Image: Madison Area Technical College
Less than a year ago, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced that “civic service may be the most important thing we ever do” as he launched his “NYC Service” initiative to promote volunteerism and “channel New Yorkers’ good intentions to tackle our greatest challenges, particularly those caused by the economic downturn.”
Today, he violated that commitment by authorizing a devastating budget cut to NYC’s community boards, whose almost 3,000 members constitute the city’s largest cadre of civic volunteers.
In an email to the city’s 59 boards, mayoral budget official Randolph R. Panetta announced that budget director Mark Page had ordered each community board’s budget cut by $15,542 — a droplet in the huge bucket that is the city’s $4.9 billion Fiscal Year 2011 budget shortfall, but a cut so severe at the local level that many boards will have to reduce staffs that already number only two or three employees. Continue reading →
It’s not the first time that 311 has been used to harass neighbors, but it may be the most egregious. Jim Dwyer, writing in the Metropolitan Section of Sunday’s NY Times, tells of a rash of phony 311 complaints that, Dwyer says, “has put thousands of homeowners in Queens under a state of bureaucratic siege.”
“From September to December, more than 3,000 complaints of illegal [residential] conversions were filed in three Queens neighborhoods — Whitestone, Flushing, and Malba.” The result: Buildings department inspectors repeatedly seeking entry into homes maliciously identified by anonymous complainants. Continue reading →
Posted in 2010 NYC Charter Revision, Government 101
Tagged 2010 charter revision, 2010 NY charter, 311, bloomberg charter, Community Boards, coterminality, jim dwyer 311 article, Mayor Bloomberg, Michael Bloomberg, Michael R. Bloomberg, New York City Charter, New York City government, New york Community boards, ny times 311, NYC charter, NYC City Council, NYC Government, Times 311 article
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.
Continue reading →
Posted in 2010 NYC Charter Revision
Tagged 2010 charter revision, 2010 NY charter, bloomberg charter, Borough Presidents, BSA, charter revision, Citizens Union, City Planning Commission, Community Boards, Douglas Muzzio, Mayor Bloomberg, Michael Bloomberg, Michael R. Bloomberg, New York City Charter, New York City government, New york Community boards, NY charter commission, NY charter revision, NY City Council, NYC charter, NYC City Council, NYC contracts, NYC Government
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 →
Posted in 2010 NYC Charter Revision
Tagged 2010 charter revision, bloomberg charter, Borough Presidents, charter revision, Citizens Union, Community Boards, Development, economic development, land use, Mayor Bloomberg, Michael Bloomberg, Michael R. Bloomberg, New York City Charter, New york Community boards, NY charter commission, NY charter revision, ny charter revision 2010, NY City Council, NYC charter, NYC public schools
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 →
Posted in 2010 NYC Charter Revision, The Mayor, The Middle Class
Tagged 2005 charter revision, 2010 charter revision, Borough Presidents, Center for an Urban Future, Community Boards, economic development, Ester R. Fuchs, Kathryn Wylde, Mayor Bloomberg, Michael Bloomberg, Michael R. Bloomberg, New York City Charter, New york Community boards, NY City Council, NYC charter, NYC City Council, NYC Government, Partnership for New York City
Manhattan Community Board 1, which comprises Wall Street, Battery Park City, and the City Hall area, drew positive media coverage for its reaction to the Federal proposal to try accused terrorists in lower Manhattan — a proposal initially supported by Mayor Bloomberg and other leaders.
What do you think about holding these trials in NYC? Tell us in comments.