Witt’s World: Stumpy Wagers Takes on Antonio Reynoso

Brooklyn Boropugh President Antonio Reynoso.
Stephen Witt

“Doesn’t Antonio Reynoso have some proclamations to sign instead of berating old people?” said Political Pundit Stumpy Wagers.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“That I saw this thing on Twitter where he ripped into a senior for saying she needs to drive a car, and he replied NYC is doing people who drive cars a favor by allowing them to park on the street for free. And this from a guy that drives an SUV and parks illegally, according to one Tweet with a photo I saw.”

We were sitting on bar stools at Denny’s on McDonald and Church avenues in Kensington, about as unglamorous a part of Brooklyn as you could be in. Barely a gentrifier in sight. Nothing but longtime white, Black and Hispanic working-class cats with Bengali and Eastern European immigrants mixed in.

“Now don’t be getting all down on our new Borough President,” I replied. “He’s just politicking and he’s playing to his base – the young progressives that have taken over the Latino neighborhood of Williamsburg where he was born and raised. If you can’t beat them you might as well join them.”

“Hmph,” said Stumper. “I understand politicking, but he seems to me like he’s an ageist. Someone that doesn’t like seniors. He and his ilk at the New Kings Democrats are more concerned about their own power grab than about listening to anybody.”

“Hold on a darn minute, Mr. Wagers. Reynoso won the seat fair and square, and you know the old saying, “to the victor go the spoils.”

“Maybe, if you were a city council member or assembly member but a borough president has to try to be a unifier. Someone who brings neighborhoods together, whether it’s the Republicans of South Brooklyn, the Caribbeans and Haitians of Flatbush and East Flatbush, the emerging Pacific Asians of Sunset Park and Avenue U, the old Irish of Marine Park, and yes the progressives of North Brooklyn as well.”

“Tsk, tsk. Maybe you’re just jealous because you are getting older. Antonio Reynoso is a young father and the future of the borough,” I replied. “And the guy can talk his way out of anything.”

I’ll grant you Reynoso has the gift of gab, but he’s not much of a worker. I wish he could be more like Queens Borough President Donovan Richards.”

“What does Donovan Richards have to do with Antonio Reynoso?”

“I get press releases from Richards all the time. It seems three or four times a week he’s having presentations at Queens Borough hall from all kinds of city agencies, the Civilian Complaint Review Board, the FDNY, Sanitation, the Office of Emergency Management and he’s already allocated money to several senior centers. Now that’s a borough president who’s representing.”

“Not all borough presidents can be Donovan Richards. It’s kind of a figurehead position anyway.”

“Maybe. But that brings us back to my original complaint.”

“What’s that?”

“Doesn’t Antonio Reynoso have some proclamations to issue instead of berating old people?”