Candidates for state Senate and Assembly last Thursday delivered their best campaign pitches at the Glendale Property Owners Association meeting at St. Pancras School on Myrtle Avenue.
The approximately 60 attendants were also able to ask the candidates questions about their views on issues affecting the community, as well as ideas they had to improve the way of life in Glendale.
Two of the issues raised most often were taxes and government spending. All the candidates tackled the subject of fighting Albany on increasing taxes as well as imposing new ones.
“We all want to lower taxes,” said incumbent state Sen. Joe Addabbo Jr. (D-Howard Beach). He went on to say that a property-tax increase would hurt the middle class and that’s why he was opposed to it.
The last two state budgets, for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 fiscal years, which Addabbo supported, raised taxes on property and clothing purchases, respectively.
“Senate Democrats have a plan for property-tax reductions [and] when we’re able to afford it we will do it,” he promised.
Addabbo’s Republican opponent, one-time City Councilman Anthony Como, said he believes that high taxes are one of the major reasons why there is a need for change.
“There’s a big abuse of overtaxing us and it’s time for an end,” asserted Como, who tossed his hat into the ring in June. “When I was on the council, we made it very clear when I worked on the budget — I am not voting for any increase in taxes.”
Attorney Alex Powietrzynski, a Republican who’s running against Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi (D-Forest Hills) for the 28th District seat, echoed Como’s sentiments of a need for change.
“I think something that we [all] do realize is that there are significant problems in Albany,” he said. “The only way to revamp the system, really, is to get rid of the old and bring in the new.”
Powietrzynski acknowledged that this is his first dip in the political pool, but said he believes that’s exactly what makes him the right candidate for change.
“The government is broken and it’s going to take real people with real life experiences to solve it,”he said.
Hevesi did not attend the meeting.
Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven) and his GOP opponent for the 38th District seat, Donna Marie Caltabiano, were also on hand.Caltabiano said she is against what she termed the one-party system that exists in Albany right now, and like the Republican speakers before her, emphasized the need for change.
“We’re the laughingstock across the country,” she said. “Our Assembly has been called the ‘Hall of Shame.’ Nothing has gotten done up there.”
Miller responded, “We had a late budget because some of us were fighting for some of the things we need in our community and we wouldn’t settle for less. My opponent feels otherwise, that I should just concentrate on state issues, and I don’t see it that way.”
Election Day is November 2.