Monthly Archives: January 2010

Dysfunctional or Disagreeable?

With New York and California vying for the title of the most dysfunctional state government in the U.S., it’s hard to find anyone in New York City these days who will publicly compliment Albany. Mike Bloomberg draws cheers when he blames Albany for taxing NYC’s revenues and returning less than the city’s fair share. City public school equitable funding advocates agree with him, not without reason. Charter school operators and supporters bristle at Albany’s failure to lift the state’s 200-school cap. Atlantic Yards opponents chafe at Albany’s strong-arm development tactics. State aid to the Big Apple is reduced and city jobs are threatened because Albany’s budget deficit is gigantic. These days, Albany is an easy target. Continue reading

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Community Boards in the News

Julie Menin, chairwoman of Manhattan CB 1, on the U.S. dropping its plan to try accused 9/11 terrorists in lower Manhattan. Board 1 had vociferously opposed holding the trials in their area.

Brooklyn CB 3 reacts to controversial new Bed-Stuy shelter for alcohol and drug abusers. Continue reading

BSA Haters Unite!

Brownstoner reports that Board of  Standards and Appeals (BSA) haters now have a Facebook Group of their own. Could get very popular!

The Art of War – NYC Style

The NY Daily News confirmed yesterday that Mayor Michael Bloomberg “is expected to appoint a charter revision panel in the coming weeks. Among other issues, the panel will examine and possibly reduce or eliminate the roles of borough presidents and community boards.”

Genuine threat, or feint? Those who remember the 1989 charter revision know that the media can be used to divert attention from a charter panel’s true agenda. A threat to eliminate the BPs and the CBs is just one possible tactic a 2010 commission could use. Others are even more Machiavellian. Continue reading

Mayors Are Made, Not Born

Everything about Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is extreme: zero smoking in restaurants, 200 miles of new bike lanes, a million new trees, a hundred million bucks to get re-elected, a 180-degree turnaround on term limits, a 50-state gun control agenda, sharp reductions in parental control over 1,600 schools…. The list goes on and on.

But if you think about it, you’ll realize that Bloomberg’s predecessor, Rudy Giuliani, also was a man of extremes, albeit less creative, more abrasive, and — we think — less convinced of his own omniscience. But he, too, did things in a big way. Continue reading