The New York Times, February 15, 1999
Copyright 1999 The New York Times Company
The New York Times
View Related Topics
February 15, 1999, Monday, Late Edition - Final
SECTION: Section A; Page 16; Column 1; Editorial Desk
LENGTH: 541 words
HEADLINE: City Council Endorsements
New York City will hold a special election tomorrow to replace three City Council members who have moved on to other posts. The winners must all stand for re-election this fall. If they keep their seats, they have a chance to develop substantial influence in a body where most incumbents must leave office in 2001, when term limits kick in.
District 3 (Clinton, Chelsea, West Village in Manhattan): There are four candidates running for the seat vacated by State Senator Thomas Duane. Christine Quinn, Mr. Duane's former chief of staff, has many Democratic backers, including the Gay and Lesbian Independent Democrats. Ms. Quinn is energetic and has a track record of building consensus in an area with a lively but sometimes divisive history of political squabbles. Her best-known opponent is Christopher Lynn, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani's former transportation commissioner, who made a name for himself as one whose can-do philosophy sometimes treads too heavily on those in his path. Carlos Manzano, a Colombian-born computer expert, is backed by the McManus Democratic Club. Aubrey Lees, a Democratic district leader and lawyer, promises to protect neighborhoods from overdevelopment. Of the four interesting candidates, we endorse Ms. Quinn as a thoughtful neighborhood advocate who can both work within the system and criticize it when necessary.
District 48 (Sheepshead Bay, Manhattan Beach, Midwood in Brooklyn): Two candidates in this race are aides to local elected officials with extensive experience as problem-solvers in the district. Michael Nelson, the chief of staff for State Senator Carl Kruger, and Irma Kramer, who worked in Charles Schumer's office when he was a Congressman, both seem capable of becoming the kind of Council member who can lobby for services and arbitrate community disputes. But neither appears to have much interest in the wider issues that concern the entire city. Alan Sclar, a young lawyer who ran a competitive race for the Assembly last fall, shows more promise as a broader leader. We endorse Mr. Sclar as a candidate who could both deliver for his constituents and represent them well in the Council's deliberations on citywide matters.
District 50 (Central Staten Island, parts of Bensonhurst and Dyker Heights in Brooklyn): Although this special election is theoretically non-partisan, James Oddo, who has been a lawyer for the Council's Republican members, has the nod from many Republican leaders in the race to replace John Fusco, now Staten Island's surrogate. John Sollazzo, a longtime Democratic Party worker, has Democratic Party support. Libby Hikind, an interesting newcomer to city politics, is the sister-in-law of Assemblyman Dov Hikind. Ms. Hikind is an energetic candidate who has added verve to this race and shows an interest in policy concerns. Mr. Sollazzo has an admirable history of community service. Mr. Oddo has a strong background in Council politics, but we do not support his intemperate positions on such issues as abortion and curfews for young people. Our endorsement goes to Ms. Hikind, a Democrat turned Republican, in the hope that her promises of independent thinking will serve a broad segment not only of this district, but of the city as a whole.