White, who once again represents the 28th Council District encompassing Richmond Hill, Rochdale Village and Jamaica, said he would like to rezone his district to preserve its "contiguous character" and prevent overdevelopment, which will burden infrastructure, such as schools and the sewer system.In a wide-ranging conversation with reporters that broached subjects as diverse as the proclivities of troubled actor Robert Downey Jr., the fashion tastes of today's young people and the revitalization of downtown Jamaica, a reflective White said that as chairman of a powerful Council committee, he is well placed to collaborate with fellow members of the Queens delegation to address the quality-of-life issues that plague the borough."We're all in the same boat and being in the same boat we all have the same destination," White said. "The problems of my district are the same as every district."White said that wherever he goes in Queens or the greater New York area, people have primarily the same concerns: the quality of the schools and police protection. These problems, White said, require a collaborative solution and to that end, he plans to bring together local clergy from various religions for a dialogue about "the character and spiritual well-being" of the Queens community.White, who served 10 years on the Council (a tenure that was somewhat marred by absenteeism) before being term-limited out of office in 2001, was returned to the Council in November. He defeated maverick Councilman Allan Jennings for the seat and replaced Councilman James Sanders Jr. (D-Laurelton) as chairman of the Economic Development Committee. Sanders, who endorsed Republican Mayor Bloomberg in November's mayoral race, fell out of favor with the Democratic power brokers who orchestrated Christine Quinn's (D-Manhattan) victory as Council speaker. She gave White the chairmanship of the Economic Development Committee.White said as chairman he is charged with addressing the economic problems of the entire city, and indirectly his district. New York, he said, has undergone a "wonderful" revitalization in the past decade and has make great strides in attracting economic development and increasing tourism. White added that more needs to be done, particularly for the less fortunate residents of his district."You can't leave behind the people of New York," White said.Reach reporter Craig Giammona by e-mail at news@times
©2006 Community News Group
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