An open letter to City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park):
Let me first introduce myself as a former constituent within Queens Community Board 9 from Richmond Hill, with relatives who had resided in Ozone Park and Howard Beach over the years within your district constituency.
I am also a friend and former student of the Franciscan Brothers of Brooklyn (St. Patrick’s Academy, at Kent Avenue and Taaffe Place), when I grew up in Brooklyn CB 3 in Clinton Hill, before being redistricted into CB 2). My paternal grandfather Vincenzo Manago and my father Joseph V. Manago were lifelong members of the state Republican Party. I am a member of the Republican Party.
Back in 2006, the Manago family filed a petition of signatories with the Brooklyn CB 3 Housing and Land Committee, requesting that Taaffe Playground, in Bedford-Stuyvesant/Clinton Hill, be renamed “USMC Anthony V. Manago Park,” in honor of my late uncle who was killed in action in World War II at the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945.
Brooklyn CB 3 voted on the request in support of the measure 40-1.
But because of apparent partisanship on the part of former then-Councilwoman Leticia James and a rift with then-Council Speaker Christine Quinn with Brooklyn CB 3 over renaming public places and streets in honor of Black Panther Sonny Carson, Quinn refused to allow a vote for the park renaming before the chamber, despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of the local community board supported the request and the honoree is an Italian American, not a Black Panther.
I would like to know if the approved proposal of Brooklyn CB 3 in 2006 may be introduced in the Council presently. According to the City Charter, the renaming of city parks is under the jurisdiction of the Council, but Quinn arbitrarily refused to put it for a floor vote despite my repeated requests to her. I hastened to correspond with you in view of your recent appointment to the Veterans Committee and the demise of Quinn.
Congratulations and thank you for your kind consideration of this matter.
My intuition is that your negligence of a matter relevant to your committee is due to your fear of proposing anything that may be opposed to Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito’s (D-Manhattan) leftist agenda and thus be punished by her through a reduction of discretionary funds to your Council district under the present and arbitrary proprietary rights of the speaker.
I would hope that as a Republican minority in the Council you would represent the interests of the state party or be dis-enrolled.
Joseph N. Manago