Double-dipping Assemblywoman Rhoda Jacobs (D-Flatbush), who’s been legally collecting both a salary and a pension from taxpayers since 2008, says she’s almost ready to give up her salary — but not until she gets elected one more time.
Jacobs told us she plans to leave office in two years when district lines are redrawn, but, in order to do so, she’s readying a campaign to beat off challenger Michele Adolphe, a perennial educator and entrepreneur who opposed Jacobs in 2004 and 2008, and who says that she is not willing to wait two more years to see if the 73-year-old Jacobs is really going to leave the seat she has held for 32 years.
“Every two years, she says she is going to retire,” Adolphe complained.
Adolphe says she wants Jacobs gone now, because the quality of life in the area represented by Jacobs has been steadily declining under her watch.
“If she hasn’t done anything for 32 years, why does she think she can do anything in two years?” Adolphe asked. “I think my expertise and talents can be a tremendous asset to the district. I feel I am the right person to continue Mrs. Jacobs’ legacy.”
Among the issues that need to be addressed, said Adolphe, is the shortage of senior centers, as well as the lack of child care options in the community.
“It’s time for a change, time to move the district to the next level,” Adolphe said. “Many folks are not active because they are very disappointed. Now, there is a reason for them to come out and vote.”
The usually soft-spoken Jacobs was quite vociferous when asked about what she does for the district.
“I think I work pretty hard,” Jacobs said. “One of my major concerns is the well-being of my constituents. I want to make sure they get the services they need and deserve, and we have quite a population of need in the district. My staff is diligent and compassionate. If we can’t do something, we make sure they are in the right hands.”
In addition, Jacobs said she pushes hard to get legislation passed that benefits her constituents.
“I had a lot to do with the creation of prenatal care programs, extending WIC [providing nutritious food benefits for impoverished mothers with young children] and creating a health insurance bill of rights [for individuals with managed care],” she recalled.
But she doesn’t intend to sit on her laurels even if she’s getting ready to bow out — and cash that paycheck one last time.
“Why am I running?” Jacobs asked. “Because I care. I am running on my record, which I think is fair, and I’m running because people have to be taken care of. I don’t plan to stay beyond reapportionment, but that doesn’t make me a lame duck in terms of what I can do.”