Candidates for mayor, public advocate, comptroller, borough president and City Council gathered at North Shore Towers in Glen Oaks on Oct. 30 to cover issues impacting eastern Queens residents.
Incumbent City Council candidate Barry Grodenchik and challenger Joe Concannon spoke at the North Shore Towers, a large co-op community. The candidates for Council District 23 — which covers areas of Bayside, Fresh Meadows and Queens Village — spoke about topics including transportation options, property taxes and the Creedmoor site.
The Creedmoor property, located at Winchester Boulevard and Union Turnpike, is state-owned and currently home to a long-standing Psychiatric Center, which has a dwindling patient population. A public school campus was built on the northern portion of the site in 2000, and today, approximately 50 acres is able to be developed.
Councilman Grodenchik assured attendees that the property will not become the site to a homeless shelter or a prison.
“Those things are not going to happen as long as I’m councilman,” he said.
Grodenchik said he would like to see a new NYC public school open at the site, which would alleviate the overcrowding in the district. He also said low-rise senior housing and playing fields would be welcome additions.
Challenger Concannon, a retired NYPD Captain, said the conversation about the site needs to be directed towards how the city can provide more “effective mental health care.”
“The land should be used for what it was originally intended for: the care and the patients of Creedmoor,” he said.
When it comes to transportation, Grodenchik said he is firmly against the MTA’s recent request for additional funding. The lawmaker also said that, before alternative modes of transportation are considered, the subway’s signal system must be upgraded. Access-A-Ride also needs to be made more accessible to seniors, he said.
“Before they come to us and ask for more money for the MTA, they really need to put their own fiscal house in order,” he said.
Concannon said that the bus service in the area is in need of improvement. He also said he stands with residents who have spoken out against the protected bike lane that was recently installed by DOT along 210th Street in Bayside Hills.
Both candidates were opposed to having a New York State Constitutional Convention.
Mayoral candidates Nicole Malliotakis and Bo Dietl, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer and challenger Michel J. Faulkner, Public Advocate Letitia James and challenger J.C. Polanco and Borough President Melinda Katz also spoke at the forum.