How disappointing to learn that the City Council recently passed legislation to purchase the Keil Brothers Garden Center Business in Bayside for construction of a new school.
Established in 1930 as a flower shop, Keil Brothers grew into a well-respected, full-service garden center.
Keil Brothers provided gainful employment to over a dozen people, many of them are our neighbors. Both the owners and employees pay taxes like the rest of us. They also generate employment for many suppliers, along with gardeners and landscapers who purchase their products.
Many residents oppose construction of a school on this site for good reasons. It is primarily a residential neighborhood with two other schools located only blocks away.
The site rests along two major bus routes, and is next to a large thoroughfare in an area of mostly narrow residential streets that will be negatively impacted by both school buses and parents dropping off their kids.
The City Council approved this new school by a vote of 36 to 2. Only aspiring candidate for Council Speaker Mark Weprin and outgoing Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr. voted no.
Weprin was unable to convince 49 other colleagues to protect a thriving business and residential neighborhood. How effective would he be as the next speaker? Perhaps there are better candidates for Council Speaker than Weprin, who can protect small business and residential neighborhoods, which make up the heart of New York City.