District leaders should lead — but Kevin Peter Carroll says standing Bay Ridge committeeman Ralph Perfetto couldn’t lead a horse to watershed.
That’s because the 23-year-old Carroll, who’s battling incumbent Perfetto for his unpaid seat in Bay Ridge’s 60th Assembly District, says Perfetto is nowhere to be seen on such issues of major importance to the community as the threat to the borough’s drinking water presented by potential gas drilling in the Catskill mountains.
“He hasn’t been out there showing any leadership at all on the issue,” Carroll contended.
But, Perfetto said, after 18 years as committeeman, he knows when to lead — and when to follow.
“I’m well-informed, and I have followed other leaders,” Perfetto asserted. “I want the perimeter protected so there’s no access to it.”
That seems to be the direction the state moved late last week when the Department of Environmental Conservation decided to impose strict regulations on drilling for gas in and around the watershed.
But Carroll says it’s not enough.
“They can still do drilling upstate,” Carroll pointed out. “The way I read it, it’s ambiguous, so we need leadership now to get legislation passed in Albany. I know the commissioner now says he won’t do it, but if we get a Republican governor, who’s to say what would happen?”
In this case, it seems Perfetto is following Carroll’s lead.
“While I believe it’s a good temporary measure, I don’t believe we should stop there,” he said. “It’s never been well-protected. If you cut out our drinking water, you cut out our lives.”
Carroll said this week that he will spend some of the more than $12,000 he’s raised for his campaign on leaflets, which he plans to distribute as he introduces himself to voters by ringing bells and knocking on doors.
“I’m going to be putting out several pieces,” Carroll promised.
Despite the fact that Perfetto hasn’t raised a dime toward his re-election campaign, he says he’ll match any effort Carroll makes.
“If he puts a piece of paper out, then I’ll put something out,” he said.