From City Hall:
“Nothing is ever decided on the merits. It’s political and personal agendas. It’s ‘where is my next donation coming from.’ It’s money buys the influence and money rules this city instead of the people,” he said, adding, “I hate politics. I hate it. My definition of politics is you have to deal with people that in any other walk of life you’d cross the street just to get away from them. Politics is a disgusting business. I hate it with a passion.”
Some of his most fervent battles have been with the Department of Buildings and with what he sees as the runaway development of the Bloomberg years. He is on a self-styled mission to save the fallen city from its own worst instincts, to bring the city back to the way it was, back when the job of government was to serve the people, not keep the city globally competitive. His is the voice of the small and of the local, of the city that existed before the current crop of glittering glass condos began to sprout like mushrooms. He is one of the most ardent preservationists in the city, putting him in line with a group made up more often than not of ladies who lunch from Manhattan.
Avella is not one who sees the city as growing better with time.
“For one thing, it’s much more crowded. Everything is much more expensive. In many neighborhoods a lot of the charm is being lost,” he said. “Queens has suffered greatly. That’s the cry I hear from most residents throughout the entire city, that the charm and character of the neighborhoods is just being destroyed and it’s all becoming one concrete village, and we are all going to be the same.”