By Brooklyn Reader

March 16, 2015, 1:57 pm

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As Democratic City Councilman Vinnie Gentile and Republican Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan continue to lay the groundwork for what promises to be a slugfest special election campaign for the vacant  11th Congressional District seat straddling all of Staten Island and parts of Southern Brooklyn, Kings County Politics asked the two political gladiators the following question. Below that is their respective answers:

The New York Container Terminal in Staten Island on the east side of the Arthur Kill has seen better days. As congressman, what type of legislative or regulatory issues would you advocate for to bring more business to the terminal and/or what other types of maritime issues would you work on at the federal level to bring more local jobs and a better economic climate to Staten Island and Southern Brooklyn?

Vinnie Gentile: “As congressman I will be laser-focused on building an economy that lifts up all Americans, not just the privileged few – and it’ll start right here in New York’s 11th district. We need to be doing more to encourage growth and job creation by rewarding companies that open new factories, train new workers and create new jobs here in America instead of offering tax breaks for corporations that outsource jobs overseas.

“New York City was made by water. Indeed, before there was a city, there was the harbor – and right along with San Francisco and Hong Kong, New York City has one of the greatest natural harbors in the entire world. In a city with close to 600 miles of waterfront, we need capitalize on our strength and our unique position in New York Harbor by creating quality jobs while reconnecting people with the working waterfront.”

Dan Donovan: “My dad worked as a longshoreman for 40 years, and nearly half that time was at Howland Hook, so I have a unique understanding of the challenges and opportunities there. There are two major obstacles facing The NY Container Terminal. The first is the tolls. If you are a transport company shipping your goods east of Staten Island you would probably ship your  productions to Red Hook to avoid the VZB toll. If your products are heading west of Staten Island, to save shipping costs and avoid the toll on the Goethals Bridge, your delivery point would likely be Port Newark or Port Elizabeth in NJ.

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