BY LUIS GRONDA
It was a celebratory night for Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park) last week, gathering family and friends to ring in his second term representing District 32.
The Councilman held the ceremony at PS 63 in Ozone Park, a significant place in Ulrich’s life, as it is where he attended elementary school. Ulrich defeated district leader Lew Simon last year to retain the seat.
After several colleagues and friends spoke of working together on issues despite Ulrich’s party affiliation, including Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the Councilman stepped up and discussed his vision for the next four years.
Among the issues Ulrich highlighted during his speech were streamlining the district’s recovery from Superstorm Sandy, improving transportation in the district and improving technology for the schools in his district.
During his speech, Ulrich reassured his constituents that he intends to serve for them and making sure the residents get what they need.
“The only thing that I can do is recommit myself to you and promise you that I will evoke the same passion and energy to this job that I did four years ago,” he said. “The fire to serve the public still burns inside of me and I will work overtime to make this term as successful and productive as the first.”
Ulrich said one goal is to expand express bus service in the district, which is something he often discussed during his reelection campaign.
He also said he will help give local NYPD precincts what they need to keep the streets safe. This includes installing ARGUS security cameras that the Councilman secured for locations in Woodhaven and the Rockaways last year.
The Councilman also pledged to help small businesses on major corridors like Cross Bay Boulevard and Jamaica Avenue and bring jobs to the area by, in part, hosting free business seminars in the district. This would give people free, one-on-one counseling, dispersing information on how to bid on City contracts and telling them how they can expand their business, Ulrich said.
A lighter moment occurred during his swearing-in ceremony. The Councilman read remarks from an old kindergarten report card, given to him in 1990, that his family found while looking for old pictures.
“Let’s hope Eric’s attention span increases as he matures,” read one comment, which drew much laughter from the audience.
“If I didn’t know better, I’d say this was written last week,” he joked.
Among the dignitaries to attend last week’s ceremony included Mark-Viverito, Comptroller Scott Stringer and Public Advocate Letitia James. Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder (D-Ozone Park) administered the official oath during the event, pinch-hitting for Justice Augustus Agate, who was sick and unable to attend.
Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @luisgronda.