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An open letter to City Council members:
I had written to each of you regarding your inaction with respect to the mayor’s ban on sweetened drinks larger than 16 ounces. Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) was kind enough to provide me with a letter signed by himself and 13 Council members and sent to Mayor Michael Bloomberg June 1 protesting the enactment of the ban.
To those of you who signed the letter, I applaud your stand for freedom. To those who failed to sign, your silence is resounding. Councilmen Peter Vallone Jr. (D-Astoria) and Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) responded to my letter saying that the ban was outside the Council’s auspices, which leads me to address pieces of legislation for which your chamber is responsible.
Years ago, Vallone, in a misguided effort to address the graffiti epidemic, sponsored legislation which sought to penalize property owners for failing to remove graffiti within 30 days. I thought no one on the Council would lack common sense and fairness to pass such a bill. I was wrong. That bill is law and is the only law in this state, of which I am aware, that punishes the victim of a crime.
What right does the Council have to add insult to the injury a property owner suffers after realizing someone spray painted his property? While the city provides free graffiti removal, the fact that a city Department of Buildings inspector could issue a violation against that owner anytime the city’s coffers get low is unacceptable. This law should be repealed.
The second piece of legislation enacted is the law which subjects a law-abiding citizen to a summons for being in a playground without the accompaniment of a child. Decapitation is a certain cure for a headache, but intelligent people would never employ it as such. And, yes, in your defense, there are some citizens who buy into the fear-mongering our media and politicians have fostered.
The problem is that most of you do not care about the majority of the city’s citizens. You made that clear when you committed the greatest betrayal of public trust by overriding two citizen referenda limiting the term limits of city officials to two. You do not represent the citizens of this city: You represent the tyranny of Bloomberg. And perhaps your betrayal would not have been so bad if it were not in favor of a man who was willing to forsake the tragedy of people losing their homes to Hurricane Sandy so he could watch a marathon go forward.
To Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan), Vallone and those who seek the office of mayor, borough president or city comptroller, do the people of this city a favor and get out of government. An elected person who enacts legislation restricting individual rights that would not be passed by a majority of the citizens is no representative but a rogue politician who has an agenda other than what is best for the citizens they represent. Perhaps your efforts would have been better served making sure that neighborhoods did not become vertically overgrown such that their character is no longer recognizable.
We the people need leaders who are willing to stand up for the citizens they represent and lie down in front of an earth-moving machine when the government seeks to take a portion of Flushing Meadows Corona Park or Willets Point under eminent domain. We do not need leaders who pander to developers to have their picture taken when the ground is broken. That is not leadership; it is selling out.
Individual rights must be restored and the private and public property of citizens must never be allowed to be taken for any private purpose. I will awaken the Patrick Henry in each of my fellow citizens so they will remember how you violated the people’s will four years ago and send you packing.
William Cariello III
©2013 Community Newspaper Group
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