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krulltime
June 10th, 2004, 01:19 PM
Hello Guys, I wanted to know how you feel about mayor Bloomberg so far. Share your thoughts.

If mayor Bloomberg runs for mayor in the next election will you vote for him? Or is he out?

BrooklynRider
June 10th, 2004, 01:31 PM
Not knowing his opponent yet, I would vote for him if his opponents are any of the following: Gifford Miller, Freddie Fernandez, Mark Green, Charles Barron, Tom Duane



I'm not sure if his opponent is Fran Reiter, Anthony Wiener, Bill Clinton, Christine Quinn.

Who else might run?

krulltime
June 11th, 2004, 01:47 AM
I guess there in no candidate to compare him to but if there was one that you like for example would you give bloomberg another chance? Is there anyone in the forum who doesnt like him?

Schadenfrau
June 11th, 2004, 11:26 AM
I would cast a vote for a goat before I voted for Bloomberg. I think he's absolutely loathsome.

ZippyTheChimp
March 22nd, 2005, 08:24 AM
March 22, 2005

Two Polls Show Ferrer Leading in a Race Against Bloomberg

By JIM RUTENBERG (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=JIM RUTENBERG&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=JIM RUTENBERG&inline=nyt-per)
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/i.giff an election between them were held today, Fernando Ferrer would beat Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, according to two new polls of city voters released yesterday.

The polls provide yet more statistical evidence that Mr. Bloomberg has his work cut out for him. Still, they come very early in the campaign season and before an expected advertising blitz by Mr. Bloomberg that his opponents could have a hard time matching.

One of the polls, taken for NY1 News and Newsday, shows Mr. Ferrer, the Democratic former Bronx borough president, leading Mr. Bloomberg, a Republican, in a head-to-head race by a wide ratio: 49 percent to 35 percent among the 1,072 registered voters interviewed. The poll was taken between last Wednesday and Sunday and had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.

The other, a WNBC/Marist College Institute poll, showed Mr. Ferrer ahead of Mr. Bloomberg 49 percent to 42 percent. That outcome was right on the edge of that survey's margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points, but the director of the Marist College Institute, Lee Miringoff, said the lead was statistically significant. His poll was conducted among 775 registered voters from March 9 through March 15.

The NY1/Newsday poll also showed C. Virginia Fields, the Manhattan borough president and another Democratic candidate for mayor, leading Mr. Bloomberg among registered voters, 42 percent to 39 percent. But that lead was smaller than the poll's margin of error. The poll showed Mr. Bloomberg beating City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, another Democratic contender, 40 percent to 38 percent.

The WNBC/Marist poll showed Mr. Bloomberg beating all of the Democratic contenders other than Mr. Ferrer, but his lead was smaller than the margin of sampling error in each case. Both polls found that if the Democratic mayoral primary were held now, Mr. Ferrer would win handily, with Ms. Fields leading the rest of the pack - but by percentages that are within the polls' margins of error. And both polls showed that many voters say they do not know enough about the candidates to say whom they would vote for in a primary.

In one danger sign for Mr. Ferrer, 37 percent of 924 registered voters interviewed in the NY1/Newsday poll said they would be less likely to vote for him because of his recent comments that the police shooting of Amadou Diallo was not a crime. The other poll ended before Mr. Ferrer's comments were widely reported.


Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Compan (http://www.nytco.com/)

TomAuch
March 22nd, 2005, 03:37 PM
It's interesting that a majority of WNYers generally don't like Bush, but will vote for Bloomberg. Is Wired NY a hub for Bloomberg Democrats? (not that that is a bad thing...Bloomberg isn't nearly as bad as Bush after all)

Gulcrapek
March 22nd, 2005, 04:01 PM
Bloomberg is barely a republican... mostly just by official register.

I don't know who I'd vote for, except I wouldn't vote for Miller. I can't stand him anymore. Everything he does that I see these days is yelling at the mayor etc. and it's so obvious that he's campaigning for himself. It makes me feel as if he's not performing the job he has now. And gives me a bad vibe.

Schadenfrau
March 22nd, 2005, 04:17 PM
Bloomberg's not exactly a Democrat, either. He's somehow managed to offend people of all political stripes.

BrooklynRider
March 22nd, 2005, 04:51 PM
My original response needs to be revised.

Given the mayor's illegal jailing of protesters during the Republican Convention, his refusal to grant permits for a peaceful anti-war rally in Central Park, his continued harassment of Critical Mass riders, his use of excessive displays of the NYC military, his mad obsession with a Jets Stadium, his complete lack of policy on affordable housing, and his failure to demonstrate to me his ability to stand up to the Governor and President on issues vital to New York, he will in no way get my vote. I will vote for ANYONE but him and I'll likely actively campaign against him on behalf of the least evil of his opponents. My preference is Anthony Wiener.

Schadenfrau
March 22nd, 2005, 05:12 PM
Amen, BrooklynRider. I'm volunteering for Ferrer.

TomAuch
March 22nd, 2005, 05:12 PM
Bloomberg's not exactly a Democrat, either. He's somehow managed to offend people of all political stripes.

