Thursday, February 11, 2016

Mayoral forum brings candidates down to earth

By Kate Pastor
Marisol Díaz/The Riverdale Press
Sal Albanese, a former councilman, speaks about environmental issues during the West Bronx Green Mayoral Candidate Political Education Forum, held at the Riverdale Y Monday.



A forum held at the Riverdale YM-YWHA Monday night got four mayoral candidates on the record discussing their positions on environmental issues ranging from the Indian Point nuclear plant to a proposed Hebrew Home development in Riverdale. 

Sponsored by a variety of environmental and community organizations, the West Bronx Green Mayoral Candidate Political Education Forum allowed each of the attending candidates — Council Speaker Christine Quinn, former Councilman Sal Albanese, city Comptroller John Liu and former Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion — an opportunity to make opening and closing remarks sandwiched around a series of questions from panelists. The same questions were then asked of the following candidates, who were not in the room to hear previous responses.

One observer likened it to the “Dating Game,” with contestants questioned by panelists Barry Willner, who serves on the boards of the Riverdale Nature Preservancy, the Friends of the Hudson River Greenway in the Bronx and the Riverdale Community Coalition; Yael Levy, co-director of Riverdale RiverFest; and Eric Goldstein, senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council Action Fund.

All the candidates supported plans for the Bronx portion of the Hudson River Greenway, said they would at least work toward closing Indian Point nuclear plant, supported Riverdale’s Special Natural Area District and low-density zoning and had plans for making the city more sustainable. 

Candidates were asked whether they would commit to working with other officials to come up with a financial plan to implement the New York Metropolitan Transportation Council’s community supported-design for the Bronx portion of the greenway, for which a funding estimate will be released this June. They also responded to a question about whether they would commit to funding the project in their first budget. They all agreed to at least try. 

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