A couple of months ago, the MTA shut down Brooklyn’s B23 bus route, which had served the Kensington and Ditmas Park neighborhoods for decades. Replacing it will be city-sanctioned “dollar vans,” operated by Sunset Transportation Service, Inc.
The B23 story is an example of the privatization of government services that’s happening throughout the United States — a series of decisions by local governments to substitute private companies for public employees to deliver essential services. Continue reading
Unlike some previous Bloomberg appointees, Stephen Goldsmith, Bloomberg’s newly-announced deputy mayor and chief operating officer, comes with a well-documented track record — one that won’t necessarily please NYC’s municipal unions.
Goldsmith’s appointment last week drew the attention of several media outlets in Indianapolis, where he served as mayor between 1992 and 1999. There, he earned a reputation for privatizing city services and cutting costs, which he parlayed into a senior domestic policy advisor’s position with George W. Bush’s campaign. Among the services delivered by private companies during Goldsmith’s Indianapolis stint were the city’s car-towing operations, golf courses, sewer-bill collections, and document copying. Continue reading
Carol Rinzler, our contact at 250+ Friends of NYC Parks, brings to our attention new Parks & Recreation Department rules that would impose time and place restrictions on artists who wish to display their work — “expressive matter” — “in or on any property under the jurisdiction of the Department.”
The rules support the 30-year-old private-public partnership deal the City made with the Central Park Conservancy, and subsequently with similar groups, to give them substantial control over revenue production (vending) in major parks. Such control enables them to raise funds to maintain those parks. Artists have skirted any restrictions by asserting their First Amendment rights. The proposed rules would impose limits on this.
Some of the language in the rules suggests that they are aimed specifically at Robert Lederman, an artist whose repeated attempts to display his work on the High Line Esplanade in Chelsea were met with arrest.
More on this and the message we received from 250+ Friends of NYC Parks can be found after the break. The proposed new rules and a notice of the required April 23rd public hearing can be found here.
Update: NY1 covered this story on March 27. Here‘s the link. Continue reading
Posted in parks
Tagged 1st Amendment, 250+ friends of NYC parks, expressive matter, First Amendment, High Line, NYC Government, NYC Parks, NYC Parks & Recreation, parks, Privatization, public-private partnership, Robert Lederman