Queens Borough President Helen Marshall sketched out her vision for 2010 as she was sworn into office for a third time on Tuesday.
Marshall’s inauguration address at York College focused on promoting sustainable development and taking steps to improve services in healthcare and education.
The borough president promised to tackle development issues comprehensively — pointing to new projects that will address residential, commercial and infrastructure needs simultaneously — and warned against overdevelopment in low-density neighborhoods.
“We cannot allow development to occur in a vacuum. New projects require not only bricks and mortar, but new infrastructure, improved mass transit and traffic improvements,” Marshall said. “That’s why, for instance, we are creating a new traffic coordinating council in Flushing and continue our Jamaica Task Force, which tracks development and ensures coordinated city services.”
Marshall also touted efforts to address overcrowding in public schools, pointing to more than 3,000 seats scheduled to open up in September.
She also promised to seek new healthcare facilities for the borough in the wake of last year’s hospital closings.
“There is no doubt that healthcare in Queens has been diminished with the closure of four hospitals in the last few years in spite of all of our efforts,” Marshall said. “In the wake of these closures, one of my goals has been to ensure that Queens has access to comprehensive healthcare services. As your borough president, I feel it is essential to enhance primary and preventive care for all our residents. Our high rates of diabetes, hypertension and obesity demand it.”
Marshall was elected to a third term as borough president in a November landslide. The Democrat was backed by 76 percent of voters, compared to 20 percent for GOP challenger Robert Hornak.