By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Freshman Councilman Mark Treyger has demonstrated a remarkable ability to get what he wants from the council’s leadership despite his newcomer status.
Following his election last November, Treyger and fellow freshman Carlos Menchaca called on the council to establish a committee to oversee Hurricane Sandy relief funds. In one of her first acts as council speaker, Melisa Mark-Viverito announced the formation of the new committee and tapped Treyger to be its chairman.
And now Treyger, whose council district covers three neighborhoods and a chunk of third community, has been successful in persuading the council’s leadership to let him open a second district office.
Treyger (D-Coney Island-Gravesend-Bensonhurst) announced the opening of a new district office at 2015 Stillwell Ave. in Bensonhurst. The lawmaker’s main office is still located in the Warbasse Houses on Neptune Ave. in Coney Island.
“My top priority is to assist every resident of my district with issues regarding city government and to deliver the services our community deserves. This new office will help ensure that my staff is convenient and accessible for all residents of Bensonhurst, Gravesend, Coney Island and Sea Gate, not matter which area of the district they live in. My great staff is ready to assist the public, so I urge everyone to call or stop in for help with local issues,” Treyger said in a statement.
The Stillwell Avenue office is open Monday from noon to 8 p.m.; Tuesday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon. Residents can reach the staff, which includes multilingual speakers, at 718-307-7151.
Treyger will host an open house at the new office on Sunday, June 22, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Meanwhile, Treyger is busy on the legislative front. He is urging Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and the entire City Council to support a bill in Albany that would increase disability pensions for police officers hired after July 2009 and subsequently injured in the line of duty.
Under current New York State law, cops hired after July of 2009 receive only about 50 percent of their salary if they suffer a debilitating injury in the line of duty, while those hired before the new tier system was created receive 75 percent of their salary.
Treyger said the discrepancy is especially glaring in light of the severe injuries sustained by Police Officer Rosa Rodriguez while responding to an arson fire in Unity Towers, a Coney Island housing complex, that claimed the life of her partner, PO Dennis Guerra. After six weeks in the hospital, including four days in a coma, Rodriguez was released from Weill Cornell Medical Center last month.
Eyewitness News reported that a 16-year-old, Marcell Dockery, allegedly told police that he set the fire out of boredom. Dockery has been charged with felony murder.
Treyger, who represents the Unity Towers, is calling on the city to immediately move forward with a resolution.
“The men and women of the NYPD who risk their lives each day to protect us should not have to worry about making ends meet in the case of serious injury like that suffered by Officer Rodriguez. Restoring the pension amount for all officers is an important step we can take as a city and state to show that their heroic actions are truly appreciated. Officer Rodriguez did not hesitate before running into a burning high-rise building, and we should not wait to provide her and other officers with the support they need” Treyger said.