From Times Ledger:
Nearly 1,000 people crammed into North Shore Towers in Little Neck Thursday night to listen to a panel discuss about the skyrocketing property assessment values the city assigned to condos this year and last as tensions flared between Queens elected officials.
Bob Friedrich, co-president of the organization that sponsored the discussion, started off the evening by saying he did not want “lip service” from politicians and running through the reasons why he believed the city Department of Finance unfairly assessed property values that rose by as much as 150 percent in one year. But things got heated when state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) took to the podium.
“As far as what Bob said earlier about lip service, well I think there has been a little bit too much of that tonight,” Avella said, referring to some of the lawmakers who spoke before him.
State Assemblywoman Grace Meng (D-Flushing) and City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) had already left by the time Avella spoke, but state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone), state Assemblyman Ed Braunstein (D-Bayside) and City Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) were on hand to hear his comments.
Avella derided colleagues in state government for proposing mulitiple bills designed to correct rapidly rising assessment values using various approaches. He also bashed leaders for proposing bills he suggested were just ploys to help them get re-elected, yet touted his bill as the best of the three currently in Albany.
Stavisky and Braunstein have co-sponsoered a bill in Albany, as has state Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Little Neck).
The senator’s comments visibly upset Mark Weprin, who immediately stood up and took the microphone.
Uh oh, you upset a couple of do-nothing Weprins, a Toby and a Braunstein! Watch out, Tony!