By Mark Hallum
City Council candidate Joe Concannon, a Republican, is running against Councilman Barry Grodenchik (D-Oakland Gardens) in the Nov. 7 election and has campaigned on the issue of patient oversight at state-run Creedmoor, which he claims has given patients too much freedom to come and go from the psychiatric institution.
Although he is strong supporter of the Trump administration, he believes in integrating the Muslim community into the Queens community and keeping DACA, the policy that allows undocumented immigrants who were brought to this country as children to apply to stay for at least two years, as long as it is passed into law by this Congress. President Obama used an executive order. to create the policy.
Concannon hopes to be a force for change in city government. He opposes Mayor Bill de Blasio’s sanctuary city policies and other people he calls “clones” who support his agenda.
“Creedmoor is about a lot of different issues. There’s a whole indignity issue, there’s a whole inhumanity issue. We have these people – they are obviously incapable of helping themselves,” Concannon said of the problems resulting from the number of patients who wander through the streets of Glen Oaks and are occasionally listed as missing by NYPD. “How could the state and the administrators of this psychiatric hospital let this happen? There are many ways to treat people and there are many policies that could be put in hand.”
Concannon called on the state inspector general to investigate Creedmoor for these incidences back in September and hopes the state transfers management of the facility to the private sector.
The 23rd Council District Concannon is running to represent has a large immigrant population, specifically from South Asia and he believes they should be embraced. The Queens Village Republican Club, which Concannon is a member of, boasts a diverse crowd of immigrants of various ethnicities and religions.
“I think if you listen closely with what the president says, he’s laid down some general guidelines and he’s not for kicking DACA [recipients] out of the country,” Concannon said. “We’re talking about 800,000 people here and I think he’s shown that he’s very compassionate. But I also think he’s done something that prior administrations have let us down on and that he wants it legislated. That’s a good thing. That’s how our government is supposed to work. It’s supposed to work through our representatives.”
Breaking with the sentiment that DACA recipients deserve to stay in this country, Concannon is a harsh critic of sanctuary city policy and the mayor. Commenting that the United States as a “wide open” approach to immigration compared to other countries and that stricter policy is needed to make the country a more secure place, he went on to voice open support for President Trump’s border wall plan for Mexico.
Although Concannon does not believe the border wall is feasible across the entirety of the Mexican border, he said a physical barrier would prevent a considerable amount of illegal activity entering the United States.
Concannon, a former NYPD captain and U.S. Air Force veteran, is hoping to see the creation of the 115th Precinct come to fruition with the understanding that the 106th Precinct is spread too thin and not able to effectively attend the needs of those in the southern part of their coverage area.
Concannon also wants to push the establishment of a new Community Board 15 because CB 13 covers such a large area.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall