But it must be really bad working in Queens Borough Hall if somebody would rather take a job working in the state legislature.
The scuttlebutt in political circles is that Barry Grodenchik is about to do just that. In 2010, Grodenchik was appointed deputy borough president, but word is that Grodenchik is going to run for the Assembly seat being vacated by David Weprin, who will run for the congressional post vacated in turn by Anthony Weiner.
Grodenchik is no stranger to the Assembly. He represented Flushing in the state capital before he was surprisingly upset in 2004 by Jimmy Meng. Meng retired after one term in office, and was replaced by Ellen Young, a longtime staffer of Comptroller John Liu's while he was in the City Council. After only one term of her own, Young was defeated by Grace Meng - Jimmy's daughter - who has held the post ever since.
Now, we're not really sure how Grodenchik can go from representing the heart of Flushing to representing the far-flung neighborhoods of northeast Queens...we suppose it's possible he has moved in the last seven years. But does that even matter in New York City politics? It's not always important that you observe that little caveat that you actually live in the district you represent.
Take for instance Weprin himself, who, according to published reports, lives a few blocks outside the congressional district that he is now campaigning to represent. Is he going to move his family just a few blocks so he can say that he lives in the district? And why, when Republican candidate Bob Turner made his announcement to run, did he not bring that little fact up?
And according to other published reports, Congressman Joseph Crowley, who represents Jackson Heights and the surrounding neighborhoods, actually lives a few states away from his district.
News last week surfaced that Crowley, who also heads the Queens Democratic Party, keeps a residence in the Washington, D.C. area, where his wife and kids live and attend school. And...gasp...his car has D.C. plates! Wow, and we thought it was a magic soup that enabled Crowley to be at two places at once.
While we do agree that a newly elected politician should live in the district and have a presence there, once you are elected to an office that requires you to be in two different locations on a regular basis, how you choose to do what's best for your family is really up to you.
If Crowley feels that it makes him a better father and husband to keep his family close to him in Washington, then so be it. It's not like he is an absentee representative of his district - his title of head of the Queens Democratic Party alone requires him to be in the borough on a regular basis to handle party issues - let alone all of the other personal appearances he makes in the district.
Crowley says he still keeps a residence in Woodside, and whether he lives in Washington or Queens, he's wildly popular with the people he represents. Other politicians have done far worse than doing what they think is right for their family.