Monthly Archives: July 2010

CPBytes

MAS/CB1M session: NYC Charter revision consolation prize for land use reformers.

How to speed development without charter change: EDC to the rescue.

Brookings doubts HCZ claims. Canada Responds. Brookings rebuts – gently.

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Always looks the same, doesn't it?

NYC Charter Revision: @We want to go to sleep tonight, so we’re going to pretend we’re tweeting and be done with it:

Charter revision commission spent 1:15 on “independent budgets” with OMB’s Mark Page. He: smart, thorough, earnest, soporific, and ultimately a believer in the status quo, bashes independent budgets, even for Conflicts of Interest Board.

CRC Member Cassino wants to clean up City Council. But no recognition that eliminating Council member items must be matched by eliminating mayor’s discretionary items. Our bet: CRC won’t tackle this one.

Goldstein didn’t know “etymology” of Council extra compensation called “lulus.” Was told it means: “in lieu of.” Aahhh! Continue reading

Queens Civics Advance Charter Principles

Queens County Farm Museum

NYC Charter Revision: The Queens Civic Congress is the only borough-wide coalition of civic associations in New York City. Because we respect their efforts to protect the individuality and distinctiveness that make Queens great, we are posting the Statement of Charter Principles the congress recently prepared. We are grateful to the QCC president, Patricia Dolan, for sharing it with us. Here’s Pat’s letter after the break: Continue reading

Efficiency! is Theme of Charter Hearing

NYC Charter Revision: If anything, Matthew Goldstein’s treatment of a group of protesters at Monday’s charter revision commission hearing was efficient. When the protesters interrupted the Harlem State Office Building session by chanting “Show me what democracy looks like. This is what democracy looks like,” Goldstein didn’t even blink.

Apparently well-schooled in street theatre, the CUNY Chancellor waited for the protesters to finish their call-and-response and deliver their statements demanding a more democratic process before he returned to the business at hand. He didn’t waste a Joule of energy.

Goldstein’s invited guests, who also waited while the middle-aged protesters did their thing, were 2005 charter commission chair Ester R. Fuchs, currently a fellow at the Partnership for New York City, her 2005 executive director, Terri Matthews, current Bloomberg deputy mayor for legal affairs Carol Robles-Roman, and David B. Goldin, the mayor’s Administrative Justice Coordinator.

Their task was to educate the 2010 commission about two “efficiency” initiatives contained in its preliminary staff report for possible ballot inclusion this November. Continue reading

What’s the Deal at DCAS?

Mike Bloomberg's Press Conference

Martha K. Hirst has headed up DCAS, the city agency responsible for leasing office space, since Michael Bloomberg took office.  So when one of our readers suggested we look at a recent Daily News article that said that new Bloomberg deputy mayor and efficiency expert Stephen Goldsmith had identified 10,000 unused office spaces rented by City Hall, and was proposing getting rid of them to save bucks, we eventually Googled on Martha’s name.

We discovered that Hirst was out, replaced by Acting Commissioner Donald P. Brosen, with only a brief announcement by City Hall on July 14. Continue reading

Stephen Goldsmith, Unexpurgated

Stephen Goldsmith at Crain's Breakfast Forum

Contrast the two available videos that show deputy mayor Stephen Goldsmith’s response at the July 20 Crain’s Breakfast Forum to a question by Erik Engquist. Engquist asked Goldsmith what City Hall plans to do to close those fire houses that, according to Engquist, “don’t contribute to safety.”

We watched both versions: a tightly-edited professional video on the Crain’s New York Business website, and a longer, hand-held, and presumably unedited video, posted by reader Louis Flores. It showed that Crain’s skips some of the more controversial issues Goldsmith touched on. Continue reading

Don’t Worry, Be Happy!

The Recession is over!

So says the Fed, as reported by the New York Times.

Now, doesn’t that make you feel better?

Have a great weekend!