12th Council District incumbent Larry Seabrook raised eyebrows when he voted to extend term limits in 2008. In 2005, he took nearly $71,000 in public funds for an unopposed re-election campaign. In 2007, the feds and the city investigated a handful of Seabrook-funded non-profits.
But Seabrook still boasts a strong base of support in Wakefield, Edenwald, Baychester, Williamsbridge and Co-op City.
“Larry knows where the money is and how to get it,” said Barbara Gibson, former Gun Hill Houses tenant association president and Baychester Community Center administrator.
On Monday, August 17, Seabrook promised 12th Council District residents that he’d work to establish a new recreation center on E. 229th Street. Seabrook has attempted to net the north Bronx a rec center time and time again.
“He’s always wanted to do it,” Gibson said. “It’s always been his top priority, helping out the kids in the neighborhood.”
Gibson has volunteered on Seabrook campaigns. She phone banked with the councilman prior to President Barack Obama’s election. Gibson doesn’t know 12th Council District candidate Jerome Rice; she thinks 12th Council District candidate Andy King is wet behind the ears. Seabrook mentored King, Gibson said.
“I prefer Larry Seabrook,” she said. “He’s helped so many schools with computers and libraries and air conditioners. He does truck driver training for the fellas out of jail. I support Larry Seabrook no doubt, 100 percent.”
Elizabeth Hayes, a Co-op City resident who attended a Seabrook’s recent town hall meeting on health insurance reform, agreed. Hayes is one of “Larry’s Angels.” She handles refreshments at the councilman’s events.
“He gives money to different organizations,” she said. “He’s instrumental. I don’t know the other candidates.”
Bernie Cylich of Co-op City also attended the town hall meeting. Cylich is less sure about Seabrook.
“It’s time for Larry to retire,” he said. “Two terms is enough. He’s been in office for eight years and I haven’t really seen him. All of a sudden, he has an election [to win] and he has a lot of events. The events are good but where was he before?”
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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