joseph Addabbo, who could not attend due to the stalemate in Albany.
“It’s dead serious to those up there,” said Gottlieb, who also addressed the fact that the Cease and Desist Law, by which he noted real estate brokers cannot send literature to those homeowners who do not want it, was set to expire.
“Every five years this law must be renewed,” said Gottlieb. “It’s up August 1.”
Gottlieb recommended to the audience that they send letters in favor of the Cease and Desist Law.
He also spoke about possible cuts to Medicare, but assured those in attendance that “Joe [Addabbo] is here to fight for Medicare and Medicaid.”
Next to speak was District Leader and City Council candidate Frank Gulluscio, who spoke on petitions signing as a “civic duty” in order to help get “that particular person on the ballot in November.”
Manley, the featured speaker, then took the floor and covered issues such as Mayoral Control of schools, the July 1 start of the fiscal year, and the budget.
Regarding crime, Manley said that Patrol Borough Queens South is down for the year overall; and that, in order to improve quality of life, the city has a “Scout Program,” by which teams drive every city street once every 30 days with hand-held computers. Any problems or issues are then directed to the proper city agency.
Another quality of life issue that the mayor is tackling – as well as The Courier Sun – is graffiti.
Manley said that federal funds have been allocated for Graffiti Free NYC, a citywide effort to combat graffiti in communities by which property owners or authorized representatives may submit a waiver to allow authorized personnel to clean graffiti from first or second-story facades.
Foreclosures were also a hot topic, with Manley explaining that from March to March there were 14,000 foreclosure notifications citywide.
Wendy Bowne, RHBA President, noted that there will be no meeting until September, and reminded everyone that the RHBA 36th Annual Park Fair will be held on September 12 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Forest Park (Myrtle Avenue and Park Lane South).