The corner of 80th Street and 10th Avenue was designated “Senator Chris Mega Way” on Saturday, October 15 as a result of an action sponsored by Councilmember Vincent Gentile in the City Council. I knew Chris very well, having grown up just a few houses down the block on 80th Street and being in politics all these years.
As a teenager, I handed out literature for him during his runs for the state Assembly. And as a young staffer working for his Assembly successor Florence Sullivan I would on occasion make the round trip to Albany with him. He would pick me up at 8 in the morning and away we went. The next day we would leave at around 4 p.m. He did not like Albany and really wanted to get home to his wife Madelyn.
I clearly remember him telling me be ready at four or you are on your own. I thought he was kidding. It turns out he was not. Although I never missed the ride, I remember then Republican Party State Chairperson George Clark, who was from Brooklyn and sometimes traveled with Chris, complaining that he left without him one day.
I saw Madelyn and Chris’s four children together with many of his grandchildren that Saturday. They all looked great and are doing well. Some of the family still lives in the 80th Street house.
The street renaming brought many people together who have not seen each other in a number of years. There were the judges from Chris’s distinguished career as a chief judge of the Court of Claims and a Supreme Court judge. There was his longtime law partner Andrew Sichenze. Political people who knew Chris for decades like Mike Long were present. Mike also spoke. Senator Golden who currently holds Chris’s Senate seat (and whom I serve as chief of staff) talked of his many significant legislative accomplishments as did Councilmember Gentile.
Several of the speakers noted how, in the years Chris held political office, the political campaigns in our community were like little wars with great energy. But when it was over, the winners and losers always accepted the results and simply went back to working on behalf of the community. I remember those days well. And I miss them!
Chris passed away in 2011 and last held elective office in 1995. It really does not seem that long. He did great work and left wonderful memories. The community and state were better for his efforts. And I am a better person for knowing him during the formative years of my public service career.
The Dyker Heights Civic Association held its annual candidates debate. The only debate that took place was in the 49th A.D. between Assemblymember Peter Abbate and Rosemary Mangino. In the 46th A.D., sitting Assemblymember Pam Harris had no need to debate Lucretia Regina-Potter because Potter did not show.
She claimed she had not been invited despite Dyker President Fran Vella-Marrone producing copies of numerous emails sent to her. And to add insult to injury, Fran and Potter apparently spoke directly a few days before the debate and Potter only wanted to argue that she was not invited. This was odd since the conversation itself was proof that Potter had been invited.
What is Potter’s problem? I do not know. She had an opportunity to debate and she choose instead to argue with the president of the group inviting her. She runs every two years, never breaks 35 percent of the vote and this year did not show at debates. You would think she was a plant for the Democratic Party, the way she acts.
There were a great many issues discussed during the final presidential debate. And although I might not agree with Donald Trump’s refusal to accept the results of the election automatically, personally I am more concerned about the extreme liberal position Secretary Clinton took on issues.
From support for late term abortions to raising taxes and a continuation of the failed Obama foreign policies, Secretary Clinton is not who I want to lead this country.
It is one thing, as Hillary proudly boasts, to seem more prepared. It is another thing to seem prepared and wrong on the direction in which you wish to take the country. Donald Trump represents change. On day one, he will not be renewing the countless executive orders President Obama issued to get around the Congress. And Donald Trump will appoint a nominee for the Supreme Court off the list of well-qualified individuals that he has made public.
Trump could clearly have handled this campaign and himself better. That was his mistake. Our mistake would be to elect someone who we know well and disagree with often – Hillary Clinton.