The developer who began soliciting homeowners the same day the City Council Land Use Committee approved the Jamaica rezoning plan has ties to Councilman James Gennaro, whose district is included in the plan.
Joan Donoghue of Jamaica Estates was recently approached by The Kamali Organization, a real estate developer in Great Neck, who urged her to sell her home on 191st Street and Hillside Avenue that also houses her medical practice.
The Times Ledger reported last week that Kamali contributed $4,950 to Gennaro’s campaign fund in November 2006, the maximum amount allowed under law.
Developer Targeting Homeowners Made Contribution To Councilman
One constituent, who would only speak on background, said Gennaro was ambiguous on his position with the plan and “we could never get a straight answer from him.”
Another resident, who would also only speak on background, attended civic association meetings where Gennaro indicated support for the original plan, which was later modified to reduce building size.
When she learned of Gennaro’s connections to Kamali, she said it confirmed that “he was talking out of both sides of his mouth.”
In a phone interview on Monday, Gennaro defended the donation by pointing out that “every elected official in New York City takes contributions from developers.”
Well, Jim, as my mother used to say, if everyone jumped off a bridge, would you do that too?
Photo from City Hall News