Anthony Testaverde, a member of state Sen. Marty Golden’s (R–Marine Park) staff and long-time Marine Park resident, announced last week that he want to replace Lew Fidler in City Council. This paper was happy to welcome Testaverde to the contest by checking’ in to find out what his policies are, what he thinks of the Democratic contenders, and why in the world he would want to run for office in New York City.
Courier Life: How long have you been considering a run for council?
Anthony Testaverde: People have asked me many times ‘why don’t you run for council?’ and I thought Fidler has done a pretty good job. But he’s getting turned out, so I decided I could deliver the goods that Lew was delivering. Then Sandy hit, and the only representative I saw putting in the hard work was Marty Golden. There were some meetings held by our congressman, assemblywoman, and councilman, but nothing that really had any substance behind it. They were giving information out, but they weren’t on the ground doing real stuff, so I decided to give it a go. This isn’t all about Sandy, but it was the straw the broke the camel’s back.
CL: If elected, what do you plan on bringing to the neighborhood? Fidler prided himself on bringing money to his district. Do you plan on continuing tobring home the bacon?
AT: I can’t see why that money cannot still come to the neighborhood. Although I’m running as a Republican in a Democratic-controlled council, I will be a thorn in the speaker’s side, whoever he may be, to make sure that the district gets the funds that it deserves. There are school programs that they’re looking to cut, and also senior programs they’re looking to cut, and I’d like to prevent that from happening.
CL: Is that to say, you see most of the money you would bring in going to schools and senior programs?
AT: Yeah, absolutely. Another thing I’d like to tackle is taxes. Our property taxes are way out of control, and our water bills are way out of control. When I moved to Marine Park 30 years ago, I was paying $1,200 a year on property tax, and now I’m paying over $5,000 a year. For my water bill, I used to pay $120 a year, now I’m paying two grand. The increase is so outrageous and I blame the city council.
CL: You have Assemblyman Alan Maisel (D–Brooklyn) and Mercedes Narcisse running on the Democratic ticket. Who do you see winning the primary?
AT: It could be a tough fight for both of them, but whoever’s the victor, I’ll do my best to win that race in November. I will say, Alan should stay where he is, in the Assembly. What experience does he have in the city other than working with the Board of Education? He can turn around and say the same thing about my experience with Marty Golden in the Senate. But most of the complaints Marty receives, I’d say more than 60 percent are city complaints, and we don’t pass it on. We help the community the best we can.
CL: You’re coming into the race a little late. Are you worried about getting the money you need?
AT: I’m not worried about raising the money, and for the next few months everyone’s going to be focused on getting their petitions signed. I’d say that the battle’s really going to start around the Fourth of July.
CL: How do you see yourself faring in a Democratic district?
AT: I’m looking to capture that Democratic vote and I consider myself a moderate Republican. There are a lot of things going on in council and even the best Democrats will tell you, people don’t want to pay high taxes. People are moving out of New York. People can get the same pay in Iowa, with less property tax, and I don’t know how much longer I can stop them from moving. It has to change, and if it doesn’t, New York will.
— Colin MixsonReach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cn