He should just run as a wealthy Independent a la Perot. Let the Republicans nominate a someone like Vito Fosella, and have the Democrats nominate someone who is decent (perhaps Weiner or Fields, I personally don't like Ferrer and Miller...but I don't live in NYC so my opinion doesn't count).

alex ballard
March 22nd, 2005, 06:50 PM
My original response needs to be revised.

Given the mayor's illegal jailing of protesters during the Republican Convention, his refusal to grant permits for a peaceful anti-war rally in Central Park, his continued harassment of Critical Mass riders, his use of excessive displays of the NYC military, his mad obsession with a Jets Stadium, his complete lack of policy on affordable housing, and his failure to demonstrate to me his ability to stand up to the Governor and President on issues vital to New York, he will in no way get my vote. I will vote for ANYONE but him and I'll likely actively campaign against him on behalf of the least evil of his opponents. My preference is Anthony Wiener.


Yes, and every single reason is why you SHOULD vote for Bloome. Me personally, I'm the BIGGEST right wing hater YOU'LL EVER MEET. However, I'm sick of the pervasive and lazy welfare mentality of NY's liberal politics. Living in Manhattan is NOT a right! It is a privilage that you EARN! If not, Brooklyn and Queens (along with BX and SI) are just as nice. You need to actually WORK for your welfare benefits, WORK for some of your Mediaid benefits. We need to decrease the welfare and medicaid rolls. 2 million people on medicaid is INSANE! That number should be down to 400,000-500,000.

As for the treatment for the war protest, as much as this war was worng and a waste, again, protesting in Central Park is not a right. He gave them the West Side Highway, either take it or protest in Cleveland. You should be lucky you got to stage in NYC at all. It's not like we treated them like Chicago 1968. The fact is that NYC millitary keeps you from getting stabbed by some cracked-out junkie. I don't know if you or you're family lived here in the 1960's to 1980's, but there really was a time when you couldn't walk down the street in Bed-Stuy. I for one, never want, and thankfully, will never expect, the city to return to that state.

I apologize with some NIMBY's who've I've blasted. However, it's one thing when you're neighborhood gets invaded by a bunch of Southerners. But it's another when we get all heated about building a stadium. The fact is, the Super Bowl or even a college bowl game could rank in upwards of 100's of millions of dollars into NYC's economy. Arizona makes 800 Million dollars every single Fiesta bowl championship. NYC could triple that!!!

Sorry, BrooklynRider. I have all the respect in the world for you. But NY is progressing. It's politics must follow suit!

TomAuch
March 22nd, 2005, 07:04 PM
I agree with you on most points, except for the Central Park protest. A problem with SOME (not all) NYC Dems is that they'll revert back to the Koch-Dinkins era in terms of governing the city. As much as Giuliani was an asshole, at least he brought crime down. Crime is probably the only issue that I approve of Bloomberg on as opposed to some of the Democratic candidates, and unlike Rudy he's not being confrontational towards minorities. This doesn't mean that Bloomberg is necesarily better overall, but his strengths expose some of the weaknesses of local NYC Dems.

ryan
March 22nd, 2005, 10:32 PM
I think Guiliani deserves some of the credit for reduced crime in the city, but I think it was a bit bigger than just him. The economic boom of the 90's, and the reverse of white flight are just two of the more obvious reasons why the city's health recovered while he was in office.

I hate to be a single-issue voter, but Bloomberg lost me when he appealed the recent gay marriage decision. This is New York, not Ohio. That, and offhand, I don't think the whole Republican mayor = more federal spending angle panned out.

Schadenfrau
March 23rd, 2005, 11:18 AM
Me personally, I'm the BIGGEST right wing hater YOU'LL EVER MEET.

Something tells me that's not true.

Giuliani benefited tremendously from general economic growth.

Edward
March 23rd, 2005, 12:02 PM
Any poll should have a choice for Other/Undecided/Clueless/Hate_Elections/Dont_Care/All_Choices_Suck

ZippyTheChimp
March 23rd, 2005, 12:42 PM
I'm the BIGGEST right wing hater YOU'LL EVER MEET.
I guess I haven't met any.

Denigrating "Southerners" or the places (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5990) that they live does not make you a right-wing hater. It just makes you narrow-minded.

The New York politics that you say must "progress" is what contributes most to its nickname as Capital of the World. It is the constant that has made this place welcoming for 400 years.

Schadenfrau
March 23rd, 2005, 12:56 PM
Exactly, Zippy.

I seriously doubt that anyone feels it's their God-given right to live in Manhattan. Where have you seen any evidence of this, AlexBallard?

alex ballard
March 23rd, 2005, 03:15 PM
I guess I haven't met any.

Denigrating "Southerners" or the places (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?t=5990) that they live does not make you a right-wing hater. It just makes you narrow-minded.

The New York politics that you say must "progress" is what contributes most to its nickname as Capital of the World. It is the constant that has made this place welcoming for 400 years.

There's a difference between "What's the attraction?", which is what I said, and saying "What's wrong with those people", which it does not say.

Also, I have always supported in-migration from other sections of the country. If we had that, NY would be unstoppable.

However, If I caused offense, I apologize. However, I support my opinions and I do not beileve in the Republican agenda. But a "modern/moderate" one.

alex ballard
March 23rd, 2005, 03:20 PM
Exactly, Zippy.

I seriously doubt that anyone feels it's their God-given right to live in Manhattan. Where have you seen any evidence of this, AlexBallard?


