Todd Dobrin, Connis Mobley, Mark Treyger, and John Lisyanskiy on Recchia

Candidates attack, defend allocation of funds to Staten Island, Sephardic Jewish Center

Brooklyn Daily
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The buck stops where?

Two of the contenders running to replace Councilman Domenic Recchia (D–Coney Island) blasted the term-limited pol’s habit of sending money outside the district and to groups headed by deep-pocketed donors — while the other two defended the three-termer’s record at an Aug. 15 debate.

Our sister publication the New York Post exposed last month that Recchia shelled out $2.75 million of his $10.3 million in discretionary cash in the 2014 city budget to fund schools, zoos, city services, and business groups in Staten Island. The Rock sits well outside of his district spanning Gravesend, Seagate, Bensonhurst, and Coney Island — but it makes up the bulk of the district belonging to Congressman Michael Grimm (R–Bay Ridge), whom Recchia hopes to unseat next year.

Also, since Recchia became chairman of the finance committee in 2010, the City Council has allocated $940,000 to the Sephardic Community Center at the corner of Ocean Parkway and Avenue S — which sits just inside his district lines. A number of prosperous real estate magnates sit on the center’s board of directors, including father and son Joseph and Morris Jerome of JEMB Realty — who have collectively donated $21,330 to Recchia’s campaigns. Another scion of the family, Louis Jerome, has put an additional $8,415 in the pol’s coffers.

Recchia’s critics at the forum argued the councilman should have put the money into storm-ravaged Coney Island, where the most recent statistics put the poverty rate at 23 percent and the unemployment rate at 13 percent — compared to 11.2 percent and 6.7 percent respectively in Staten Island.

“In my opinion, Coney Island is desperately in need of those funds,” said neighborhood activist Todd Dobrin. “That money is needed to build up this community.”

Dobrin declined to comment on what Recchia’s motives were in sending so much money to Staten Island and the Sephardic Center — but not all of the Council hopefuls were so shy.

“It was probably done for political gain, to ensure his position in the next political arena he is seeking to get into,” said Pastor Connis Mobley of the United Community Baptist Church.

But the outgoing representative had his defenders, who argued that Recchia must fund programs outside his district as part of his position as finance chairman.

“He has responsibility to areas all across New York City,” said Mark Treyger, former spokesman to Assemblyman Bill Colton (D–Bensonhurs­t).

Treyger, who has received strong support from Louis Jerome’s Small Business Coalition, also said that he would likely keep the financial pipeline connected to the Sephardic Center.

“If the funding is being used to support families, I will certainly consider continuing it,” the candidate said.

The fourth candidate in the race, John Lisyanskiy, a former staffer of Council Speaker Christine Quinn, echoed Treyger’s comments about the money sent to Staten Island — and shrugged off Recchia’s funding of an organization run by his donors.

“Politics are politics,” the contender said.

Recchia’s office did not respond to repeated requests for comment. But he told the Post that he had allocated funding to Staten Island in the aftermath of last year’s superstorm as part of his role as head of the finance committee.

“It’s Sandy, and I’m also the finance chairman so everybody comes to see me,” he told the tabloid. “There were programs out there that if we don’t give them the funding they’d never get these things and there were schools that needed things now.”

But the Post noted that Recchia had not sent any money to similarly-devastated parts of Queens — which are outside of Grimm’s congressional district.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at
Posted 12:00 am, August 22, 2013
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Reader feedback

