Yeger touting community credentials in council race
In the wake of a last-minute decision by a Committee on Vacancies to put forth Kalman Yeger’s name as the Democratic candidate for the Borough Park City Council seat replacing Councilmember David Greenfield on the ballot, Yeger is hitting the campaign trail touting his community ties.
On Monday, Greenfield convened a meeting of the Committee on Vacancies in the 44th Council District (Borough Park-Midwood-Bensonhurst), during which members voted to nominate Yeger to run for the seat. Monday was the last day such a move could be made under New York’s election law. The law allows for the substitution of a candidate, but only within a certain time frame.
Greenfield had originally planned to run for re-election in November. But the lawmaker shocked many in the New York political scene by announcing that he had decided not to run for another term but instead to leave politics at the end of his current term in December to become executive director of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty.
The move to nominate Yeger was sharply criticized by government watchdog groups who charged that it was tantamount to Greenfield picking his own successor.
Adding to the intrigue is the fact that Yeger had originally planned to run against Councilmember Chaim Deutsch (D-Manhattan Beach-Sheepshead Bay-Brighton Beach) in a Democratic primary in September. He will forgo that race to run in Greenfield’s district.
Yeger, a lifelong Midwood resident, does not appear to be bothered by the controversy over his nomination. He has been busy lining up support and touting his community and political credentials.
Yeger has been a member of Community Board 14 for 17 years. Since 2010, he has served as a senior adviser to Greenfield.
Yeger has also worked over the years as an advisor to other elected officials, including Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., for whom he currently serves as the executive director of his campaign committee.
A press release issued by his campaign lists state Sen. Simcha Felder, Borough President Eric Adams, Councilmember Alan Maisel, and former council members Lew Fidler, David Yassky and Michael Nelson as among those Yeger has served over the years.
Yeger is a graduate of Touro College and New York Law School, where he made the Dean’s List four times was awarded the Public Service Certificate for his community work.
“I’ve known Kalman Yeger for 20 years. He is one of the smartest, hardest-working and most honest people I know. Kalman understands the struggles of regular people. He rents an apartment, rides the subway, pays yeshiva tuition and works hard for his family. He’s the best candidate to replace me in City Hall and I wholeheartedly endorse him,” said Greenfield said in a statement.
Greenfield, who was first elected to the City Council in 2010, will begin his work in January at the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, where he will oversee a $30 million budget and a staff of 200 employees.