When the floor opened to the public during the 50th Precinct’s monthly Community Council meeting on Nov. 14, Elsie Alvarado told how she recently crashed her car into a traffic island at Sedgwick Avenue and Van Cortlandt Avenue West. She wanted authorities to do something about the island and nearby crosswalk, saying the accident occurred because the island is hard to see at night.
Andrew Sandler, Councilman G. Oliver Koppell’s community affairs officer, said he was already on the case, having contacted the Department of Transportation with similar concerns.
“I’m hoping they’ll rethink it and go back to the drawing board and come up with something better that will accommodate everybody’s needs,” Mr. Sandler said.
Mr. Sandler has made it his mission to help resolve a host of traffic cases, housing problems and other issues along with delivering government services to Mr. Koppell’s constituents since he joined the outgoing councilman’s staff in 2009.
During a recent interview, Mr. Sandler said working on Riverdalians’ problems fulfills his ideal of being a progressive.
“Whether it’s getting them access to healthcare, access to benefits they need, affordable housing, jobs — these are all things government has an active role to play in, and it makes a difference in people’s lives,” Mr. Sandler said. “I’m happy to be part of that process.”
Mr. Sandler has handled complaints from residents of the troubled Majestic apartment building at 3660 Waldo Ave. for more than two years.
Most recently, he said he worked with tenants and the NYPD to catch a man who lit a series of fires inside the building and in garbage containers on the street earlier in the fall after Mr. Sandler brought residents’ testimony to the police and helped them acquire video footage to catch the suspect.
“I felt like we were on an episode of ‘Law & Order’ or ‘CSI,’” Mr. Sandler said. “Without our intervention, I don’t think they would have caught this guy.”