Today’s news:

Career pols can’t end water rate hikes

Year after year, I read in TimesLedger Newspapers (“Queens leaders cry foul over planned water bill hike,” April 29-May 5) how the same cast of characters, state Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck) and City Councilman Jim Gennaro (D-Fresh Meadows), are angry over another round of double-digit water rate increases.

My advice: Save your reporters time and reprint similar articles from the past. Nothing changes yet these same politicians who got us into this mess in the first place and have spent years in office failing to halt these increases are now asking us to vote for them so they can fix problem.

It is not enough to be angry about water rate increases and then offer timid solutions that do not work. Weprin and Gennaro epitomize the reason change is needed in politics today. These politicians offer nothing but worn-out slogans and lack the vision and fresh thinking needed for real change.

This year will be our fifth consecutive year of double-digit water rate increases and both Weprin and Gennaro have been in office for double that time. Their rhetoric rings hollow and failure to halt these increases is stunning, considering they both chaired two of the most influential committees in the Council.

As a possible contender for the Assembly seat in my eastern Queens district, my first order of business would be to pass my proposal allowing home and co-op owners the ability to deduct water rate increases above inflation from their property taxes. This would cap double-digit water rate increases to the rate of inflation.

My second order of business would be to legislatively end the city slush fund scandal, which happened under Weprin and Gennaro’s watch, and then seek to divert a small portion of those funds, which is all that would be needed to repair every city sidewalk in front of a house that has been damaged by a street tree.

These types of changes will never happen as long as the same crew of politicians that have bankrupted New York state with a $9 billion deficit are in power. This year, the voters of Queens will have the ability to change the status quo and retire politicians like the Weprins, who have been in office for more than 35 years and see them as nothing more than a family business instead of an opportunity for visionary leadership, fresh thinking and innovative ideas.

Bob Friedrich

President

Glen Oaks Village

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