Dishing with Dee: Reinstating mayoral control will benefit city schoolchildren

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The first order of business this week is a correction of a statement in last week’s column. It was in reference to Mayor Michael Bloomberg acquiescing to a photo op with Dan Halloran. I had stated it happened at the GOP Gala at the Reception House April 1, but was mistaken. It happened at the GOP breakfast at the same Reception House in Flushing June 6th at 9:30 a.m. Sorry about that.

The error was brought to my attention by a friend who had attended both events with me. She said, “Dee, you are on overload. You were right on the money with everything about the event except the date.” Thank you, good friend, for the correction. I’m glad someone out there is paying attention to details. But she is right: I am overdoing it and need an overdue vacation. If only time would allow ....

Speaking of last week’s column, it received quite a bit of attention, both pro and con. In fact, my voicemail wound up being full every day for several days.

The question most often asked was why Bloomberg would join forces with Paul Vallone. If you think about it, it makes sense. The Democratic Party is supporting city Comptroller Bill Thompson as its candidate, not Bloomberg. The Democratic Party is also supporting Jerry Iannece, not Vallone, as its candidate for City Councilman Tony Avella’s seat.

Therein lies the common denominator between Bloomberg and Vallone, as both were rejected by the same party, which brings to mind the old bromide, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” That scenario will work for most logical people. Besides, apparently both men see eye-to-eye and agree on a number of issues. Both have stated their purpose in running is to serve their respective communities, a noble endeavor, but we have yet to hear all the details on the other candidate’s plans to serve their same communities.

The next three months should be interesting ones, for only one can win the Democratic primary, and as you know, Avella’s district has a group of super candidates, each of whom has a lot to offer.

This past week, I’d done quite a bit of research for what I thought would be an interesting although controversial column. The gist of it was why so many politicians and elected officials were refusing to renew Bloomberg’s control of the school system in a timely manner.

All the results spoke for themselves loud and clear. There was no denying how the children’s scores had improved in a number of areas. The only reason apparently for the politicos dragging their heels would be they did not want Bloomberg to accrue any credits, which would benefit his candidacy as he was not their choice. Thompson was.

If those speculations are true, then shame on all you men and women who were elected to serve your communities to the best of your abilities. A good education for a child is one of the most important factors in a child’s ability to lead a productive and successful life. It would be horrendous for anyone to play Russian roulette with a child’s education. Children are our future and will take control. Therefore, it is imperative for us to equip them with all the tools they will require to do an excellent job. It is not only in the children’s best interest, but ours as well.

It was great to hear common sense ruled the day and the state Senate Democratic leadership finally agreed to allow the progress Bloomberg effected in our school system to continue. There was a little tweaking, but in the final analysis the children will continue to be served in achieving their higher math and reading scores, increased graduation rates and effective school safety.

I was extremely pleased to see common sense prevail and even city Schools Chancellor Joel Klein, teachers union President Randi Weingarten and Gov. David Patterson were pleased children’s education was put ahead of politics.

Congratulations are in order to Joseph Gravagna and his beautiful bride, Antoinette Jemma, who were married July 24 and held their reception at the Lake Isle Country Club in Eastchester in Westchester County. It was a lovely reception and the bride looked beautiful. They immediately left for a week’s honeymoon in the Bahamas. Best of luck to both of you and hope you have a wonderful life together.

That’s it for this week.

I look forward to hearing from you with information on people, parties and politics or gossip.

I like receiving your voice mails at 718-767-6484, faxes at 718-746-0066 and e-mails at

Till next week, Dee.

Posted 6:31 pm, October 10, 2011
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