The 22nd District covers 6 square miles centered on Astoria, and includes nearly 150,000 residents. Peter Vallone, Jr. has represented the district since 2002. His father, Peter Vallone, Sr. represented the area from 1974 through 2001.
Panelist George Stamatiades, president of the Central Astoria Local Development Coalition, asked candidates if they would support a bill that would punish individual who litter instead of storeowners.
Stamatiades referred to the cleanliness of Singapore as an example of how Astoria streets could look if we made an example out of people who litter.
“Over there they put bright yellow vests on them and make them clean the streets so everyone knows they are a litterer,” he said. “Would you support a bill that does that here?”
“I don’t see how embarrassing someone is good for the problem,” replied Republican candidate Daniel Peterson, while detailing his plan to downsize the city government. “There are just too many agencies.”
Green Party candidate Lynn Serpe, who has run for the seat before, said sustainability, clean air and clean streets should be more of a priority in the district.
“It’s time for a change for our changing district,” she said, referencing a 22-point plan for the district she posted on her website.
Gerald Kann is the Populist Party candidate who received 20 percent of the vote when he ran in 2003. He feels each council district should have it’s own elected town board.
Democratic candidate Costa Constantinides, who attended Bryant High School and worked on Steinway Street as a youngster, focused on the school system, primarily the use of the trailers as classrooms.
“It was supposed to be a temporary solution that has been going on for a dozen years,” he said.
Other issues raised at the two-hour debate included crime at Astoria Houses, elevators for stops on the Q & N line, and community center funding.
The election will be held on Tuesday, November 5.