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Jerry Iannece, a northeast Queens resident for over 20 years, is currently a leading Democratic candidate for City Council in the 19th Council District, which includes Bayside, College Point, Whitestone, Douglaston, Little Neck, Bay Terrace and parts of Flushing. Although he has run unsuccessfully twice before for the seat, in 1997 and 2001, this time he has stronger support, having been endorsed by various district civic leaders.
These include Bernard Haber, former Community Board 11 chairman; Robert Nobile, the Little Neck Pines Civic Association president; Warren Schrelber, the Bay Terrace Community Alliance president; James Colasante, the Bayside Gables Civic Association president; Frank Skala, the East Bayside Homeowners Association president; and Chrissy Viskorichian, the 109th Precinct Council president. It is expected that law enforcement unions will be endorsing Iannece, who served as an assistant district attorney in the Bronx after completing law school.
Iannece has been involved in most of the significant community issues that have surfaced in recent years while he served for six years as president of the Bayside Hills Civic Association and especially when he served as chairman of CB 11 for five years.
Recently, he has been involved in the rezoning of northeast Queens from the standpoint of stemming overdevelopment. The City Planning Commission is doing the rezoning. Iannece is providing input into the project. Once the rezoning is completed, it will be presented for approval to CBs 7 and 11, the Borough President and finally the Council.
Iannece is also concerned about public safety. He feels there are not enough police officers assigned to the 109th and 111th precincts, considering the large area these precincts cover.
He believes Community School Districts 25 and 26, which serve the council district, are two of the best public school districts in the city. But Iannece also believes our educational system should be revamped to reintroduce more parental input into school educational policies.
He indicated that parental influence in these matters had been reduced, since the local elected school boards have been abolished. He also mentioned that according to the city and federal school funding formula, there are less funds being allocated per student in CSDs 25 and 26 than in some other districts. He wants to see that changed.
Regarding his candidacy, Iannece said, “I have dealt with all the community issues as chairman of Community Board 11 and I feel that in so doing, I have the experience and background to effectively represent the people of the 19th City Council District.”
Presently, there are two main opponents facing Iannece in the Democratic Party primary to be held in September: attorney Paul Vallone and Debra Markell, both of whom have been fund−raising. Iannece has also been gaining support from local Democratic Party leaders, due to his continued involvement in community activities. He has a high degree of name recognition.
It has not yet been determined who will be the district’s Republican candidate to oppose the winner of the Democratic Party primary in the November election, but this seat has seen some intensive races in which Iannece himself has participated, which gives him an edge over other declared Democratic opponents, since he has the political experience of having run before in this district.
In all, there will be many candidates running for citywide office this year, since city matching funds will be available. That is true in Queens and the other boroughs.
There will be various issues that affect the Council races this year, including the city and national economy and the outcome of the mayoral race.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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