Republican challenger Gene Berardelli finally went toe-to-toe with the man he’s trying to unseat, City Councilmember Lew Fidler.
The 46th City Council District candidates squared off during the Sheepshead Bay/Plumb Beach Civic’s recent Meet the Candidates Night, held at the Baron DeKalb Knights of Columbus on Emmons Avenue.
While Berardelli didn’t get the formal debate he hoped for, each candidate was allowed to make a speech for the 20 or so residents in attendance.
Berardelli acknowledged that he faces an uphill battle to beat the incumbent.
“I have the scarlet ‘R’ on my chest. The big Republican symbol that nobody wants to see,” he said.
“The main reason I got involved was because of Councilman Fidler’s vote on term limits. It was a vote to overturn your vote,” Berardelli told residents. “That vote was not only undemocratic, it was a selfish vote.”
“We want to take our government back. We want politicians to listen to our votes, to listen to our voices,” he continued.
Fidler defends his decision to vote for a third term for the mayor and City Council members. In fact, Fidler says he’s always been in favor of eliminating term limits for City Council members.
“When I ran for this office eight years ago, I said I was against term limits for the legislature,” Fidler said.
Touting his record, Fidler said he’s secured funding for many local projects, including school arts programs.
“I have brought more dollars back to this district than any other Council member in the city of New York,” Fidler said.
Under a different funding system, devoid of the so-called “pork-barrel spending” the City Council has been criticized for, “I guarantee that 85 percent of that money will go to Manhattan,” Fidler said.
“I am proud that I worked this system. I am proud that I do it for you,” Fidler said.
©2009 Community News Group
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