In NIMBYism.

Let's think of it this way: You have this small group of neighborhood people who are "deadset" against both change and newcomers. I'm NOT yelling at the newcomers at all! I welcome everyone, and I wish even more would come! I'm yelling at the NIMBY's. Who thinks it's their "right" to control who moves into their neighborhood. If you don't like Jimmy from India or John from Texas, then leave!!! Let them all come, I'm sick of these Manhattan types getting all heated about having to share their world. Someone should be able to realize that when you live in NYC, it's one of the relialites you must deal with. Just like if you lived in Canada (per say), Cold is a fact you have to deal with.


Don't think this an attack on people. This is an attack on a MINDSET! Just like you may not like conservative values, but it doesn't mean you don't like conservative people. See?

Schadenfrau
March 23rd, 2005, 03:44 PM
People don't generally leave a neighborhood because of their distaste for "Jimmy from India or John from Texas", they leave because they've been forcibly priced out.

ZippyTheChimp
March 23rd, 2005, 04:00 PM
Alex Ballard:

Speaking in general terms, I don't think your political and social philosophy are fully developed, which may explain your sometimes contradictory viewpoints. I have been following politics for along time, and I think I have a pretty good sense of where people stand - but sometimes I have no idea where you are coming from. You seem to be all over the map.

alex ballard
March 23rd, 2005, 04:07 PM
People don't generally leave a neighborhood because of their distaste for "Jimmy from India or John from Texas", they leave because they've been forcibly priced out.


Yes, they do. Why dod you think 4 million whites left NYC between 1940 and now? They didn't want African-Americans in their hoods. Same about immigrants.

While racism is not at all the issue now, now it's simply an attitude of "I was here first, now all of you are invading". The fact is, these people should be thankful that they now live in a great neighborhood in a great city.

Your in the South Bronx, correct? If NY doesn't move forward, we'll end up going backwards into what the South Bronx became, A horrifing, decpreit neighborhood where there is no investment or life whatsoever.

However, if we accept positive change, and fight negitive change, we can move forward. Yes, NIMBYism has it's place. It slayed Robert Moses for which we'll all be eniternaly grateful. But there is too much of it in many areas. Yes, it sucks having your waterfront view blocked by some new co-op or mall. But there are ways to have both growth and preseravtion exist. Stop fighting, start thinking.

Schadenfrau
March 23rd, 2005, 04:51 PM
Your in the South Bronx, correct? If NY doesn't move forward, we'll end up going backwards into what the South Bronx became, A horrifing, decpreit neighborhood where there is no investment or life whatsoever.


I'm confused. Are you implying that's what the South Bronx is now? And that the solution to bettering it is a shopping mall?

ryan
March 23rd, 2005, 05:26 PM
Yes, they do. Why dod you think 4 million whites left NYC between 1940 and now? They didn't want African-Americans in their hoods. Same about immigrants.

Nimbyism is not the same thing as white flight - not by a long shot. White flight was a far more complicated phenomenon than white people leaving their neighborhood when black people or immigrants moved in. It had much more to do with economics than direct and viceral "flight" from people of color. Institutional racisim played a huge role. You should back up your arguments with more detail if you're going to make such strong statements.


Your in the South Bronx, correct? If NY doesn't move forward, we'll end up going backwards into what the South Bronx became, A horrifing, decpreit neighborhood where there is no investment or life whatsoever.

Stop fighting, start thinking.

What are you talking about? How long has NYC been booming now - 15, 20 years? Crime is down, development is up... what exactly needs to change? Please provide some detail or stop with the hyperbole.

ryan
March 23rd, 2005, 06:18 PM
In NIMBYism.

Let's think of it this way: You have this small group of neighborhood people who are "deadset" against both change and newcomers. I'm NOT yelling at the newcomers at all! I welcome everyone, and I wish even more would come! I'm yelling at the NIMBY's. Who thinks it's their "right" to control who moves into their neighborhood. If you don't like Jimmy from India or John from Texas, then leave!!! Let them all come, I'm sick of these Manhattan types getting all heated about having to share their world. Someone should be able to realize that when you live in NYC, it's one of the relialites you must deal with. Just like if you lived in Canada (per say), Cold is a fact you have to deal with.


Don't think this an attack on people. This is an attack on a MINDSET! Just like you may not like conservative values, but it doesn't mean you don't like conservative people. See?

This seems to be a very narrow take on nimbys... I'm sure there are racist and xenophobic nimbys, but I think the majority are just selfishly (or justifyibly) opposed to a particular development (usually negative) in their neighborhood, hence Not In My Back Yard.

In Williamsburg/Greenpoint we have nimbys who are protesting against additional garbage/power/sewage plants being built in our neighborhood - especially along the east river. They don't want a negative impact on their neighborhood (back yard) so they want these ugly neccessities in another neighborhood. You can hardly blame them for this, although when you look at the big picture, these things do need to be built in some neighborhood.

Other nimbys are protesting new development in our neighborhood - they have a lot of concerns, but basically I think they just don't want to be priced out of the neighborhood. I don't want my rent to go up, but in the big picture I can see that this development is good for the city as a whole in the long term (especially if we get a waterfront park out of it)

I think the kind of nimby you are talking about is a small and easily dismissed voice. Can you provide an example of racist nimby-ism causing a problem?

