Tag Archives: NYS Assembly

Updates around the city

Brighton Beach Avenue

Just to remind us of the continuing battle between neighborhood preservationists and developers in NYC, Sunday’s NY Times Real Estate section’s “Living In” profile of Brighton Beach noted the beachfront neighborhood’s continuing high-rise development:

“In 2008, responding to community alarm, the city’s Planning Department proposed a 54-block rezoning of the area that would have capped the heights of many structures at four stories. But developers’ opposition proved overwhelming and last June the city withdrew the plan.”

Elsewhere, the city’s 59 community boards — favorite forums for neighborhood preservationists — continue to face severe cuts to their budgets. Our colleague at Bronx Board 12, Father Richard F. Gorman, writes that the latest reduction leaves each community board with a budget lower than the take-home salary of a single Bloomberg commissioner. Despite the infinitesimal impact on the city’s budget, the mayor has not rescinded the cuts.

Last Thursday, the Staten Island Advance reported on NYS Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s address before a Staten Island economic development conference: “The City Charter Revision Commission ‘should grant borough presidents and community boards more of a say over how services are rendered,’ Silver said, adding, ’if there is a pothole on Hylan Boulevard, the borough president ought to be able to get it filled.’” The Advance did not say whether Silver acknowledged that the State legislature has the power to convene a NYC charter revision commission of its own. Continue reading

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Charter Revision: Whose Rules?

Frustration grew to a boil near the end of a March 5 public hearing by the NYS Assembly’s Standing Committee on Cities at 250 Broadway. The committee, chaired by Assemblyman James Brennan (44AD), was hearing comment on proposed bills to amend the State’s Municipal Home Rule Law, which governs how New York’s cities may revise their charters.

Just two days earlier, Mayor Michael Bloomberg had announced the creation of a 2010 charter revision commission for New York City. To the surprise of many, the Bloomberg announcement singled out the Citizens Union, a century-old independent “good-government” reform group, to partner with the charter commission to improve public outreach. Continue reading

Dysfunctional or Disagreeable?

With New York and California vying for the title of the most dysfunctional state government in the U.S., it’s hard to find anyone in New York City these days who will publicly compliment Albany. Mike Bloomberg draws cheers when he blames Albany for taxing NYC’s revenues and returning less than the city’s fair share. City public school equitable funding advocates agree with him, not without reason. Charter school operators and supporters bristle at Albany’s failure to lift the state’s 200-school cap. Atlantic Yards opponents chafe at Albany’s strong-arm development tactics. State aid to the Big Apple is reduced and city jobs are threatened because Albany’s budget deficit is gigantic. These days, Albany is an easy target. Continue reading