Archive for the tag '46th city council district'

Assemblyman Alan Maisel (center) via

Earlier in the month we reported on Assemblyman Alan Maisel’s quest to fill Lew Fidler’s City Council seat. Though the geographic area he’s looking to represent nearly mirrors Fidler’s, geographic changes from when the incumbent first took office in the 46th District make it a very different place, according to analysis by Barkan Report.

When Fidler began his representation of the 46th District in 2002, it was 53 percent white and 33 percent black. With the latest round of redistricting, which saw the addition of parts of Canarsie and Flatlands, the percentages of white and black have flip-flopped with blacks representing 53 percent and whites 32.

That’s thought to give a boost to his primary opponent, Mercedes Naricisse, a Haitian-American candidate. Despite better fundraising and political connections in the Maisel camp, Barkan suggests race politics could be a greater deciding factor in the fight for the 46th.

Still, the Barkan Report says Maisel is the favorite to win – but November is a long way away.

Assemblyman Alan Maisel (center) via

Assemblyman Alan Maisel is looking to scoop up Lew Fidler’s soon-to-be vacated City Council seat. Maisel recently filed papers that would put him in the running for the recently redrawn 46th Council District, which includes Sheepshead Bay.

While early speculation pointed to lawyer Frank Seddio possibly taking the seat, his recent ascension to Kings County Democratic boss took him out of the running. Maisel, a friend of Seddio, is a longstanding member of the influential Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club, which Seddio also leads.

Maisel’s legislative activity, connection to the community, and affiliation with the Jefferson Club gives him a leg up on the competition, which includes Democrat Mercedes Narcisse, a former president of the Avenue L Merchants Association.

Who will replace Maisel? It’s way too soon to say, but we can’t help but note that Lew Fidler will be looking for a job…

UPDATE (2/5/2012): In the comments below, Councilman Fidler squashed our musings that he may replace Maisel by pointing out that he does not live in Maisel’s district, and so cannot run for his seat.

City Councilman Lew Fidler. Photo by Erica Sherman

Residents in the 46th Councilmanic District and beyond, who suffered property loss or damage from Hurricane Sandy, are invited to attend a public meeting that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will be participating in.

Citizens affected by the superstorm can gain more information and have their questions answered during the session organized by Councilman Fidler in cooperation with Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein and State Senator John Sampson, at the Kings Bay Y, Wednesday evening, November 14, at 7:00 p.m. The Kings Bay Y is located at 3495 Nostrand Avenue between Avenue U and Avenue V, across the street from Perry’s Diner.

Fidler stated:

“We live in a coastal area so our community was directly wounded by the recent storm. Therefore, I am absolutely dedicated to bringing in every resource possible to help our community fully heal. Since the storm, I’ve secured generators, clothing, trucks of food and needed supplies and continue to work hard to see the restoration of basic services. But information on available aid is also needed, which is why these meetings are so important.”

Another meeting, also organized by Fidler, will be held outside of our area tomorrow night, November 13 at 7:00 p.m., in cooperation with Assemblyman Alan Maisel and State Senator John Sampson at the Canarsie HES, 9502 Seaview Avenue, at the corner of East 95th Street, near St. Jude’s Church.

For additional information, contact Fidler’s office at (718) 241-9330. The councilman noted that, due to high call volume, busy signals may be encountered, but he and his staff remain available to help.

File:Francis M. Drexel School Interior.jpg

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The New York Daily News released an in-depth analysis of the attendance records and bill creation frequency of Brooklyn’s local politicians, citing both high and low marks for several of Southern Brooklyn’s lawmakers.

Those leading the charge of civic responsibility include Flatbush Councilman Jumaane Williams, who came in second overall in bill creation with 19, and third in best attendance, missing only 6.9 percent of scheduled meetings.

Councilman David Greenfield of Borough Park and Councilman Domenic Recchia of Coney Island were also cited for their vigorous bill contribution and high attendance ratings. Greenfield introduced 18 bills and Rechhia introduced 25.

On the negative side of things, the Daily News pegged Councilman Michael Nelson of Sheepshead Bay as one of the least active politicians, having only introduced two bills since 2011, and having missed 14 percent of his meetings.

Councilman Lew Fidler was also cited for a low attendance record, but the Daily News failed to report Fidler’s medical problems and subsequent hospitalization in February, which sidelined him for some time.