ZippyTheChimp
March 23rd, 2005, 06:43 PM
Please provide some detail or stop with the hyperbole.
Indeed.

Arizona makes 800 Million dollars every single Fiesta bowl championship. NYC could triple that!!!Exactly where did you get that info from? Are you sure it's not total revenue over the 35 years of the bowl history?

alex ballard
March 23rd, 2005, 08:23 PM
Indeed.
Exactly where did you get that info from? Are you sure it's not total revenue over the 35 years of the bowl history?

Nope. I know it's sounds insane, but I read about it in a Buisness and Entertainment textbook in 2nd period today! Keep in mind however, about 800,000 people come out for the game. And about 150-200 actually sit in the stands.

Who knows, maybe it's wrong. But it's not that out there. After all, the Gates brought in 250 million. So imagine 200,000 football fans converging on NY for a weekend. A good 400 dollars is gonna get spent on hotel rooms if they spend just 2 nights. Being that this is NY, I'm sure many will make it a weekend or even a week. So that's thousands coming in per room. Then there are the meals, the attractions, the shops, the activtes (And I'm sure NYC will blow everyone away in this regard), and even transit/taxis. This would be huge for NY. I think a super bowl could make NY's economy up to 1-2 Bllion dollars. That's the stadium debt right there.

alex ballard
March 23rd, 2005, 08:29 PM
I'm confused. Are you implying that's what the South Bronx is now? And that the solution to bettering it is a shopping mall?

:::laughing:::No, of course not. And I sure as heck don't want a mall taking up the area (although some great shopping/cutlural/entertainment destinations would really be a boost). I think the South Bronx today is a wonderful and vibrant communtiy that will become a shining beacon and will become a great or even premire communtiy in the future, for people of all incomes and backgrounds.

Keep in mind, I have to slowly repaint my picture of NYC by my own experince. NYC has changed so much for the better, and so fast that it's hard to completely wipe away old images of the city. But I have been through the South Bronx and I believe it's a great area. In fact, I have considered Highbridge or Melrose for my first place.

alex ballard
March 23rd, 2005, 08:32 PM
This seems to be a very narrow take on nimbys... I'm sure there are racist and xenophobic nimbys, but I think the majority are just selfishly (or justifyibly) opposed to a particular development (usually negative) in their neighborhood, hence Not In My Back Yard.

In Williamsburg/Greenpoint we have nimbys who are protesting against additional garbage/power/sewage plants being built in our neighborhood - especially along the east river. They don't want a negative impact on their neighborhood (back yard) so they want these ugly neccessities in another neighborhood. You can hardly blame them for this, although when you look at the big picture, these things do need to be built in some neighborhood.

Other nimbys are protesting new development in our neighborhood - they have a lot of concerns, but basically I think they just don't want to be priced out of the neighborhood. I don't want my rent to go up, but in the big picture I can see that this development is good for the city as a whole in the long term (especially if we get a waterfront park out of it)

I think the kind of nimby you are talking about is a small and easily dismissed voice. Can you provide an example of racist nimby-ism causing a problem?


Read the part of the quote where I say "It's no longer a racial problem". It's a "Stay out" attitude problem (IMO). Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe NIMBY's are simpy passionate about their neighborhood and only want to see the best for it. But being a very dynamic person, I'm a "Growth is GOOD!" kind of guy. Different strokes for different folks, ya know! :)

ZippyTheChimp
March 23rd, 2005, 08:58 PM
Nope. I know it's sounds insane, but I read about it in a Buisness and Entertainment textbook in 2nd period today! Keep in mind however, about 800,000 people come out for the game. And about 150-200 actually sit in the stands.

Who knows, maybe it's wrong. But it's not that out there. After all, the Gates brought in 250 million. So imagine 200,000 football fans converging on NY for a weekend. A good 400 dollars is gonna get spent on hotel rooms if they spend just 2 nights. Being that this is NY, I'm sure many will make it a weekend or even a week. So that's thousands coming in per room. Then there are the meals, the attractions, the shops, the activtes (And I'm sure NYC will blow everyone away in this regard), and even transit/taxis. This would be huge for NY. I think a super bowl could make NY's economy up to 1-2 Bllion dollars. That's the stadium debt right there.
No, it doesn't sound insane. It's wrong, because I already knew the answer. I don't want this thread to drift away from its topic, but you shouldn't put out data based on imagining this or that. There is plenty of research on the subject. Also, taking a place like Tempe and multiplying its data by the greater size of NY is not always vadid. An event such as the Fiesta Bowl in Tempe may draw a greater percentage of money that would not have been spent on something else anyway than in a place like NY with alternative venues.

If you want to take this to the Jets thread, go ahead. My point is, don't put out data without a source. If you say it's from a textbook, what's the name of the book?

alex ballard
March 23rd, 2005, 09:14 PM
No, it doesn't sound insane. It's wrong, because I already knew the answer. I don't want this thread to drift away from its topic, but you shouldn't put out data based on imagining this or that. There is plenty of research on the subject. Also, taking a place like Tempe and multiplying its data by the greater size of NY is not always vadid. An event such as the Fiesta Bowl in Tempe may draw a greater percentage of money that would not have been spent on something else anyway than in a place like NY with alternative venues.

