Tag Archives: charter revision

Even Larry Has No Answer

Larry’s Favorite Former Jet, Santana Moss

Larry is one of the smartest guys in Flatbush. So when he started defending Brooklyn’s lack of clout at City Hall, I did a double take.

“The Board of Estimate was a bad idea. Staten Island didn’t deserve to have the same power as Brooklyn.”

But isn’t it worse for Brooklyn to have no power, because the mayor — most responsive to Manhattan media  — controls almost everything?

Larry shrugged and turned back to the TV. It was easier for him to watch his beloved Jets self-destruct than to grapple with one of the thorniest issues facing New Yorkers in 2011: how to ensure that Mike Bloomberg’s successor — whoever he or she is — will balance the needs of the BBQSI boroughs against those of the Manhattan business community. Continue reading

Vote Your Conscience, But Vote!

Imagine if the Board of Elections put seven separate elected officials — Congressman, Senator, Governor, Comptroller, Attorney General, Assembly member, and State Senator — on the same ballot line, and made you mark just one oval to choose all of them.

Sounds like the old Soviet Union.

The decision by the 2010 New York City Charter Revision Commission to group seven unrelated proposals under ballot Question 2 — based on an opinion that the ballot was too small to show them separately — is just as cynical: It’s a way of telling voters, “If we let you vote seven or eight times, you could get confused and forget to vote ‘Yes’ on everything we want.” Continue reading

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

Turn the Ballot Over!

The NYC Charter Revision Commission has published its instructions for voters — the first of which says “turn the ballot over.”

Presumably, the commission isn’t telling us to skip the front, where we can vote for governor and comptroller, among others.

But once we turn the ballot over, we’re into charter country, where things aren’t always what they seem to be. Continue reading