inga from Sheepshead Bay says:
Once again. Money talks. I would probably understand Staten Island but a Sephardic Community Center? A big question! But once again, money talks. Sad but predictable.
Aug. 22, 2013, 9:02 am
Josh from Coney says:
TREYGER is a puppet of the Real Estate industry focusing on gentrifying our beloved Coney Island. They are buying off people to support this sold out candidate. REBNY corrupted him before he even got elected. What can we expect should he be elected. LET EVERYONE KNOW!
Aug. 24, 2013, 11:24 am
Lou from Gravesend says:
Lisyansky keeps accusing all the officials of being corrupt. The same ones whose assess he kissed all along.
Aug. 25, 2013, 9:02 pm
Charlie from Coney Island says:
It's funny how Lisyanskiy is attacking Treyger about special interest groups. Meanwhile lets take a look at Johns contributors. Over 20 builders and developers. Why are you lying to us John? You are a phony. We all know your dirty games. Give it up. You will never win.
Aug. 26, 2013, 7:22 pm
Adelle from Bensonhurst says:
I don't understand how come our beloved John Lisyanskiy wasn't endorsed by Animal Society Lovers ?Every night I see him from my window feeding pigeons, cats and dogs. He even sings to them in Russian. What a nice men! Why he wants to be a politician? I have a proposal to John: on January 1st I will Join with him in opening a shelter for cats and call it "—— loves John".
Aug. 26, 2013, 8:18 pm
Pat from Brighton says:
I saw mr. Lisyansky recently at a meeting in one of the condo buildings in Brighton. I have observed he has a nerve tick, his eyes were ubnormal size and his hands were shaken. He was pale, and sweating profusely. I heard some rumors about his addictions, but what I saw last week was a horror!
Aug. 26, 2013, 8:28 pm
Morris from Warbass says:
Todd, why are you writing about addiction of John? Look in the mirror you little midget. You not even half of size of John! Keep dreaming! You never going to be elected! John is going to hire you as a clown.
Aug. 26, 2013, 8:39 pm
Inga from Sheepshead Bay says:
REBNY is endorsing all county backed candidates: Treyger, Kagan and on. So, big unions. I am surprised that John did not get any backing of his "big friends"-politicians, but they probably know more about him. Unfortunately there is almost no choice, here in 47 and there in 48. The whole campaign is about accusations and pictures taken. If I were some of these candidates, I would be ashamed to bring Sandy topic up. If you want to know who really help, look for the one who has less pictures. In both districts!
Aug. 26, 2013, 11:30 pm
Adelle from Bensonhurst says:
I would like to take an issue with Inga. I love to see John's pictures everywhere. He is so tall and handsome. He has a sexy look with his big bold head, with his big blue eyes. I want to take his picture without a shirt from my window , when John feeds cats and pigeons. On january 1st I will take his pictures for "Blueboy" magazine!
Aug. 27, 2013, 2:48 pm
Inga from Sheepshead Bay says:
Why only Lisyansky and Treyger boasting that they have Russian roots? As far as I know, Todd Dobrin also speakes Russian.I have been to his parties where Todd took balalaika and sang " Ochi Chernie". He loves borsht, pirogies and pigs feet.
Aug. 28, 2013, 7:34 am
I'm Not Todd from Coney Island says:
Todd Dobrin attended an event hosted by Urban Neighborhood Services on Aug. 27. In case you didn't know, he challenged Mobley's signatures......
When he was confronted about his actions at that meeting he folded- threw his campaign member Cioffe on the tracks about it and refused to support him. He told on himself about viewing the other candidates signatures but did not challenge them- why not?
What was that comment Todd made earlier in the game- accusing Mobley of dividing the vote? Guess he thought us Southies belonged to his stateline jumping ass. WE DON'T!!
He has gone to Mobley's church members spreading lies about Mobley being out of the race when in fact he was on another party line. Regina and Ken are traitors!!! You shouldn't let your pet run around unattended and off of his leash. Long live the Hippies!!!
Aug. 28, 2013, 2:28 pm
Frank from coney island says:
Todd is a real joke.
When a candidate goes
negative on another candidate for any reason it just shows that Todd is losing ground. His political consultants have probably done some polls & have seen Todd's support declining.
I looked at Todd's website & he has a very endearing photo of himself , his wife & daughter. What is not shown is that his wife's home is actually in Florida where his daughter also lives .
What's up with that Todd?
You want to do so much for NYC schools but yet your daughter goes to school in Florida. NYC schools aren't good enough for you?
What's up with that ?
Aug. 29, 2013, 9:07 am
Lilya from 6220 Bay Parkway says:
Our tenants received letters from Lisyansky campaign written on behalf of his parents. One month ago we have gotten another letter from a father of another candidate. We loved the first letter from Mark's father better because it was written from his heart. Yesterday letter was trying to copy the original one, but didn't have the same effect. Mr. Lisyansky, please, try to be more creative and not a copy cat.
Aug. 29, 2013, 1:53 pm
Inga from Sheepshead Bay says:
URGENT! URGENT! URGENT! Our inside sources in Lisyanskiy campaign are leaking to us that Lisyanskiy is buying up votes in Coney Island. He is ready to shellout thousands of dollars through his middlemen and corrupt some influential community activists. We have lots of information, we are talking to this people, and very soon we will present information to competent agencies.
Aug. 29, 2013, 2:04 pm
Ella from Bensonhurst says:
Why is Lisyanskiy turning into a big cry baby?He likes to attack others, but when the tables are turned, he cries on the radio and on the internet. Poor John. Maybe the alley cats and pigeons will cheer him up.
Aug. 30, 2013, 2:22 pm
Alicia from midwood says:
This is the answer to Pat. Are u out of your mind about John.
People! !!.
Stop and listen yourself.
Shame on u.
We don't need second Assemblyman Colton.
Mark talk like Colton, smile walk and he has only one opinion. His Mentor*s opinion.
He never ever said his own.
We can 'T afford two assemblyman in City Council.
Aug. 30, 2013, 9:53 pm
Pat from Brighton says:
Dear Alicia! I would like to invite you and the readers to visit a very interesting website : WWW.SHADYJOHN.COM and read about a corrupt politician John Lisyanskiy, who is running in the 47th council district.This man is so corrupt and errogant that even hiss boss Christine Quinn and many others for whom he worked and kissed their assess for 15 years did not endorsed him! WWW.SHADYJOHN.COM.!!! PLEASE READ EVERYONE!
Aug. 31, 2013, 3:11 pm
Boris from Midwood says:
People should be aware of Lisyanskiy record. Do not vote for a bully.
Sept. 1, 2013, 10:32 am
Marina from Warbass says:
Thank you , Pat , for publishing WWW.SHADYJOHN.COM.We in Warbass are going to read this information to all the residents. We are not going to support an errogant and shady John Lisyanskiy.
Sept. 1, 2013, 10:42 am
Pat from Brighton says:
I am waiting to see if Christine Quinn and Domenick Reccia will endorce crazy John. He does not have any strategy, getting very bad advise and copying everything from other candidates. I heard from my russian friend that even his old and sick parents are advertising about their son on both russian radios. Poor John , he can not stay on his own, he needs his mommy and daddy to defend him. What a pathetic baby!Please, dear readers, read WWW.SHADYJOHN.COM.
Sept. 2, 2013, 2:24 pm

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