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Council newcomers want Sandy recovery committee formed

Councilman-elect Carlos Menchaca says a new committee will make sure Sandy money gets to where it is supposed to go. Photo courtesy Carlos Menchaca

Menchaca, Treyger concerned about slow pace of funding

Brooklyn Daily Eagle

Two of the young guns who will be joining the City Council in January aren’t waiting to get into office to make their voices heard. They’re already trying to shake things up at City Hall.

On Monday, Councilman-elect Carlos Menchaca, who will represent the 38th Council District (Sunset Park-Red Hook), and Councilman-elect Mark Treyger, who will serve the people of the 47th Council District (Coney Island-Gravesend-parts of Bensonhurst), called on their elders in the council to form a new committee that would have oversight over Superstorm Sandy recovery efforts in the city.

The two soon-to-be council members said New Yorkers have deep concerns over the slow pace of Sandy recover efforts, as well as concerns over the possibility of waste, fraud and abuse in the billions of dollars of recovery spending.

Both men are Democrats who won their respective races in landslides on Election Day and both come from parts of Brooklyn that sustained devastating damage from Sandy, which hit New York City on Oct. 29, 2012. Menchaca spent months leading volunteer efforts in storm-ravaged Red Hook following the hurricane. The Coney Island portion of Treyger’s district saw flooding and shore erosion.

“Councilmember-elect Treyger and myself are committed to ensure that our districts and other areas affected by Sandy receive the aid and oversight they require," Menchaca said.

“It has been over a year since Superstorm Sandy devastated Coney Island, Sea Gate, Bensonhurst, Gravesend, Bath Beach and coastal communities throughout New York City. I have students in my classes who were displaced for over half the year by Sandy,” said Treyger, a civics teacher at New Utrecht High School in Bensonhurst.

“Our families deserve transparency and accountability. Creating a City Council committee dedicated to Sandy recovery will increase oversight of money coming in, make sure those dollars are helping our communities rebuild, create good paying jobs, improve local infrastructure and prepare our costal communities for future storms,” Treyger said.

“I am proud to partner with Councilmember-elect Carlos Menchaca - who has been a visible, vocal advocate for Sandy impacted families in Red Hook and throughout New York City - in calling for the creation of this incredibly important committee,” Treyger said.

"We must increase the level of organized attention to each of the communities impacted across the City,” Menchaca said.

“Small businesses, public housing residents, home owners and apartment renters continue to feel the impacts of Superstorm Sandy today, more than a year later. A City Council committee will provide the necessary oversight over our city agencies and ensure federal aid reach the hands of our impacted residents who deserve a just, equitable and sustainable recovery,” Menchaca said.

Politicker reported on Monday that there is a precedent in the council to form a committee to concentrate on the city’s response to a disaster. In the wake of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the council formed a committee to oversee the re-development of lower Manhattan, Politicker reported.

December 9, 2013 - 1:30pm


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