With more than a dash of hilarity, Democratic City Councilmember Vincent Gentile kicked off his final reelection campaign for the post he has held since 2003 during a fundraiser at the Dyker Beach Golf Club on Thursday, March 7.
Highlighted by a customized version of Eight Days a Week, the event featured more than a buffet dinner not only an energized Gentile and supporters gyrating to his campaign song, but also longtime allies Gentile and Borough President Marty Markowitz standing back-to-back, to determine who is actually taller (Markowitz, by a hair or two, to this reporters eye), after Markowitz delivered a spirited endorsement of Gentile.
The reason I want to keep him in office is twofold, noted the borough president. First, hes a superb elected official who serves us well with dignity and honor. The other reason was a mite more personal I dont want to be the shortest male elected official in Brooklyn, Markowitz remarked.
Gentile said he just wanted to keep on doing what he and his staffers have been doing for years, working their hardest for constituents on individual matters as well as issues affecting the community as a whole. Im not afraid to fight for your right as a New Yorker to get what you deserve or get government off your back, he pronounced. Taxpayers and small businesses should not be an ATM for the city of New York.
Gentiles accomplishments over his time in office, as he recounted them, include eliminating Sunday parking meters, after the administration started charging for parking near some churches on Sunday; the comprehensive downzoning of both Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, which Gentile called one of the largest streetscape preservation efforts in the entire city; new surfaces in Parrot Park and the St. Patricks ballfield; lights in Dyker Beach Park so nighttime ballgames can be played there; the Ecodock which will be installed at the 69th Street Pier this spring and which will allow pleasure craft to dock there; getting upgraded bulletproof vests for NYPD officers to protect them; and helping to change Sanitation ticket regulations so a homeowner cannot receive a violation for a single piece of trash in a recycling can or vice versa.
Gentile also made the point that, by winning reelection, he would be the second most senior member of the City Council which, he stressed, Will allow me to bring back even more resources to the community. To get there from here, we must have a campaign and an election, and that campaign is what we kick off here tonight.
Together, we can put the city back on the right track, he added, concluding, I am your neighbor. I always hope to be your friend and, with your support, I will continue to be your councilman.