Volume 22, Number 30 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | December 4 - 10, 2009
It would be hard to spend less money on an election than Republican Irene Horvath spent in the First City Council District this fall. Horvath, who lost to Democrat Margaret Chin, received only one campaign donation of $100, and it was from herself. Of that money, she took out $50 in petty cash and spent another $6.15 on postage to file documents.
In contrast, Chin, who swept the election with 86 percent of the vote, spent nearly $280,000, much of it on mailings, events, staff and rent. Chin still owes about $25,000 to The Parkside Group for the last mailings of the campaign. She doesn’t quite have enough money left to pay them (she’s about $1,600 short), but her campaign manager Jake Itzkowitz said Chin was just tying up some loose ends and would hold fundraisers soon.
When Chin takes office Jan. 1, she’ll be displacing Councilmember Alan Gerson, who lost the Democratic primary for the seat in September. Gerson appeared to be enjoying his last few weeks in office and was all smiles and handshakes at a groundbreaking for Fiterman Hall Tuesday (This was before Councilmember Charles Barron got into a shouting match with a CUNY trustee). Gerson’s smile stayed in place even when Angela Sales, with the Borough of Manhattan Community College, introduced him as “Councilman Gleason.”
Pete Gleason was Gerson’s most vociferous opponent in the Council race, and Sales was not the first person to confuse their names.
Speaking of Gleason, we hear he’s shaved his post-election beard, but his campaign manager, new Democratic District Leader Paul Newell has now grown one instead.
No park Christmas
Duane Park won’t be getting a sponsored Christmas tree this year after all.
Tribeca lawyer Salvatore Strazzullo wanted to pay for a tree in the park and hold a ceremony to give gifts to underprivileged children. But Community Board 1 smelled self-promotion in Strazzullo’s offer and took an advisory vote against it in October.
The Parks Dept. was still open to allowing the tree, as long as Strazzullo didn’t put up any signs describing his business, but Strazzullo just withdrew his application, Parks spokesperson Cristina DeLuca said.
Strazzullo did not return a call for comment.
Cas Holloway, chief of staff to Deputy Mayor Ed Skyler, got a new job this week: commissioner of the Dept. of Environmental Protection.
Holloway, 36, became a familiar face at community meetings Downtown through his work on the Deutsche Bank building. Holloway coordinated the many changes to the city’s procedures after the fatal August 2007 fire in the building. He worked closely with the D.E.P. to overhaul asbestos abatement protocols, but his appointment raised some eyebrows because he does not have very much environmental experience.
Holloway is also a member of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. board, where he has publicly pressed Chairperson Avi Schick to make sure the Deutsche Bank project has enough money. Holloway serves on the L.M.D.C. board at Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s pleasure, and he’ll stay in place unless Bloomberg removes him, city officials said.
In a reversal, Community Board 1 decided not to name a street after civil rights lawyer Frank Durkan last week. Durkan’s colleagues and relatives had been meeting with the board’s Seaport/Civic Center committee for months, and expected the full board to echo the committee’s favorable vote.
But at last Tuesday night’s meeting, which Durkan’s widow and daughter attended, several board members objected to naming Elk St. after Durkan because he defended weapons smugglers in Northern Ireland.
“We were frankly taken by surprise,” said James Cullen, a friend of Durkan, who died in 2006. “We are exploring other ways to seek this recognition for Frank.”
Manhattan Beep Scott Stringer is now taking applications for new community board members. Downtown residents and workers who are looking for a voice in local politics (and a place to spend several evenings a month) are encouraged to apply.
Stringer’s office is holding an information session next Thurs., Dec. 10 at 6:30 p.m. at 1 Centre St. Applications are due Jan. 15.