Challengers Emerge For Council Seats
By Luis Gronda
A former member of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s administration has announced his bid for City Council.
With the political campaigning season coming into full gear, one person is set to challenge the incumbent of a City Council seat in Queens, while another possible candidate is mulling the possibility of running for a separate seat as well.
Jon Torodash, a Kew Gardens resident who advocated to keep the “Triumph of Civic Virtue” statue in Queens before it was moved to Brooklyn in December, said he intends to run against Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) for the District 29 seat, which represents Forest Hills, Rego Park, Kew Gardens and parts of Maspeth, Elmhurst and Richmond Hill.
Middle Village activist Craig Caruana is mulling a run for the District 30 Council seat that is held by Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village).
Torodash said he decided to run against Koslowitz because he feels the district needs a more local voice that will represent it in the City Council.
He added that he would be an independent voice to the Council and not be a part of the “political machine.”
“It’s time to bring a young and vigorous voice of truth to City Hall,” Torodash said.
Among the issues that he is most concerned about is education, improving public transportation in the Borough and making sure that each community in the district is clean and taking care of the parkland in each neighborhood.
Torodash also said that he would be much more active in the community and talk with residents about their questions and concerns, something that he says Koslowitz has not done enough of while in office.
Torodash proposed a monthly “walk with the councilman” event, which would allow people to meet him in person and ask any questions they have directly to him.
He also pledged not to take any extra money he would make from joining a sub-committee in the City Council if he is elected. He said that he is against that practice and does not want to earn any extra money for something that he is supposed to be doing.
Although he has not filed yet, Torodash said that he plans to file with the Campaign Finance Board soon and his fundraising campaign will kick off later this month. He has also launched a website for his campaign, www.jontorodash2013.com.
As for Caruana, he said he is thinking about running but has not made a decision on that yet. He said that decision will be made in the next few weeks.
If he were to run, Caruana said that his platform would focus on “the lack of constituent services from our current council member and the council member’s lack of leadership which has resulted in our district receiving the least amount of discretionary funding in all of Queens and the second lowest in all of New York City.”
Caruana is a Middle Village resident, who is a part of the Kiwanis Club of Glendale and the Juniper Park Civic Association. He was also an information specialist at Fox News Channel.
Reach Reporter Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.