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July 24, 2011

Stringer calls for abolition of member items in City Council; Daily News editorial points to importance of fairness in contracting

Atlantic Yards Report

The distribution of Member items is inequitable and have become a way of keeping Council members in line. This has led to a critical report from the Manhattan Borough President. Atlantic Yards helps provide an example of how member items are doled out.

The Daily News pointed to this:

Consider two councilmen - Domenic Recchia and Charles Barron - who were elected in Brooklyn districts located fairly close to each other.

Recchia is a Quinn lieutenant and chairman of the Finance Committee. He represents Coney Island, Bensonhurst, Brighton Beach and Gravesend. This year, he distributed $1,630,064 to groups such as the Brighton Ballet Theater Company, the Russian American Foundation and the Brooklyn Chinese-American Association. His total amounted to $10.30 per resident.

Barron is a self-styled civil rights firebrand who has attacked Quinn's leadership. He represents East New York, Brownsville and Canarsie and was permitted to deliver less than a quarter of Recchia's sum to groups in his neighborhood: $399,464, or $2.40 per person.

Not that it was germane to the distribution of funds, but guess which Council Member supported Atlantic Yards, and which one did not? Right.

...

In fiscal year 2012, Council Districts received an average of $638,479. City Council Member Letitia James, serving her second full term (plus part of the late Council Member James Davis's unfinished term), has seniority, but not an in with Quinn.

So in 2012, James's 35th District received $481,964.00, ranking 37th among 51 Council Districts.

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Posted by steve at July 24, 2011 9:42 PM