Mayor Addresses Fresh Meadows Crowd – QNS.com

Mayor Addresses Fresh Meadows Crowd

“If you want to live longer, come to New York City,” said Mayor Michael Bloomberg at last week’s community forum held at the Fresh Meadows Jewish Center.
The mayor left residents with a message of a hopeful future for a city where crime is down 20% over the last four years, the murder rate is at a record low and life expectancy is getting higher and higher.
Bloomberg appeared with a panel of administration officials including Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Department of Transportation Commissioner Iris Weinshall, Assistant Fire Chief of Queens Robert Sweeney and representatives from the offices of city planning and housing.
Community board members and local residents gathered with Assemblyman Mark Weprin and other area officials to discuss the problems and concerns facing Queens and New York City.
Attendees raised questions regarding issues like hate crimes, education funding, taxes, illegal conversions and parking regulations. “We must do as much as we can to fight hate crimes here, in New York City and around the world,” said Bloomberg. “Discrimination against anyone is discrimination against everyone.”
Bloomberg also discussed the possibility of a increase in salary for New York City public school teachers. “Nobody wants to pay teachers more than I do,” said Bloomberg. By the time the school year approaches, teachers will get a new contract. It won’t be as much as everyone wants but it will be substantial.”
Some of the top concerns of the evening included the growing debate over rezoning, redevelopment and over development and the overwhelming problem of illegal conversions. Bloomberg said that Willets Point will be one of, if not the biggest, redevelopment plan in all of New York City and that the city is in the process of rezoning areas in Queens.
“The city has to make sure that we don’t allow development that will change residential neighborhoods,” said Bloomberg. “Underdevelopment and overdevelopment are challenges for the city but we need to entertain plans that support the infrastructure of each neighborhood.”
Some business owners expressed concerns about one-hour meters in busy consumer areas like Main Street.
“Meter problems are always a two-sided issue,” said DOT Commissioner Weinshall. “If you allow meters to run for longer than an hour, cars will sit in parking spots for too long and force others to double park.”
Weinshall assured the community that the DOT will conduct a study of the area to determine whether or not two-hour meters are warranted.

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