City Councilman−elect Eric Ulrich (R−Howard Beach) was ceremonially sworn into office Sunday by Mayor Michael Bloomberg at PS 207, where nearly 500 people witnessed the occasion inside the school’s auditorium.
Ulrich, 24, will become the borough’s youngest sitting councilman when he is officially sworn−in. The city Elections Board was to certify the results of the Feb. 24 special election Tuesday and Ulrich said he expects to be sworn−in by the city clerk later this month.
In the nonpartisan special election, Ulrich defeated three other contenders: Rockaway district leaders Lew Simon and Geraldine Chapey and Ozone Park businessman Michael Ricatto.
The special election was held to fill the seat vacated by state Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D−Howard Beach), who was elected to his current office in November.
Bloomberg, Senate Minority Leader Dean Skelos (R−Rockville Centre) and former councilman Al Stabile were among the officials who came to Ulrich’s swearing−in.
“It was a great day,” Ulrich said in a phone interview Tuesday. “We had a lot of fun.”
The 24−year−old said he would work to ensure that basic funding gets delivered to senior centers and other facilities in the district, which includes Richmond Hill, Howard Beach, Ozone Park, South Ozone Park, Woodhaven, Broad Channel and part of the Rockaways.
“I’m making sure I can fight for adequate funding for my district,” Ulrich said.
Although he has not officially taken office, Ulrich said he has been going to civic meetings and is in tune with the needs of the district.
“I’m going to soak everything up and I’m trying to do the job,” he said.
The councilman−elect said he wants to sit on the Council Transportation Committee to address the district’s transportation woes. There is a lack of mass transit options in the district and subway rides from the Rockaways to Manhattan can take 1 1⁄2 hours.
“Whether you live in Rockaway or Ozone Park, being on the Transportation Committee would be a major boost in the district,” Ulrich said. “Everyone’s affected by transportation.”
Ulrich was elected to fill the last year of Addabbo’s four−year term. The election for a full four−year term will take place in November.
Ulrich said he is focusing on his duties as a councilman, not the upcoming election.
“I have a job to do,” he said. “I’ll worry about the campaign later.”
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e−mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 173.
©2009 Community News Group
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