If you want to take this to the Jets thread, go ahead. My point is, don't put out data without a source. If you say it's from a textbook, what's the name of the book?

Sports and Entertainment Marketing.

Also, I'm not a little child. Say "imagining things" to a grown person and see what they say back. If you know the answer, then what is it?

I'm not trying to be confrontational. But I think i've added enough valuble insight and opinions to not be told I'm "imagining things". Thank you.

ZippyTheChimp
March 23rd, 2005, 10:09 PM
The word imagine was taken directly from your post. Its reference to the validity of data was clear. If you viewed it as condescending, that's your problem.

I hope your next post in this thread relates to the topic.

TLOZ Link5
March 23rd, 2005, 10:15 PM
Hmmm...I think there's more to it than that. Chicago and Los Angeles are very economically prosperous too, but they haven't been as quick to bring crime down as New York has. Giuliani can be given credit for letting the police do their jobs, though criminologists have pointed to an aging population, gentrification, immigration, more economic opportunities for minorities, and an improvement in medical services (at least regarding the murder rate).

I still want to know what Ferrer's platform is going to be, particularly regarding crime; it was only a decade ago that there were still over 1,000 murders in New York a year, so crime must still be on a lot of people's minds, even now. With the Amadou Diallo comment, Ferrer seems to be trying to curry favor with the police unions, but it might cost him some support from his base.

ZippyTheChimp
March 23rd, 2005, 11:09 PM
Much of the credit for the drop in crime should go to the 2 police commissioners in the early 90s, Kelly and Bratton. The crime situation at the time, and the public perception of a city out of control, warranted a longer leash on the police force. Even "quality of life crimes" (peeing in the subway) were handled aggressively. The policy was risky.

Bratton understood the need to control the police force. As crime numbers started coming down, his campaign for tighter controls on the force was at odds with Guiliani. Incidents of police misconduct began to rise during the tenure of Safir.

Economics didn't seem to play a role over the last 4 years, with the city in recession and a large segment of the NYPD assigned to anti-terrorist duty.

One of the smartest things that Bloomberg did was rehire Kelly. Whoever the next mayor is should keep him on.

Since Bratton is the LAPD police chief now, a comparison can be made.But he took over a police force with low morale and high corruption.

As for Ferrer, I think getting the support of the police union at the risk of his base is bad arithmetic. He may be trying to paint himself as tough on crime with a broader base.

TomAuch
March 23rd, 2005, 11:36 PM
Ferrer's vacillating on the Diallo incident will cost him, and I'm not sure how he will handle the issue of crime. I think that a problem with NYC Democrats is that many voters don't trust them on crime (ie. more moderate Dems who are Giuliani/Bloomberg supporters but vote Democratic for national and state races.) They are afraid of a return to the 1970's-early 1990's when there was the Son of Sam, neighborhood decay (think of South Bronx fires) and the crack epidemic of the mid '80s. And lets not forget Times Square. All I want is a mayor who will prevent the "crime-ridden city" stereotype of NY from seeping back into the minds of middle America. As I have said, I do not live in NYC, but in terms of who I would prefer for Mayor, keeping the streets safe and maintaining the city's image is a must.

BrooklynRider
March 24th, 2005, 10:46 AM
Yes, and every single reason is why you SHOULD vote for Bloome. Me personally, I'm the BIGGEST right wing hater YOU'LL EVER MEET.

I don't hate anyone and would caution against using any kind of "hater" as a badge of honor. I like to think of myself as a progressive centrist who will take a "run down 1970's NYC" that fully respects and enforces the Bill of Rights and Constitution, over an aesthetically pleasing, well developed prison any day.


However, I'm sick of the pervasive and lazy welfare mentality of NY's liberal politics.

I have to summize you are reading from an old textbook or magazine, because New York City, more than almost any other city in this country, has pretty much dimantled its welfare state. Check into the WEP Program.


Living in Manhattan is NOT a right! It is a privilage that you EARN!

If one person does not have as much a right to live in any one place within this country's borders as anyone else, there is a problem. If you are advocating it, you are proposing a society based on either end of the political spectrum right-wing fascism or left-wing communism.


If not, Brooklyn and Queens (along with BX and SI) are just as nice. You need to actually WORK for your welfare benefits, WORK for some of your Mediaid benefits. We need to decrease the welfare and medicaid rolls. 2 million people on medicaid is INSANE! That number should be down to 400,000-500,000.

The MAJORITY of people on Medicaid are working poor. That is, to be exact, people working 40 or more hours per week, whose household income still falls under the poverty level. Most people are more than willing to work for benefits, but (1) the jobs being created in the Bush economy are not offering medical benefits and are paying significantly less than jobs created in previous years and (2) the system of Public Assistance tends to have little clauses written into it that make it difficult, if not impossible, for a person with a family to accept better paying jobs, do to loss of benefits like housing and medical coverage.


As for the treatment for the war protest, as much as this war was worng and a waste, again, protesting in Central Park is not a right. He gave them the West Side Highway, either take it or protest in Cleveland. You should be lucky you got to stage in NYC at all. It's not like we treated them like Chicago 1968.

