By Gina Martinez
Republican William Kregler is hoping to become Queens borough president.
The former firefighter and fire marshal currently serves as president of the N.Y.C. Fire Marshals Benevolent Association and spent 23 years as a city Housing Authority police officer and field training officer.
According to Kregler, he is running for Queens borough president to reform the unchecked overdevelopment happening in Queens and to bring back control of neighborhoods to local school and community boards.
He contends Mayor Bill de Blasio has misled the Queens on issues involving homeless shelters, ignored community board votes and overlooked decisions to tackle the problem in the borough. He criticized Borough President Melinda Katz for not stepping up to fight for communities where the homeless have been moved to hotels.
Kregler said he wants to reduce the growing homeless emergency by removing people from the streets and addressing their individual needs instead of giving them temporary housing in hotels. He said he believes de Blasio’s methods have been destructive and only made the crisis worse while causing distrust in the community.
“It’s added insult to injury,” the Woodside resident said. “The midnight moving, converting hotels to house homeless against rules and regulations. People don’t like that. When government dictates what is good for the people by discarding rules and regulations and decisions of the community, then we must fight for our rights through our votes.”
He said one of his main focuses will be creating infrastructure and his plan is to appeal to President Donald Trump and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who are both from Queens and both “big on infrastructure”
“I’m going to use that and get them to bring the needed money for our infrastructure,” he said. “I’m going to be the Pied Piper, show me someone who can do better. My opponent? No.”
He supports plans to create an air train that goes from LaGuardia Airport down to Manhattan in 30 minutes. According to Kreger the train would ease the burden of commuters and create more jobs.
“It’s all I think about,” he said. “To me there’s only two boroughs, Queens and then the rest, that’s my thought. Building infrastructure brings jobs and makes everyone happy.”
Kregler said he knows being borough president has its limitations in terms of passing legislation, but he would be a watchdog and advocate for the Queens community.
“I’m not here to give away keys to the city or sign proclamations,” he said. “I’m here to be a watchdog. You have a land deal that’s going to be beneficial to the whole community? I will be your errand boy, hand-walk it through every agency and move it forward quickly and efficiently for the betterment of the community.”
Kregler is also running on the Conservative line.
Reach Gina Martinez by e-mail at gmart