The four leading candidates for Manhattan borough president, one of the most difficult races to predict in the city this year, faced off in a spirited debate on the Road to City Hall Wednesday night. NY1's Jon Weinstein filed the following report.
While the candidates for Manhattan borough president agree on many issues, some differences emerged between council members Robert Jackson, Gale Brewer and Jessica Lappin and former Community Board One Chairwoman Julie Menin in a debate on NY1 Wednesday night.
Menin took a shot at her three lawmaker opponents for approving developments in the borough. She challenged Lappin directly.
"As a council member, you and the City Council have approved every single development project ever been put forward in the borough of Manhattan, including building luxury high rise on St. Vincent's Hospital, downtown's only full-service hospital, including the Chelsea Market expansion plan, the NYU expansion plan," Menin said. "How do you account for those votes?
Lappin said her votes were about providing more affordable housing.
"It's not just about talking the talk, but it's about walking the walk and making sure that when we have opportunities to really develop affordable housing, that we are seizing on them," she said. "So I stand by those votes. I'm proud of those votes."
Brewer and Jackson squared off over education. Jackson questioned why Brewer didn't stand with him on a 2009 Department of Education construction plan. She took that opportunity to highlight what she has done in her district.
"DOE can't count, at least in my district, how many spaces are needed, and so we had to, in District 3, count for them when we had an overcrowding situation at P.S. 87, and we got a new elementary school as a result," Brewer said.
Jackson, though, said he's the candidate who can deliver best for the borough's children.
"No one has the type of advocacies that I've had when it comes to education," he said. "In the campaign for fiscal equity lawsuit, in which we won $16 billion, is a clear example for that. So I've been a fighter, and willing to stand up."
In the past, the job has been a launching pad to something grander, but during this debate, all of the candidates said they had no interest in running for mayor, at least for now.