2013-02-20 / Features

Marshall Praised At Boro Cab/Chamber Breakfast

BY RICHARD GENTILVISO


Queens Borough President Helen Marshall. Queens Borough President Helen Marshall. After almost 12 years in office, the outgoing Queens Borough President Helen Marshall was reflective while presenting plans for the final 10 months of her tenure, at the joint meeting of the Queens Borough Cabinet and the Queens Chamber of Commerce.

Looking forward, Marshall said, “We cannot exist without economic development.”

At the annual breakfast held at the LaGuardia Marriott in East Elmhurst on February 9, Marshall said, “As you know, this is my last Cabinet meeting with the Chamber as borough president. Looking to the future, I look to you to help us rebuild Queens better and stronger for our 2.3 million residents.”

Noting Marshall’s service as a teacher, community board member and elected official in both the state Assembly and City Council before election as borough president in 2002, Queens Chamber of Commerce President Carol Conslato praised and thanked Marshall calling her departure the “end of an era”. “Helen has done so much...every community has been touched and positively affected (and) the borough has thrived economically (and) never stopped building and growing. We are looking forward to another great year of working together,” said Conslato.

Marshall pointed to the tremendous damage in the Rockaway Peninsula from Super Storm Sandy and the need for economic development to “shape the future of our community”.

She has allocated $616 million in capital funds to the borough over three terms in office.

“Since 2002 we have rezoned 6,300 blocks of Queens to protect the residential character of our neighborhoods and expand economic opportunity,” said Marshall. Another 1,000 blocks are to be rezoned this year with fully one half of the borough rezoned by the end of her term in office.

“I believe in educating our children,” said Marshall. “We must start when they are young and we must not stop until they graduate college,” she said. To that end, six new schools will open in September with almost 28,000 seats and $1.6 million will be allocated for mobile science labs for 30 schools. At CUNY, Marshall has allocated $63 million since 2002 and $117 million for libraries with new branches planned in Far Rockaway and Hunters Point.

“I live here (in Queens), my children grew up here and my husband (Donald) and I just celebrated our 64th (wedding) anniversary,” said Marshall. Joking she was going to “sleep for two weeks” when her term ends, Marshall thanked the Queens Chamber and her Cabinet.

When Conslato asked what the biggest challenge for the next Borough President might be, Marshall said, “Probably the budget, you always have to fight for the budget.”

A public hearing on the mayor’s $70.1 billion preliminary budget for Fiscal 2014, to begin Jul. 1, 2013, is scheduled at Borough Hall on February 20. In a February 8 press release, Marshall said, “While (the budget) contains no new taxes or layoffs, it does anticipate reductions in libraries, the Fire Department, the Borough President’s Office, community boards, the Department of Youth and Community Development, the Department of Cultural Affairs and the Department of Education.”

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