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Special Election for Queens Borough President Scheduled for March 24

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday that the special election would be held March 24 (Mayor’s Office)

Jan. 3, 2019 By Christian Murray

The special election for Queens borough president has been set for March 24, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced last night.

Five candidates are vying for the spot that was exited by Melinda Katz when she became Queens District Attorney Jan. 1.

Council Members Jimmy Van Bramer, Donovan Richards and Costa Constantinides seek the job along with former Council Member Elizabeth Crowley and Anthony Miranda, a retired NYPD sergeant and police reform advocate.

On Monday, Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman dropped out of the race to get behind Donovan Richards who has the backing of the Queens County Democratic party. Both are African Americans from south east Queens.

The candidates now have 12 days to secure 2,000 valid signatures in order to get on the ballot.

The borough president appoints half the members of the 14 community boards in Queens; gets an advisory say on proposed rezonings; allocates millions of dollars on parks, education and other programs; and is an advocate for the borough.

The position pays $179,200 per year.

Katz’s deputy, Sharon Lee, is currently serving as acting borough president.

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Concerned Resident

Jimmy is a decent man and I believe that he works hard. However, I also get the feeling that Jimmy might be in over his head on major issues.

1. Whether you are for or against Amazon, Jimmy voted for the project in September 2017 (without knowing any details on the project) before he came out against the project in November 2018.

2. For those residents in Hunters Point, it is great to have a public library on the waterfront in a park. However, the library is in a remote location for those residents who do not live near the water. The library has also been plagued by cost over runs, ADA issues and construction defects. The library is one of Jimmy’s signature initiatives and it has not turned out as planned (which is not the main problem). The bigger issue is that Jimmy has not loudly protested conditions at the library because he was deeply involved in its development (similar to Amazon, he lacks credibility because it seems reasonable to assume that he would have protested conditions at the library and held hearings to figure out what went wrong had he not been so deeply involved in its development).

3. The 5 pointz buildings not only took out a famous art installation in the dark of night, the buildings are completely out of character for Jackson Avenue and contain less than 20 percent affordable housing. When Jimmy approved 5 pointz, he did so based on a hand shake that the developer would use union labor. The developer used non union labor. Why did Jimmy not have the developer sign a public benefits agreements to help the artists and union as a condition of project approval. Again, very large and complex project that appears not to have been managed well.

4. Jimmy was for Crowley and the rest before AOC won, now he is for AOC, but Democratic Socialists do not fully embrace him, nor do real estate interests (anymore). This speaks to his credibility or lack thereof.

5. There are many complex issues that lie ahead including Sunnyside Yard, the water front, jobs initiatives, affordable housing and criminal justice. While the Queens BP might not have authority in many of these areas, the Queens BP will have a seat at the table and a powerful voice.

Is Jimmy the right person for Queens BP?

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Oscar

Jimmy is a flip flopper and an opportunist. He is as phony as they come. He is only looking for his next job as he is term limited out.

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Gardens Watcher

Per City and State, the winner of the special election has to compete again in a June primary, and then win a November general election in order to serve the rest of Katz’s term through 2021.

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