Actually, Central Park was created as a PUBLIC park. Only in the last 20 years or so has it been completed taken over, albeit with initially good intentions, by the Central Park Conservancy: a group of wealthy, politically connected New Yorkers who have renovated the park, under the guise as a public service, but seem to think they can now dictate policy. The Pope was allowed to say mass in Central Park - no problem. Disney was allowed to have the preview of Pocahontas in the park (and got scathing criticism for their treatment of the park). Christo was allowed to put his critically acclaimed and very invasive art in the park.

Peaceably protesting on public property anywhere in this country actually is a RIGHT. It is a right that has been continually eroded and withdrawn with the ridiculous notion that people need "permits to protest" or need to be protesting in pre-designated areas. THAT is the exact antithesis of "protest".


The fact is that NYC millitary keeps you from getting stabbed by some cracked-out junkie. I don't know if you or you're family lived here in the 1960's to 1980's, but there really was a time when you couldn't walk down the street in Bed-Stuy. I for one, never want, and thankfully, will never expect, the city to return to that state.

I've been here all my life. How long, exactly, did you live in Bed-Stuy and what street was it that you had trouble walking down? The city police force was originally intended to protect the population from crime. It is now used to protect the government and corporate interests from protestors. It is used to intimidate civilians and for surveillance and intrusion into our private lives. Try to find a definition of what "allegedly gave material aid to an alleged suspect" means. You'll read a lot of those charges in the news these days. Machine guns and automatic weapons in Penn Station and Times Square are not going to "save" anyone. Those weapons are used for indiscriminate shooting (i.e. massacre). There is no place for them on our streets with patrolling peace officers.


I apologize with some NIMBY's who've I've blasted. However, it's one thing when you're neighborhood gets invaded by a bunch of Southerners. But it's another when we get all heated about building a stadium. The fact is, the Super Bowl or even a college bowl game could rank in upwards of 100's of millions of dollars into NYC's economy. Arizona makes 800 Million dollars every single Fiesta bowl championship. NYC could triple that!!!

I'm going to let your "southerners" statement stand on its own. I have no idea what you mean.

As far as the stadium, I know you are aware of the arguments, pro and con, regarding the stadium. "NIMBY" has taken on an interesting meaning in these forums of late. People railing against "NIMBYs". NIMBY this and NIMBY that. It's a cop out for lack of a good argument. It's like calling someone a racist. The minute I see NIMBY in an argument, I think cop-out. Really, who are we to dismiss the concerns of others regarding the place where they live. We can agree or disagree with their arguments, but calling them "NIMBYs" does not advance any argument.

The continued references to how much money these "potential" events will bring are "projections" not real numbers. I don't worship at the altar of the dollar and, to me, financial considerations don't somehow out weigh quality of life and public welfare issues or long term good sense.


Sorry, BrooklynRider. I have all the respect in the world for you. But NY is progressing. It's politics must follow suit!

No need to apologize. Props right back to you. However, you are suggesting that the populace get in line behind economic and private interests as opposed to policy being driven by the will of the people. It still stands that the majority of New Yorkers oppose this stadium on the West Side. Ideally, politics would be dynamic and full of grand vision - not reactionary and dedicated to following or opposing ideas presented by the few with the access to the pulpit. What you are proposing is that we accept our citizenship roles as sheep to be herded and led blindly - even if it is not in our interests. Subjugate ourselves for the sake of the larger good. I don't think so. Not in my America.

Ninja Mantis
April 9th, 2005, 06:27 AM
I guess there in no candidate to compare him to but if there was one that you like for example would you give bloomberg another chance? Is there anyone in the forum who doesnt like him?

At first I thought he did a fair job but as time went by I notice that he is more apt to do things that favor his billionaire friends than whats in the best interest of NYC. The Stadium on the west side is an excellent example of this. Why should NYC subsidize Woody Johnson with 600 million bucks...which is about what he paid for the Jets in the first place...so he can build a stadium that will bring congestion in the streets to record levels and be unaffordable to the average Joe? I don't know ANYone who is in favor of spending that money on a new Stadium in Manhattan when our public education is horrible...we're closing firehouses around the city and cutting essential services? Where are Bloomies priorities?

I will vote for whoever is the best candidate...and I doubt that will be Bloomberg.

Schadenfrau
April 11th, 2005, 11:23 AM
From today's Times:

April 11, 2005
7 Vying for Mayor Appear Together, but Not for Long
By MIKE McINTIRE

For a fleeting moment yesterday morning, all seven New York City mayoral candidates appeared together for the first time at a community forum in Queens, looking a little like estranged relatives forced to share the same breakfast table.

The interlude did not last long.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, in a hurry to get to the Greek Independence Day Parade in Manhattan at 12:30 p.m., stayed seated next to Democrat Fernando Ferrer for less than a minute before rising to make a brief speech, field two questions from a moderator and leave. In the mayor's absence, his opponents criticized him for not sticking around to take questions from the audience at the Samuel Field Y.M.-Y.W.H.A. in Little Neck.

"He saw fit to make a speech in which he was unchallenged, and leave, and I'm sorry to see that," said Thomas V. Ognibene, a former city councilman from Queens, who is one of two Republicans challenging Mr. Bloomberg for their party's nomination.

