Tucked away on the west side of the small town of Broad Channel in the middle of Jamiaca Bay is a narrow, dead end, street that goes by the name of West 12th Road. Those of us who live there know that the nice part about living in a small town is that when you are not quite sure what is going on, someone else always does!
[Peter J. Mahon West 12th Road, Broad Channel]
Phil Goldfeder announced he’s not running for reelection. A growing family, tiresome trips to Albany, and a paltry salary for the work convinced him it was time to move on. No local elected official in our memory was liked and admired as much as Phil. He seemed to be at every meeting and event; he and his staff were extraordinarily responsive to constituent needs. A lot of the calls he took were really City issues (broken parking meters, Build It Back, cops on the beat, etc.) and he could’ve steered those calls to a City rep or agency but he didn’t play that game. He did what he could.
And he did the work in the most pressing time: post-Sandy. His own house was flooded yet he got to work as if it hadn’t been. That might be the most underrated part of the job he’s done. He had a pretty good excuse to mail it in (and too many elected officials do) yet he did the opposite. He worked and worked when Rockaway needed it most. He went above and beyond.
He never showed an ounce of partisanship so he was admired by people of all parties. It’s highly likely that he would have run unopposed in November. Phil leaves office as one of those rare people who are more popular on the way out than on the way in.
Unfortunately, he leaves with unfinished business and whomever takes over has to get up to speed immediately on one issue in particular. In March, 2015 Goldfeder announced that he was introducing legislation that would create the New York Flood Insurance Association. Such an entity would allow New Yorkers to have an option other than National Flood Insurance Program which is up for Congressional approval in 2017 and remains a potentially devastating choice for Rockaway home and business owners.
In a call to The Rockaway Times this week, Goldfeder said he’d help his successor navigate through the Albany legislative ins and outs. He reminded us that he’ll remain a Rockaway resident and he has a personal stake in the same issues as many of us.
There will be time, though not much, to learn about the candidates who seek to fill his job in January. Today, however, is just a time to say, job well done, Phil. See you around the neighborhood.