Sharon, my bride of 42 years, is finally leaving the Council on the Environment after 31 years.
And City Hall will never be the same.
When the announcement was made at the GrowNYC monthly board meeting, board members were shocked, dismayed, and in disbelief. They had bittersweet thoughts of her leaving, said they were sad to see her go and sad that they would no longer hear the voice of the Council that was always concerned about their attending meetings or events.
Sharon was the Mother Hen of the Council. The office manager, cook and bottle washer. When you wanted something done, Sharon was the name you called. When you needed something fixed, Sharon did the repair. When new offices were needed to help the organization grow, Sharon found them. When telephones were needed for all, Sharon secured them. When the copy machine was on the fritz, Sharon un-fritzed it. When you had to reach anyone, Sharon was on call 24-7.
In short, the words “Sharon,” “Sharon,” and “Sharon” echoed constantly through room 228 at 51 Chambers St. From the 50 Greenmarkets she secured permits to the Open Space Greening Program, the Office of Recycling Outreach and Education, and the Environmental Education Programs of CENYC, now changed to GrowNYC, Sharon was the special events coordinator, publicist, press liaison and last— but certainly not least — executive assistant to the executive director. As CENYC’s agency security liaison for the Department of City Wide Services, Sharon was the first to raise her hand, the most vociferous and most demanding when it came to the safety of not only her co-workers, but all in the building.
Sharon is Brooklyn’s representative to the Permanent Citizens Advisory Committee to the MTA, appointed by the Borough President Markowitz and the governor, which includes membership to the NYC Transit Riders Council, where her daily mishaps on the subways were reported quickly to the MTA. But after 31 years of climbing the 86 steps to the West End (D) Line to commute to work, those steps and constant delays were finally getting to this grandmother of six. Oftentimes, it took her less time to get home from Atlantic City than City Hall.
Speaking of our grandchildren, Alexa, 10, Jake, 8, Michael, 8, Cassandra, 6, Vanessa, 5, and Dean, 3, their Meerma is their love, as she loves each of them dearly. These six beautiful gifts were from our children, Carl and Lori, and Dana and Michael.
When Carl and Dana went to PS 212, Sharon was very active with the PTA and is credited with naming the school for Lady Debra Moody, the founder of the town of Gravesend.
When Dana was in the second grade, Sharon secured a part-time job with the CENYC and soon the Executive Director, Lys McLaughlin, realizing the gem she had in Sharon, offered her full-time employment. Since I worked for the Post Office as a letter carrier, we were able to make arrangements for the kids. I would get home in time to pick them up after school and Sharon dropped them off in the morning before going to work. Working for the Post Office, before the big mail strike, necessitated me teaching dancing for badly needed extra income and going to Kingsborough Community College to get my Associate’s degree. So we shared raising our beautiful son and daughter, one of us was always home, but there was little rest or leisure time for Sharon.
There’s that old adage, “Behind every great man stands a great woman.” Now great is used when you think of the Great Wall of China or the Great State of Texas. In my case, nowadays you measure my greatness with my girth. And my skinny little 115-pound bride is always there to pick up my 300-pound hulk after she knocks me down. She is a toughie!
Goodbye grueling subway rush hour trips — hello Nurse Sharon.
Back next week with a real screech!