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Queens Chronicle

Crowley ready to start new year on City Council

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Posted: Wednesday, December 24, 2008 12:00 am

The revolving door that is the District 30 council seat may finally stop spinning, at least for a year.

Elizabeth Crowley is to be sworn in to the seat on Jan. 1, taking over from Councilman Anthony Como (R-Middle Village), who won a special election in June, but lost the follow-up in November.

The Democrat will be the first to take the seat since it was created in 1991.

For Crowley, this is a moment that has been seven years in the making. She first ran for the position in 2001. Since the election, she has attended numerous civic group meetings and holiday parties to further introduce herself to her electorate.

“I’m just biding my time,” she said. “I have been training for a few years now.”

There are still a few decisions she needs to make before taking the position. As of press time, she was still putting together her staff and debating where to set up office. She has identified one in Middle Village and another in Glendale, and the decision will likely come down to whichever lease is best.

However, it may be best to keep that lease at no more than a year. Crowley will need to run for re-election in November 2009, as the current term only fills the time period until the next citywide election.

The string of elections became necessary after Dennis Gallagher, the former councilman for District 30, stepped down following charges of sexual harassment. He later pled guilty to forcible touching and third degree sexual abuse.

Crowley has begun meeting with city officials and hopes that, within weeks of taking office, the chairperson of the city Planning Commission will certify a proposal to downzone Glendale to restrict high-density development.

Protecting the district from major redevelopment is an issue close to Crowley’s heart. “Anybody who has lived here for a number of years can see there have been changes, and not for the better,” she said.

Also, she planned to meet Como this week to get an idea of some of the complaints that have been lodged with his office, items like potholes and sewer issues.

A spokesman for Como said the councilman has not yet decided whether he will run for the seat again in 2009. “Right now, he hasn’t decided definitively,” said James McClelland, Como’s chief of staff. “We are going to enjoy the holidays, transition, meet shortly after the new year and make a decision then.”

Welcome to the discussion.