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!
But he, mathematician, did know what “a perfect martingale” was. Look it up.
Voting Rights Act still a concern. Racial impact makes CRC members leery of some proposals.
Scissura will submit government structure recommendations by Friday.
Goldstein polled CRC members on non-partisan elections. Most punted, asking for more info. Goldstein hinted issue may be too hot to handle. Patterson agreed, leading others. But you never know, cuz mayor’s man, Crowell, wants them. Expert’s report still to come.
14 public speakers, including Council member Dan Halloran, League VP Adrienne Kivelson, and Patricia Dolan, President of Queens Civic Congress. No Henry Stern. But Frank Morrano still batting 1.000.
Mark Davies of COIB praises Bloomberg and Page, but warns that future mayors could starve COIB into non-existence. We bet CRC supports independent budgeting for COIB.
Most provocative comment: Dan Jacoby says new voting machines will hide charter questions on second page of November ballot, where no one will see them.
Goldstein changes date of commission’s meeting to vote on proposals from August 12 to August 11.
Folks still don’t understand that charter rules and “checks” won’t work unless there’s someone with the power to enforce the rules. Litigation costs, and takes forever. Keeping the Council empowered is the only way to do this — sort of. And a Bloomberg-appointed CRC ain’t gonna send any real power to the boroughs.
I heard a lot more enthusiasm for non-partisan elections–by any name that CU advances.
I never saw a political conspiracy play out in public the way the one to advance non-partisan elections did last night.
Dick Dadey arrived early on to chat up his “partnership” with the Mayor–as if the Commish needed to be reminded.
The individual commissioners-by their body language–communicated their desire to please the Mayor–even with a “top two” proposal.
I stayed to the end if only to remind the commissioners that Queens’s 2.2 million could beat it.