Lewis A. Fidler


I read this and thought, “Where was Lew Fidler when I was growing up?”

Since the widely publicized suicide last year of Rutgers University freshman Tyler Clementi shocked the nation, after his private homosexual tryst was publically broadcast by his tormentors over Twitter, the councilman is urgently trying push through a bill he introduced this week that would make anti-bullying programs mandatory in New York City schools.

During a Committee on Civil Rights hearing earlier this week, members agreed that, while city children are being bullied every day, “Gay, lesbian and immigrant kids are most at risk of being pushed around in city schools,” noting that cyberbullying is yet another channel for the bullies to use to make the lives of their victims more intolerable.

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Daily News published an editorial Sunday pointing the finger at 46th District City Councilman Lew Fidler for owing taxpayers $88,500. Fidler received the money as part of the city’s public funding system for his campaign against Republican Gene Berardelli, and was widely criticized for taking the maximum amount when his opponent had only raised $2,000.

We, too, were shocked at the amount of money Fidler asked for in his massive 41-page affidavit, which included coverage from Sheepshead Bites as evidence of a competitive race. Fidler told the Daily News, “”If it turns out that I don’t need it, I’ll return it.”

That’s why the day after the election we contacted the councilman to see how much he’d be returning. He wrote:

As of today, I have no clue what we spent and we are still paying bills. I can only GUESS that we will be returning a five figure number, but can’t say for sure.

Clearly he has no intention of meeting Daily News’ demand that he return all $88,500. But campaign funds are given out with the expectation that they’ll be spent, so getting five figures back – if that’s what we get – can be seen by some as a positive step.

What do you think? Should Fidler reimburse the city the entire $88,500? Or was he within his right to spend away?

On Tuesday, Sheepshead Bites and sponsored the first blog-hosted political debate in New York City, rounding up candidates for the 46th City Council District. The debate featured incumbent Lew Fidler (D), Gene Berardelli (R), and Derek Sacerdote (L) with Gerritsen Beach Property Owners Association President George Broadhead serving as moderator. The 46th District covers the neighborhoods of Bergen Beach, Canarsie, Georgetowne, Starrett City, Flatlands, Futurama, Marine Park, Mill Basin, Mill Island, Gerritsen Beach, Madison and Sheepshead Bay.

A feisty debate, the candidates wrangled over special interest groups, term limits, making New York City affordable, transit issues, and more. And yes, we got to see a taste of that nastiness, as allegations of antisemitism flared once more.

Questions for the debate were compiled from readers of both Sheepshead Bites and, as well as from local leaders on the Community Board and civic associations, and local news outlets. Moderator George Broadhead had the final say in determining questions.

People keep asking us: who won the debate? Well, we don’t want to become horse-race commentators. Instead, we’ll let you do that! But we will say we thought all the candidates expressed themselves well, and gave us a good idea on where they stand with a variety of issues. After the debate, we certainly felt like we had a better idea of their individual viewpoints, and each candidate held their own.

We want to once again thank all of our participants, and our moderator, who were patient and accommodating towards helping us put together this event. We’d also like to thank Baron DeKalb-Knights of Columbus, who supplied space, and Joe Mikos, who handled the video.

Check out the video and hear where your potential councilman stands on issues important to the city and our little nook, then let us know below what you thought of their responses!

Sheepshead Bites in association with is producing the first debate hosted by local bloggers in New York City. We’ve drawn together the three candidates running for the 46th City Council District, including the sitting councilman, Assistant Majority Leader Lew Fidler. The 45-minute debate will be taped tomorrow afternoon without an audience, then streamed on both sites on Thursday.

The debate promises to be lively, as the two leading candidates – Lew Fidler and Republican opponent Gene Berardelli – have been trading barbs in the comments section of Sheepshead Bites and (herehere, and here). They have discussed such issues as campaign financing, term limits, and discretionary funds, with the arguments getting very heated. They have at times labeled each other arrogant, questioned each other’s honesty, and Fidler has called Berardelli’s charges anti-semitic. Meanwhile, Libertarian Party candidate Derek Sacerdote has been waging a grassroots campaign, including going door-to-door in several areas of the district.

