Monthly Archives: October 2010

Close ’em Down!

Sometimes it’s easy to tell a story. Here are the first two items in the October 29th “Rise & Shine” story listing on the education blog GothamSchools.org.

* SUNY wants to try fixing failing charter schools instead of shutting them down. (Post)

* The city says it is considering closing up to 47 schools this year. (GS, Times, PostWSJ, NY1)

And they say that Albany is dysfunctional?

Vote “No” on Question 2

City Limits has paid CityPragmatist a great compliment by prominently featuring our views about ballot Question 2, a collection of unrelated charter revision “reforms” to be placed before voters on Election Day.

Question 2, along with Question 1, which is about term limits, will appear on the “back” of Tuesday’s two-sided paper ballot. Continue reading

Rub Your Tummy?

A Coordinated NYC Voter

Mike Bloomberg is betting you can’t rub your tummy and pat your head at the same time.

That — and a 2008 commitment to billionaire term limits sponsor Ron Lauder — is why he’s urging New Yorkers to vote “yes” on ballot Question 1 — to restore two-term limits for mayors and other city elected officials.

Of course, Question 1 exempts him and other current incumbents. They all can run a third time if they haven’t already.

But what does this have to do with your head and your tummy? Continue reading

Goldstein: We Understood

“The vast majority of the members of the commission publicly are opposed to term limits, period.”

(Matthew Goldstein, chair of the 2010 NYC Charter Revision Commission, speaking at New York Law School on Friday, October 22, 2010)

“But we understood that by accepting to sit on this commission that we wanted to bring back for referendum the idea ‘do you want to go back to what was in place before 2008’ and that’s what we did and that’s what you’re going to be voting on.”

(Matthew Goldstein, ten seconds later)

So much for the pretense that a mayorally-appointed charter revision commission can act independently.

And so much for voters’ ability to decide whether term limits should exist at all. The choice we’ll get on Election Day is “two or three 4-year terms, but if you choose two terms this won’t take full effect until 2021.” Continue reading

The Silence is Deafening!

What charter revision?

That’s the answer we got when we approached a small random sample of New Yorkers and asked them how they intended to vote on charter revision on Election Day.

Perhaps Friday’s appearance at New York Law School by charter commission chair Matthew Goldstein will stimulate some media coverage of a subject many people — including journalists — are treating as an unimportant sidebar to the major races to be decided on November 2nd. Continue reading

Who’s Accountable?

Since July, 2004, when Public Law 108-271 changed the name of the General Accounting Office to the Government Accountability Office, “accountability” has dominated discourse in our political arena.

When a disaster hits, whether it’s a construction crane collapse, a gas line explosion, an oil platform disaster, a municipal budget shortfall, or the perceived failure of the nation’s educational system, editorial writers, politicians, and pundits pile on, demanding “accountability.” Continue reading

EDC: The Real Power in City Planning

Tom Angotti photo: Bay Ridge Journal

Great article about EDC by Tom Angotti in Gotham Gazette.

A must-read for CityPragmatist readers.