by DANIEL BEEKMAN
Love ’em or hate ’em, Mayor Mike is here. Bloomberg for Mayor 2009 hosted an open house at its new Pelham Bay campaign office on Thursday, July 30. The main objective of the event was to rally Mayor Mike supporters – potential volunteers – around the campaign, staffer Silvia Alvarez said. The office is at Middletown Road and Hobart Avenue.
Bloomberg, the incumbent who last year pushed to extend term limits to run for a third term, has received the Republican Party nomination and is a lock for the November 3 general election. On Tuesday, August 4, the Board of Elections commission dismissed Bloomberg’s only Republican challenger, Walter Iwachiw of Queens, from the ballot.
Approximately 60 people attended the open house, Alvarez said. Throggs Neck, Co-op City, Country Club, City Island, Morris Park and Parkchester residents joined Pelham Bay residents at the event. The Pelham Bay office opened for volunteers on Friday, August 3. Bloomberg for Mayor 2009 has two additional offices in the Bronx, in Riverdale on Riverdale Avenue and in Allerton on White Plains Road.
Why open an office in Pelham Bay? Support in the neighborhood and convenient public transportation, Alvarez said. Bloomberg for Mayor 2009 had spent more than $36 million on the campaign as of June 15. The campaign will next file a financial report on October 2.
“We are building a grassroots office,” Alvarez said. “Our volunteer numbers are growing and will continue to grow.”
Alvarez outlined what Bloomberg has done in eight years for Pelham Bay, according to the campaign. Mayor Mike has invested nearly $11.8 million toward renovations, improvements and additions at Pelham Bay Park, she said. The administration has performed work on a running track, athletic field, picnic area, dog run, tennis courts, Orchard Beach, playground and bridle path at the park.
Crime in the 45th Precinct has “plummeted” 25 percent, Alvarez said. The administration invested nearly $5.5 million in federal stimulus funds toward renovations at Middletown Plaza. Alvarez touted Bloomberg’s commitment to Jacobi Medical Center and highlighted the trial launch of NotifyNYC, an emergency public information system delivered by email and text message, in Pelham Bay.
Bloomberg will likely face Democratic Party nominee William Thompson Jr. in November, following the Democratic primary in September. Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and former Borough President Fernando Ferrer have endorsed Thompson Jr. The Brooklyn native, currently City Comptroller, had spent less than $6 million on his campaign as of June 15.