Mayor Lauds Progress In Forest Hills

“The city is doing well.” This was the message Mayor Michael Bloomberg delivered at last week’s Queens Courier town hall meeting.
Held at the offices of Drs. Steven and Claudia Ravins in Forest Hills and hosted by Queens Courier publisher Victoria Schneps, the forum drew the area’s residents, business owners, and representatives and commissioners from several city agencies.
Issues raised included parking regulations, real estate assessments, sanitation pick-up and snow removal.
In fact, Bloomberg quipped that “if snow is the biggest problem, then the city is in good shape.”
Turning to more serious matters, he said, “The city is doing well, basically. Crime is down, educational scores are up, the economy is doing better.”
He also informed the audience that there was a 40% increase in Building Department permits in Queens — the largest in all the boroughs — and that in 2004 and the first half of 2005, there were no murders reported in the area’s local precinct, the 112th.
Despite this, however, he said that “we still have a long way to go” in terms of teachers and health care accessibility.
“It’s the best of times health care wise, but it’s also the worst of times,” said Bloomberg. “And unfortunately Queens is the worst borough in terms of classroom capacity. We have built 10,000 classrooms in the last three years and we are focusing on giving kids the skills they need early on. We are definitely making progress.”
Overall, the mayor was extremely well received.
One attendee stood up and told Bloomberg, “You are doing a very great job for this city.”
“I hope you get re-elected,” said Peter Benedetto, owner of The Family Restaurant in Forest Hills.
Bloomberg himself echoed this sentiment.
“Hopefully I’ll have four more years to keep reforms going and to do it long enough so that when I leave office they [the reforms] will be institutionalized.”

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