July 14, 2010
Virtually ignored by the Charter Commission report: a strong mayor, weak Borough Presidents, and the fact that there's "no real local government"
Atlantic Yards Report
Norman Oder files another report on the review of New York City's Charter.
The news from the city's Charter Revision Commission is that a vote on term limits (and maybe Instant Runoff Voting) are apparently on the agenda, but more substantive change, regarding issues like more public input into land use and expanded power of Borough Presidents, is not.
That's plausible, given the tight schedule to get measures on the November ballot, but the commission's staff report was dismissively brief, ignoring many legitimate criticisms posed by the Borough Presidents and others.
As the Staten Island Advance reported yesterday, that ticked off one Commission member:
"The fact the conversation on borough presidents and community boards warrants maybe two paragraphs, to me is utterly disrespectful to the communities," said Carlo A. Scissura, who is chief of staff to Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.
Almost as disrespectful as the sham Atlantic Yards "process" that his boss so heartily embraced.
The fundamental problem
The failure to address the BPs' concerns reflects a larger issue, one that doesn't get traction in the Commission report, and one that explains the hundred successful rezonings under Mayor Mike Bloomberg and his ability to get agencies to march in lockstep to support projects like Atlantic Yards.
"The fundamental principle in this city is that there’s no real local government," suggested Gerald Benjamin, a professor at SUNY New Paltz, speaking at a June 10 hearing of the Commission.
Posted by eric at July 14, 2010 9:57 AM