BY LUIS GRONDA
Lew Simon says he has the heart to be a City Councilman.
Simon, who is running for the 32nd District City Council seat against incumbent Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), pulled no punches in criticizing his Republican opponent during his sit-down with the Queens Tribune editorial staff earlier this week.
He claims Ulrich was nowhere to be found in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy and many D32 residents complained to him that the Councilman was difficult to reach when they needed help recovering from the storm.
“I cannot understand how you can get a paycheck and not respond to your constituents. We didn’t see him,” Simon said.
According to Simon, he made his decision to run for the seat after an exchange he had with Ulrich regarding the proposed revival of the Rockaway Beach Rail Line. He said the Councilman gave him a “stupid” answer after Simon asked him why the City is spending money on the Second Avenue Subway project instead of spending that on transportation in the district.
“I said ‘you know what, he’s a little, arrogant snip’ and I decided to run,” he said.
Two issues Simon said he would concentrate on if elected is transportation and parks.
He supports reactivating the defunct train line going from the Rockaways to Rego Park because it would improve transportation options for those living in southern Queens and streamline their travel time to central Queens or Manhattan if they travel there.
Simon also wants to create a HOV lane during peak hours running between Cross Bay Boulevard and Queens Boulevard to create a faster commute for drivers traveling between both thoroughfares during rush hour. He also disagreed with Ulrich’s idea to bring Select Bus Service to southern Queens because it would create more car traffic on Cross Bay and Woodhaven Boulevards.
Parks are another central focus of his campaign. Simon says he wants to create more parkland in the Borough and throughout the City as well as protect the parkland that currently exists. He hopes to chair the City Council’s committee on Parks and Recreation, if elected.
When asked where specifically the parkland would be placed, Simon said there are several vacant lots in the Borough that can be converted into a park and he would identify them as soon as he takes office.
Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, email@example.com, or @luisgronda.