Mr. Bloomberg's aides said they had made it clear to the organizers of the forum, sponsored by the Northeast Queens Jewish Community Council, that the mayor would not be taking part in a freewheeling exchange. Indeed, it would be highly unusual for any mayor to participate in a debate with multiple candidates from the opposing party before that party had settled on a nominee.

The four Democrats - Mr. Ferrer, the former Bronx borough president; Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields; City Council Speaker Gifford Miller; and Representative Anthony D. Weiner - are all vying for their party's nod. In addition to Mr. Bloomberg and Mr. Ognibene, Steve Shaw, an investment banker from Brooklyn, is seeking the Republican nomination.

"We were invited to come and give opening remarks, and that's what we did," Mr. Bloomberg said later, referring to the Queens forum. "But we've got a whole group of things to do today and are just trying to do as many of them as possible."

During his short stay, Mr. Bloomberg rattled off what he described as his administration's accomplishments, including a reduced crime rate, mayoral control of the city's schools and economic development projects. But he did not dwell on the biggest project: the plan for a Jets stadium on Manhattan's Far West Side. His opponents characterized the stadium as a financial boondoggle cooked up by Mr. Bloomberg and wealthy team owners, an argument that drew applause from the crowd.

"There's kind of this level of contempt for anyone who is not a billionaire in Manhattan," Mr. Weiner said.

Ninja Mantis
April 14th, 2005, 04:59 AM
I'm curious what will be Bloomberg's reaction to the long list of flawed arrests during the Republican National Convention...which was held in NYC last year.

As has been reported in newspapers like the NY Times on April 12 and 13th, much of the video used by police turned out to have been doctored, cutting the scenes that showed people peacefully assembled. When uncut versions of the video tapes were shown in defense of those falsly arrested, police brass remarked that cops shouldn't have to recall an incident precisely as a video would.

But then why can those same police testify in court and threaten the liberty of the falsely accused?

Where is this country heading?

BrooklynRider
April 14th, 2005, 04:18 PM
Thanks Ninja Mantis for bringing that up. I read that NY Time's report as well. Not only did the NYPD carefully edit footage, the fully unedited footage proved that the "arresting" officers testifying at trial WEREN'T ANYWHERE IN SIGHT - even when they testified about how they had to wrestle protested down.

Mr. Mayor, what about the latest evidence of NYPD perjury at criminal trials?

Bloomberg must go.

I had a telephone pollster call me to ask all about how "strong my support for Bloomberg will be". He is repulsive.

I'm an Anthony Wiener fan. Gifford Miller lacks credibility. Ferrer might havetrouble recovering from the Diallo staements. C. Virginia Fields is inarticulate and would be a mayor in Dinkin's mold - career bureaucrat stepping up to her next logical level. I'd vote for Mark Green if he ran again. Well, really, I would vote for anyone BUT Bloomberg.

needtoknow
April 19th, 2005, 10:11 AM
My daughter was in New York and was invited to the Mansion for the three kings reception and everyone says NY is safe compared to 15-20yrs ago????

He seems to have made an impact??? on actual street crime??? if the city is a better place because of him then why would anyone vote for an unknown!

Schadenfrau
April 19th, 2005, 11:13 AM
The city is hardly a better place because of Michael Bloomberg. NYC has benefited from general economic growth.

NYatKNIGHT
April 19th, 2005, 04:11 PM
I don't put any stock in this, but it's publicity nonetheless.

TIME NAMES THE FIVE BEST BIG-CITY MAYORS IN AMERICA

Sunday, Apr. 17, 2005
New York – TIME Magazine names the five best big-city mayors in America in this week’s issue (on newsstands Monday, April 18). The five best include Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

http://www.time.com/time/press_releases/article/0,8599,1050348,00.html

Michael Bloomberg- New York: Michael Bloomberg has brought an unprecedented level of efficiency and transparency to New York City government. Over the past three-plus years, he has trimmed a $6 billion budget deficit (in part by raising property taxes); spurred a wave of new economic development, especially in the four other boroughs besides Manhattan, so often ignored by his predecessors; taken control of the city’s ailing schools and instituted a uniform math and reading curriculum, although the jury is still out on how much that will actually enhance students’ educations; and improved the city’s quality of life by banning smoking from all restaurants and bars, cracking down on noise and creating a one-stop complaint-and-question line, 311, TIME reports.

ZippyTheChimp
April 26th, 2005, 01:21 PM
Weiner Sets the Pace

As Ferrer stumbles, the skinny congressman from Brooklyn muscles up

by Tom Robbins
April 26th, 2005 10:40 AM

One of the harder ways to launch a campaign for mayor is to say something that, right off the bat, lands a picket line and a giant inflatable rat outside your office.

That was one result last spring when Congressman Anthony Weiner opened his Democratic mayoral bid by releasing a study condemning the Bloomberg administration's plan to build a stadium for the New York Jets on Manhattan's West Side. Weiner said the plan was too expensive for taxpayers and aimed at the wrong site. Better to build it in Queens, he said, in Willets Point near Shea Stadium, where the transportation infrastructure already exists and the public costs are far cheaper.

For his trouble, Weiner found himself denounced by the Jets, City Hall, and construction union leaders. The unions sent members to razz Weiner at his press conferences, drowning him out when he tried to talk above the buzz on the City Hall steps. They also picketed his office, bringing along their trademark 10-foot-tall rat, originally adopted as a symbol of rage at exploitative non-union employers.

