Assemblyman Michael Benedetto to meet constituents at Scott Place Cafe on New Year’s Day

Assemblyman Michael Benedetto is ringing in 2012 by having coffee and cake with his constituents on New Year’s Day.

Benedetto will be at Scott Place Cafe at 3604 East Tremont Avenue on Sunday, January 1 from 9 a.m. until noon.

The assemblyman, from the 82nd District, will be chatting with everyone and anyone who stops by the cafe that has an issue they want to discuss, they can just stop by and say hello.

“I’m inviting my constituents to come and have some coffee, have a danish. Let’s break bread and start the new year off in a nice, easy, casual way,” Benedetto said. “Let’s say hello to each other and wish each other a Happy New Year.”

Assemblyman Benedetto expects school-related issues to top the morning agenda.

“Education is on the minds of a lot of people, because next to safe and clean community, people are very concerned about the schools in their community,” Benedetto said. “And it’s one of the things that binds a community together. But we’ll certainly talk about anything people want to bring up. We’re in tough economic times and the state has a budget gap to close.”

Benedetto’s offices are located above the coffee shop.

“It’s a wonderful location,” he said. “I figure why not bring people to this wonderful spot, which is almost perfect for what I have envisioned as a nice, casual morning social event.”

He envisions it having a decidedly different atmosphere than the typical town hall meeting.

“No fighting against this, or raging against that,” Benedetto said.

And for anyone who plans to spend New Year’s Eve celebrating, the event will run until noon, permitting everyone a few extra hours of sleep.

It is the first time Benedetto has held such an gathering, but it may not be the last.

“If it’s successful, I would like to make this a regular event where I might meet the public once a month or a Sunday morning on something like that,” he said. “We’ll see how it develops.”

Bill Weisbrod can be reached via e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at (718) 742-3394.