Advance: Staten Island needs to have a loud voice in city government. It’s the only way that we can have our issues heard and our needs met.
Malliotakis is the first Islander to run on a major party line for mayor since Republican John Marchi. She has been a fierce battler against the mayor, never shying away from going toe-to-toe with him, and has neatly encapsulated many of the arguments against him.
Her complaint that the mayor manages with a “cookie cutter” approach (a la Vision Zero) that doesn’t always work on the Island resonates heavily with us, as does her criticism of City Hall’s mismanagement of the Build It Back program. It’s appalling that borough residents remain out of their homes as we approach the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.
On top of that, the cost to raise homes is staggering – something we would think the city’s top elected official would be all over, especially given the furor already surrounding the program.
Malliotakis is also on point when she slams City Hall’s use of hotels to house the homeless at the cost of millions upon millions of dollars, and we support her proposal for a full accounting of public land available and her call for housing for our seniors and veterans.
We think her position to not blithely agree that 1,000 of the city’s homeless who claim Staten Island as home should simply be placed here. Instead, she says each person or family should be evaluated individually to assess their needs and address those needs first.
We applaud her pledge to hold the line on city spending and to take a close look at the money that goes to vendors and outside consultants.
And, yes, she is correct to push back against de Blasio sanctuary city policies that protect illegal immigrants who have committed crimes.
Both candidates refuse to cede significant control of local issues to local leaders in the outer boroughs, but de Blasio appears to favor a much more “rule from the top down” city government than Malliotakis.
Taking the Department of Transportation as an example, the mayor says it is the borough commissioner’s job to take policy handed down from the central office and implement it.
Malliotakis insists that as mayor, she would work directly with borough leaders and abandon the one-size-fits-all policy in favor of listening to the needs and differences of each individual borough. Staten Island’s issues are not the same as Manhattan’s.
Given her service to Staten Island in the Assembly and being in the Republican minority there, we believe her. She knows first-hand the effects of majority rule – when majority leadership ignores the minority.
While it’s not a hometown call only, there’s no denying that having a Staten Islander in City Hall would be good for Staten Island. Malliotakis is one of us. She understands our issues, she understands our struggle to be heard in the halls of power. Even if she isn’t able to give us everything we ask for, we can at least be confident that a Mayor Malliotakis will hear us and be responsive. We won’t be forgotten.