Tag Archives: Community Boards

The Bloomberg/Citizens Union Charter Agenda

Mayor Bloomberg’s 2010 charter revision partnership with the Citizens Union showed its face Monday in the form of a comprehensive charter overview by CU panelist Douglas Muzzio, a professor at Baruch College. Here’s some of what Muzzio wrote, with our translations in italics:

Describing the current city charter, Muzzio called it “a large document (currently 356 pages), packed with organizational minutiae, much of which belongs in the Administrative Code.” The Bloomberg commission — with the help of the Citizens Union — will call for “streamlining” the charter by shifting some of its provisions to the Administrative Code. This will make it easier for the mayor and the Council to change those provisions later on, without the public scrutiny that would occur if they remained in the charter.

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Why Charter Revision Matters: Our Core Principles

Some of our readers may wonder why we repeatedly worry about giving the mayor any additional powers. It’s because we believe that our current system of government tends to select city-wide leaders who support the interests of Manhattan’s finance and real estate industries — to the detriment of other boroughs and other industries. As important as finance and real estate are for the city’s financial solvency (right now, they’re still crucial), they don’t tend to create middle-income jobs, which can leave us in a vulnerable place in an economic downturn, as in 2008-2009. Simply put, we’ve placed too many of our eggs in one or two baskets. Continue reading

Mayor Finally Names 2010 Charter Revision Commission

Matthew Goldstein

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg finally named CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein to chair his 2010 charter revision commission. Along with Goldstein, the mayor’s press release identified 14 other commission members.

Two of them can be expected to be particularly sensitive to the interests of NYC’s community boards: Anthony Perez Cassino, an attorney who served as Chairman of Bronx Community Board 8 from 2004-2008, and Carlo Scissura, who currently serves as Chief of Staff to Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. Continue reading

Does Big Business Understand that NYC Has Five Boroughs?

Ester R. Fuchs

Many New Yorkers, including the folks at the Center for an Urban Future, believe that the city’s economy must diversify geographically and industrially for its middle class —and the city — to survive. Whether this happens will depend on whether local political power reflects a five-borough perspective. The current relationship between the mayor and the City Council does not suggest that this will occur soon; nor does a recent move by Professor Ester R. Fuchs to the Partnership for New York City. Continue reading

Community Boards in the News: Feb. 5, 2010

The Daily News reports that Freshman Queens Councilman Dan Halloran (R-19CD) has let veteran members of Queens Community Boards 7 and 11 know their years of volunteer service won’t matter if recent attendance at board meetings is poor. “We need new blood,” Halloran said.

Spec News reports on Manhattan Board 7’s rejection of a sidewalk café permit renewal for Magnolia Bakery.

Queens Tribune reports on community board budget priorities eliminated from the mayor’s Executive Budget.

Manhattan Community Board 4 viewed as crucial to approval of proposed Hell’s Kitchen hotel and entertainment complex for the gay community.

The Manhattan Borough President’s office says school zoning issues are like other land use issues when considering community board members’ conflicts of interest.

Mcbrooklyn covers Marty Markowitz’s State of the Borough address; notes BP’s intent to strengthen community boards through charter revision.

Community Boards in the News

Queens Community Board 1 is reviewing a proposed “spot” rezoning of 240 blocks in Astoria. A public hearing will be held on Tuesday, February 16.

Brooklyn Community Board 6 moves closer to disapproving a charter school’s special permit application. New York Magazine calls this “a classic case of intrusive ‘nanny state’ overreach.”

Former Manhattan CB2 District Manager Rita Lee is recovering from hip surgery in Vermont.

Manhattan Community Board 3 fights proposed East Side bus route service cuts. Meeting scheduled for February 10.

Queens Community Board 7 to consider proposed Flushing Commons mixed-use development project for Flushing Municipal Parking Lot site.

Marty’s State of the Borough: Keep the Beeps!

One of our favorite bloggers, Faye Penn, was among the Brooklynites honored tonight by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz at his swearing-in by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and his State of the Borough address — as always, a spectacular tribute to Brooklyn’s diversity and achievement. Faye’s accomplishment? Her snappy new blog for savvy consumers, Brokelyn.com. (Full disclosure: Faye’s News Editor, Jonathan Berk, also serves as Associate Editor of CityPragmatist.com.)

Although Marty never quite said “it’s the economy, stupid,” his message was clear: Faye and the other stars on the stage at the Park Slope Armory are the reason that Brooklyn continues to grow and prosper. As to his own role, which is rumored to be threatened by an anticipated Bloomberg charter revision commission, Marty promised his audience that he will “demand charter changes to beef up the borough presidents, the Public Advocate, and the community boards.”

In Marty’s audience were the borough presidents of The Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island, which, to this observer, implies that at least four of the city’s five beeps — and the Public Advocate — may be aligned in an effort to preserve and strengthen the voices of boroughs and neighborhoods in New York City.

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

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