13th Council candidates forum announced

“The City Council is our first line of defense and the elected chosen for this position should be the most closest to us.” - Mary Jane Musano, Waterbury-LaSalle Community Association president.
File Photo

Bronxites will get to learn more about the eight candidates competing in this year’s 13th Council District’s primary race.

The Waterbury-LaSalle Community Association will host a public forum on Tuesday, May 30 at 7:30 p.m. at First Lutheran Church of Throggs Neck on 3075 Baisley Avenue.

Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, John Marano, Alex Gomez, John Doyle, Marjorie Velazquez, John Cerini, Muhammad Abuhaikal and Victor Ortiz have announced their intentions to vie for the Democratic or Republican party nod to replace Councilman James Vacca who will be term-limited at the end of 2017.

Vacca has served in the Council since 2005.

The candidates will commence the evening’s forum by presenting their platforms and ideas for improving the community.

Afterwards, they will be asked questions regarding the most critical community issues.

The forum will conclude with an opportunity to speak with each candidate while enjoying some light refreshments.

Mary Jane Musano, Waterbury-LaSalle Community Association president, stated six of the eight candidates are confirmed to attend.

She added the board is awaiting responses from two candidates whose identities were not revealed out of respect.

“The position of City Council is critical to us in this area and we need someone who can support us in our needs,” expressed Musano.

Some critical community issues the candidates will be asked include overdevelopment, overcrowding and problems in local schools, infrastructure, parking and policing among many other causes for concern.

In the past few years, the members of the organization opposed the road diet implemented by Vacca over the group’s objections and felt they were denied input into the final design of the P.S. 14 annex.

Musano said questions from board members and residents will be submitted to and collected by the Waterbury-LaSalle Community Association.

To keep the forum moving in a timely fashion, board members will read the questions aloud and will ask the query’s author to stand if he or she is present.

Each candidate will deliver his or her answer to a question specifically addressed to them.

Musano said the question and answer session will be kept short because the proceeding reception allows guests a more intimate opportunity to speak with the candidates in a one-on-one setting.

“We want people to be educated about the position of Council because it is so important,” she said, adding. “The City Council is our first line of defense and the elected chosen for this position should be the most closest to us.”

Musano said Bronxites from Council District 13 are welcomed to attend the upcoming forum.

Council District 13 encompasses Pelham Bay, Throggs Neck, Waterbury-LaSalle, Country Club, Spencer Estate, Westchester Square, Edgewater Park, Silver Beach, Locust Point, Pelham Gardens, City Island, Allerton, Pelham Parkway North and South and Morris Park.

This year’s City Council primary, as well as races for citywide office, are set for Tuesday, September 12.

For information and to submit questions, contact Musano at (718) 792-6385.

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