Mayor Bloomberg’s 2010 charter revision partnership with the Citizens Union showed its face Monday in the form of a comprehensive charter overview by CU panelist Douglas Muzzio, a professor at Baruch College. Here’s some of what Muzzio wrote, with our translations in italics:
Describing the current city charter, Muzzio called it “a large document (currently 356 pages), packed with organizational minutiae, much of which belongs in the Administrative Code.” The Bloomberg commission — with the help of the Citizens Union — will call for “streamlining” the charter by shifting some of its provisions to the Administrative Code. This will make it easier for the mayor and the Council to change those provisions later on, without the public scrutiny that would occur if they remained in the charter.
Posted in 2010 NYC Charter Revision
Tagged 2010 charter revision, 2010 NY charter, bloomberg charter, Borough Presidents, BSA, charter revision, Citizens Union, City Planning Commission, Community Boards, Douglas Muzzio, Mayor Bloomberg, Michael Bloomberg, Michael R. Bloomberg, New York City Charter, New York City government, New york Community boards, NY charter commission, NY charter revision, NY City Council, NYC charter, NYC City Council, NYC contracts, NYC Government
Sometimes, the best ideas come while driving in heavy traffic. Although we don’t talk or text while behind the wheel, we do tend to obsess about city government. We also do that in other inappropriate situations.
Our latest episode happened while driving up Brooklyn’s Coney Island Avenue. Our tires kept on banging into one manhole depression after another. The 5-minute ride felt as if we were on an IED-pocked road in Afghanistan, not a major thoroughfare in America’s largest and most vibrant city. “Why can’t the city even pave the streets right?” we asked.
But, of course, we already knew the answer: Coney Island Avenue had been paved by a low-bid contractor, working under the oversight of private engineering consultants. They, in turn, had been supervised by civil servants who may have lacked the tools to impose useful sanctions if either the consultant or the contractor screwed up. Could efficiency improvements — which Mayor Bloomberg’s 2010 charter revision commission may try to implement — solve this? Continue reading
Posted in 2010 NYC Charter Revision, Government 101
Tagged 2010 charter revision, DDC, Department of Design & Construction, Mayor Bloomberg, municipal contracting, New York City government, New York potholes, NY bad streets, NY government bids, NY potholes, NYC bad streets, NYC contracts, NYC potholes
Just a brief note about City Hall’s announcement last week of its deal with Central Amusement International to develop 6.16 acres of land in Coney Island for two new amusement parks to be called “Luna Park at Coney Island” and the “Scream Zone.” Annual rent will be $100,000 for the first 10 years, with the city also expecting to receive “additional revenue derived from gross receipts from the amusement park.”
NYC’s Economic Development Corporation purchased this land in November, 2009 as part of a 6.9-acre, $95.6 million deal with Thor Equities—that’s $85.3 million prorated to the 6.16 acres being used for the parks.
Let’s do some math here: 43,560 square feet to an acre, times 6.16… about 270,000 square feet for the parks. $100,000 a year in rent divided by the square footage? That’s 37¢ per square foot, per year, the city’s charging CAI.
We’re all for Coney Island’s revitalization, and we’re firm believers in the importance of keeping NYC a world-class tourist destination, but we’d hope that City Hall could have cut a better deal for taxpayers than this one seems to be.
Comments from City Hall?
Posted in Development
Tagged brooklyn development, brooklyn rents, Central amusement international, City Hall Coney island, Coney island amusement park, Coney island development, coney island rents, luna park, NYC contracts, scream zone, thor equities