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Bloomberg brings City Hall to Jamaica

By Ivan Pereira

Mayor Michael Bloomberg gave southeast Queens residents a hopeful message about the future of their community and city during a special town hall meeting Tuesday night at York College.

The mayor, who was joined by several leaders of various city agencies, including Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly and Acting Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri, said his biggest concern for the city was the economy since the real estate market and Wall Street were not doing well.

Despite the drop in tax revenues from these two sources, Bloomberg said New York’s agencies would still have the same resources to assist residents because City Hall has the same budget as it had last year.

“The model for a city government is and should be when things get tough…the demand for city services goes up,” he said. “Government is there to help people.”

The mayor and the other city administrators took questions from the audience about their worst problems in the neighborhood. One of the overriding concerns was overdevelopment .

The mayor concurred that it is difficult to balance the need for more housing with an overabundance of out-of-character homes in neighborhoods such as St. Albans and Laurelton. Bloomberg said the recent approvals of rezoning plans in the borough were aimed  at solving that dilemma and the Department of City Planning would continue to look closely at how communities are changing.

“They rezoned something of one sixth of the entire city,” he said.

The mayor said he would continue to listen to residents and find ways to improve city services.

“The commissioners and the 300,000 who work for the city really work hard. If you have a problem, there is no reason you shouldn’t be satisfied,” he said.

Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at ipereira@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 146.

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