Shulman To Create ‘Queens City Hall’ In Her Fourth & Last Term

Citing gains in health care and education, Claire Shulman was sworn in as Queens Borough President on Monday for the fourth and final time, pledging to write a new chapter in the borough’s history as it approaches the next millennium.
Shulman told hundreds of people gathered atop the borough’s flagship park at the Terrace on the Park restaurant in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park that, "Working together during the past four years, we have continued to craft a government that minimizes bureaucracy, increases efficiency and puts our residents first."
Sworn in by Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, she later revealed that one of her plans for 1998 is to transform Queens Borough Hall into a veritable "Queens City Hall" by relocating scores of city agencies presently scattered in various borough locations into the big red building on Queens Blvd.
Much of the present space in Borough Hall is currently occupied by a variety of civil court functions such as housing court, small claims court and jury rooms. These will all be leaving later this month when they move into the gleaming new Civil Courthouse in Jamaica, therefore opening the space that will create a new one-stop city agency building that will operate in the same structure as the various services of the borough president’s office.
"Under the plan, generated by space that will become available when the new Civil Courthouse opens in Jamaica, several City agencies will have offices in Borough Hall. City Planning, along with Housing Preservation and Development, the Dept. of Environmental Protection and Buildings, as well as expanded facilities for community use, will all come to Borough Hall. This will not only help us to cut red tape, but will bring our government and its programs even closer to the people it serves," said Shulman.
Meanwhile, citing what she described as common purposes and bonds that unite the diversified borough, Shulman noted the major role that the county’s two airports play in the City’s economy. Although the lack of direct rail access to both airports has not yet been achieved, Shulman said that substantial progress has been made in reaching this goal. The Port Authority is currently seeking to construct a light rail system that would connect the LIRR station in Jamaica with Kennedy Airport terminals and the A train in Howard Beach.
Shulman, the borough’s 17th Borough President over the past 100 years, cited recently reached goals that included the rebuilding of the Queens Hospital Center and the establishment of a comprehensive network of cancer care and cardiac surgery programs in the borough of two million people. Reconstruction of the Queens Hospital Center is slated to begin in October.
"Solving the problem of school overcrowding is a daily, sustained effort that will not end until every child is guaranteed a seat in their community," she said. Shulman noted, however, that, thanks to a winning combination that includes leased space, portables, annexes and new school construction, "We have provided quicker and more cost-effective solutions to school overcrowding." She also expressed her support for a proposed educational complex on land that will be excessed by the state at the Creedmoor campus in Queens Village.
Also, on the drawing boards are plans for an African American Hall of Fame in The Roy Wilkins Park in southeast Queens, a multipurpose cultural center in Jamaica, under the auspices of the Queens Cultural Collaborative, and a $1 billion year-round entertainment and sports complex that will generate a renaissance on the Rockaway Peninsula. "That is just the beginning,"said Shulman. "Projects like Queens West, rising on the East River, continue to set the tone of confidence that is making Queens a premier place to live and do business."
Shulman was designated Borough President in 1986 by a unanimous vote of the Queens delegation of the City Council. Later that year, she was elected to a three-year term. She was re-elected in 1989, 1993 and 1997.

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