By Robert Press
BRONX, NEW YORK, February 4- The passing of former outspoken Mayor Ed Koch has left a legacy that 100 percent of those who have commented about his life all agree on, that being that Ed Koch was “Good for New York City”.
His sharpest critics have only words of praise for Koch, even though his legacy as mayor almost came apart in his third term. Koch suffered a stroke in 1987 which was the beginning of his health problems. After the suicide death of his close friend former Queens borough President Donald Manes in 1986, scandals and racial tensions had beset his administration. It was said the FBI had tapes that everyone in the Koch administration was able to be controlled by the mob, with the exception of Ed Koch himself. Racial incidents in Bensonhurst Brooklyn and Howard Beach Queens during his third term as mayor galvanized the vote that was once his biggest support against him causing him to loose a bid for a fourth term. After Koch left City Hall he suffered a heart attack in 1999, and had a case of pneumonia in 2001. Koch had been in and out of hospitals since then and was readmitted last Thursday to the intensive care unit after being released the day before.
Ed Koch who was born on December 12, 1924 in the Bronx, and passed away at 2 a.m. Friday morning February 1st, 2013. He was buried on Monday in a plot he had bought several years ago in a Washington Heights cemetery, because Ed Koch said that he wanted to stay in the city even after he was no longer here.
The candidates who want to replace Lord Bloomberg as mayor have all announced their intentions to run for mayor as Public Advocate Bill deBlasio and Supermarket magnate John Catsimatidis made it official last week with the current New York City Comptroller John Liu as the only one who has not officially announced that he is running for mayor. There may be an attempt to keep a Democrat from becoming mayor as former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion (who is said to have the Independence Party line for mayor) did not answer the question put to him on NY1's Road to City Hall “If you were to lose the Republican primary would you stay on the ballot on the Independence line only?”. It is speculated that DeBlasio will get the Working Families line, which would leave the Conservative Party line possibly for Catsimatidis or Lhota should either one win the Republican primary for mayor. It was the Independence line that gave Bloomberg the winning margin of victory over Bill Thompson in the 2009 mayors race, and it could be Carrion and the Independence Party that may keep a Democrat from becoming mayor in 2013 again.
At the December 20, 2012 Community Board 9 meeting a resolution was put forth that Francisco Gonzalez be terminated from the position of District Manager of CB9. There was much discussion about the matter at the meeting with DM Gonzalez defending his 19 years as DM of CB9. The vote wound up 15 in favor, 10 against, and 7 abstentions. Even though more CB9 members voted “yes” than “no” the motion did not pass, because an abstention is counted in the total number of votes in which 17 votes of yes were needed for this resolution to pass. After the vote DM Gonzalez stated that CB9 should put this behind them and move forward with the business of the community in a positive matter. For now this matter seems to be over for now, but it could resurface again.
Community Board members are appointed by borough presidents with half the members of each board being proposed by the local council person(s) of the community board area. It is the borough president’s office that gives training to newly appointed members, and every two years members must reapply if they wish to remain on the board not guaranteed of being reappointment. Term limits may be one factor that increases turnover on community boards as new elected officials may want to put on different people to a community board, and take off others that may have been against their election.
It was former Bronx Borough President Carrion who decimated Community Board 4 when the board voted against the new Yankee Stadium proposal that Carrion was pushing. Current Bronx BP Ruben Diaz Jr. has taken much of a hands off approach to the 12 Bronx Community Boards, but with several boards having problems such as CB7 in losing their District Manager who left before the second attempt to get rid of him and here in CB9 Diaz needs to act soon. The 11th, 15th, and16th council districts on January 1st 2014 will have new council members, and in four more years several other current council members will be term limited out of office. It could be that the term limit law may lead to a more often turn over of staff at community boards also as members of the boards also change with the new elected officials.
Check my blog at www.1oopercentbronx.blogspot.com for more on what was in this column, other items that did not make it into this column, and the many photos that are included with the stories. If you have any comments about this column or would like to an event listed or covered in this column or on my blog you can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org , or call 718-644-4199 Mr. Robert Press.
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