It was not hard for City Councilwoman Melinda Katz (D-Forest Hills), a candidate for city comptroller, to please the more than 75 borough residents who attended a Sunday fund-raiser organized by her former political opponent, Joseph “JR” Nocerino.
Many of the attendees said they had been longtime supporters of Katz, and the phrase “neighborhood girl” could be heard time and again from the residents at the fund-raiser held at the Forest Hills Little League fields.
“Melinda is always there when we need her,” Forest Hills resident Larry Paskowitz said of the Democratic candidate. “She makes time for every constituent. She’s a real public servant.”
Nocerino, who ran against Katz four years ago, said he wanted to throw his weight behind the councilwoman because of her support for the Little League and the community in general. Nocerino, who lives in Forest Hills and heads up the girl’s softball league, recently dropped out of the race for Katz’s seat due to health concerns.
“She hasn’t just shown a support for our little league, though she certainly has done that,” Nocerino said. “She’s supported our schools, she has given grant money for computers and after-school programs, and she has put hundreds of thousands of dollars into parks.”
Katz supports a girl’s softball team, Katz’s Komets, and she has helped the league expand over the past several years.
Kathryn Thome, a Forest Hills resident and softball coach, and Forest Hills resident Michael Reddy said they appreciated Katz’s decision not to run for a third term in the City Council, even though they said she would have won “hands down” had she made another bid for her seat.
“It’s good she respected term limits, even though she would’ve been re-elected without a doubt,” Reddy said.
Katz did vote for the extension of term limits. Katz’s Democratic opponents in the bid for comptroller are Councilmen John Liu (D-Flushing), David Weprin (D-Hollis) and David Yassky (D-Brooklyn).
Residents at the fund-raiser said they were pleased with Katz’s plans to draw companies to the city that could provide jobs for New Yorkers hard hit by a rough economy.
“She has a lot of good ideas for bringing jobs to the city,” Paskowitz said. “We need jobs.”
Katz agreed with Paskowitz.
“New York City is in a position where we need to create jobs from within,” Katz said. “We need to make sure our people are working, we’re keeping jobs in New York and it’s affordable for people to live here.”
Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e-mail at agustafson
©2009 Community News Group
By submitting this comment, you agree to the following terms:
You agree that you, and not TimesLedger.com or its affiliates, are fully responsible for the content that you post. You agree not to post any abusive, obscene, vulgar, slanderous, hateful, threatening or sexually-oriented material or any material that may violate applicable law; doing so may lead to the removal of your post and to your being permanently banned from posting to the site. You grant to TimesLedger.com the royalty-free, irrevocable, perpetual and fully sublicensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such content in whole or in part world-wide and to incorporate it in other works in any form, media or technology now known or later developed.