George Broadhead will serve as moderator of the debate. A self-described “old Brooklynite,” Broadhead signed on with strong recommendations from community leaders as a fair, independent, and objective member of the neighborhood with high integrity. He currently serves as President of the Gerritsen Beach Property Owners Association, is the past Post Commander of the Veterans of Foreign War Post 107, and past Commander of the Kings County Council of the VFW. A former U.S. Marine, Broadhead was awarded the Silver Star Medal for gallantry in action after serving in Korea. He has also written for several publications, and was the Western Manager of Newhouse Newspapers.

We’re very proud to be the first local bloggers to independently host a City Council debate. Sheepshead Bites was founded on the idea of sparking discussion in our community and engaging it’s jaded members. We’re happy to have the opportunity to continue bridging the online-offline divide, inform our neighbors, and kindle a desire to participate.

In that spirit, we’re inviting all of our readers to submit debate questions for consideration. You can add them to the comments section below, or send them privately by e-mail.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed Gene Berardelli for City Council over the weekend, raising the stakes in his fight against sitting Councilman Lew Fidler.

In the release from the Berardelli camp, Bloomberg cited the candidate’s work with Brigham Street Park and his efforts in downzoning a portion of Sheepshead Bay as reasons hizzonah would lend his support to the first-time candidate for public office.

“I need a fighter like Gene Berardelli in the City Council so we can keep the city moving in the right direction. I strongly endorse Gene Berardelli in the race for City Council and urge the voters of the 46th district to support him too,” said Mayor Bloomberg in the release.

With just a little over three weeks left until the election, the endorsement’s effects are questionable. Berardelli probably wont be fundraising anymore, and his meager $3,000 or so of contributions is hardly enough to do such campaign basics as send mailers to the district’s residents. But he will appear on the Republican ballot in a year in which the Republican mayor has spent record amounts on media and other materials promoting himself and the party.

But while Berardelli is able to ride off the media-inundated coattails of the sitting mayor, it appears his opponent nailed the resources necessary to buy a little attention himself.

Councilman Fidler has received more than $63,000 in taxpayer funds after submitting a statement of need to the campaign finance board. Although Berardelli has not raised nearly enough money to be eligible for matching funds from the city, Fidler was able to get three times the amount he normally would by citing the district’s past turnout for a Republican mayor, as well as submitting 40 pages of documentation that included campaign coverage by Sheepshead Bites.

Gene Berardelli Launches Anti-Lew Fidler Website

City Councilman Lew Fidler (46th District) gets a raw deal in the world of web publishing. He’s got at least two nosy, noisy bloggers in his district. And as the Assistant Majority Leader and the so-called “King of Discretionary Dollars“, he draws a lot of fire from the citywide digerati where lesser-known foes would go under the radar. To his credit, he’s far more active in the online community than his colleagues, a noble feat that often invites more flogging than flattery.

Poor Lew. His suffering knows no end. Republican opponent for City Council, Gene Berardelli, has unveiled a new website with an ingenious name: Decorated with a perfectly comic motif of dancing fiddlers, a bobble-head-esque Fidler, and the apocalyptic “Lew Fiddles. We Burn” tagline – the site is owned and operated by the Berardelli campaign. It features articles from around the internet criticizing Councilman Fidler on a variety of issues, from sources including Room Eight and NYC Council Watch.  So far articles have focused on his involvement with LawCash, pork-barrel spending, profiting off of the housing crisis, and failing to engage in a public debate. It also includes satirical photos and a “Whack-a-Lew” game where visitors can tase the good councilman’s nipples.

Apparently, has its own contributors that produces editorial content, and Berardelli says in his release that anything he writes will bear his name. So far though, all original posts are labeled “ Staff”. While Berardelli notes in the release that he’s “responsible enough to stand behind all content on this site, even if not written by me” – we’re still pleading for him to make contributors reveal themselves. Anonymous posting is questionable enough on blogs; elected politicians (and those who aspire) shouldn’t meddle with such muck.

Overall, though, the site is an obvious attempt to goad Fidler into a confrontation. It pokes fun at the councilman and is begging for a response. From the campaign’s inception, Berardelli has issued several challenges to his incumbent opponent to meet for debates, but the councilman has been dodgy. Berardelli closed his press release by writing, “If the Councilman has a problem with the characterizations, he can come see me – I’m no shrinking violet myself.”

We’d love to see that scene. How ’bout it, Lew?

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