Weiner, who has a 100 percent rating from the AFL-CIO for his congressional votes on labor legislation, said the unions were confused, and that his Queens stadium would produce just as many jobs as the one in Manhattan. Meanwhile, he kept refining his analysis of the stadium and, to the chagrin of the Bloomberg administration and the building trades organizations, critiquing other projects that he felt shortchanged small businesses and taxpayers.

At the time, Weiner's aggressive posture stood out. Fernando Ferrer, the former Bronx borough president and nomination front-runner, had declared the Jets scheme "nuts," but hadn't offered an alternative. Manhattan Borough President Virginia Fields had questioned the project's financing, but not the stadium itself. And Weiner's most direct competitor for the Democratic nomination, City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, was stuck in neutral, refusing to take a clear position, even telling a business gathering that he was "not reflexively opposed to a stadium for that site."

A year later, all four Democrats seeking the mayoral nomination are outright opponents of the plan. But they do so from a far more comfortable posture than the one held by Weiner when the skinny congressman from Brooklyn was being taunted by husky men in nylon union jackets.

Weiner, 40, a former councilmember and four-term congressman representing sections of south Brooklyn and western Queens, entered the race as the darkest of dark horses. He was widely perceived as a (literally) lightweight, Mini-Me version of his mentor and former boss, Senator Chuck Schumer. But a year after his lonely confrontation with that rubber rat, as the four candidates speak at forums and political clubs, it is Weiner who is attracting attention. While most stories have focused on his relentless bent for nifty economic development ideas and comedy-club shtick, his candidacy has sounded the toughest notes on the Bloomberg administration's shortcomings, while laying out his own ideas for reforms.

George Arzt, the crusty ex-Koch aide and political consultant who once represented Fields, said that he viewed Weiner as the clear winner of last week's important Crain's breakfast forum.

"He wowed them," said Arzt. "A lot of insiders think he is the real up-and-coming guy. He has the facility. Numbers roll off his tongue. He knows the issues. He is more articulate and unambiguous than his rivals."

Hank Sheinkopf, a former campaign adviser to Ferrer and 2001 Democratic candidate Mark Green, agreed. "He is the one creating the excitement right now," said Sheinkopf. "He has energy and is willing to take on the mayor and his opponents, and that makes him newsworthy. He is getting more mileage than anyone else in what has been a very dull venture."

Even Bill Lynch, an architect of David Dinkins's 1989 mayoral victory and a key member of Ferrer's brain trust, acknowledged that the debates have revealed Weiner to be a comer. "He has all those Schumer tendencies going," said Lynch. "He keeps coming at you. You can tell he is a 24-7 kind of guy. I think he is the one Freddy has to watch in this whole thing."

Not that those plaudits are reflected in the polls as yet. Weiner and Miller are running neck and neck, barely breaking double digits; Ferrer, despite the fallout from his Amadou Diallo missteps, has remained at the top of the pack, the only Democratic candidate who can beat Bloomberg, polls show. Fields's numbers have inched up, largely by default as a result of Ferrer's miscues.

But if voters get a look at the kind of moxie Weiner has shown at the early forums and debates, it could make him a formidable contender, say some observers.

"He has that New York spunk," said Gerson Borrero, the El Diario columnist and Latino activist. "He comes off like a pissed-off citizen—people like that. If the guy ever gets the money to be seen by New Yorkers on TV, he becomes a big problem for Freddy."

There are also downsides. "He is a little bit of an I-doctor—'I did this,' 'I did that,' " added Arzt. "If he can curb that and propel his message out to the voters, he will be tough in the primary. If he gets into the runoff, he would give Bloomberg a run for his money."

That Weiner was the one catching notice last week was even more significant in light of Ferrer's almost desperate effort to break out of his post-Diallo funk. The former Bronx leader launched the week with a carefully orchestrated speech at Pace University calling for a new stock-transfer tax before an audience that included teachers' union president Randi Weingarten, whose crucial endorsement is still in play. At the Crain's forum, Weiner jumped on Ferrer's proposal, calling it a "mind-bogglingly bad idea," saying the tax could push the exchange to relocate jobs elsewhere.

The stock-tax notion isn't new, and was frequently urged by liberal politicians in the 1980s as one way to add revenue without hurting average New Yorkers. But a lot has changed since then. "The technology has caught up with the times, and it is not a viable option anymore," said Harvey Robins, a former adviser to mayors Koch and Dinkins. "Ferrer could rightly be faulted for not doing his homework."

"We've lost jobs in the securities industry while the rest of the nation has gained them," said Jonathan Bowles of the Center for an Urban Future. "The industry really is decentralizing and doesn't have to be here anymore."

Weiner's own proposal to cure city budget ills is a tax hike on millionaires, a notion that has so far generated little criticism. "It seems like that is a progressive tax that would hurt taxpayers the least," said Bowles. Thursday night at a Democratic mayoral candidates' forum at Hunter College, sponsored by radio station WWRL, the Urban League, and Brooklyn Young Democrats, the crowd appeared to be clearly pro-Ferrer, judging by the hoots and applause as he was introduced. Later, however, Weiner got the biggest hands, mixed with laughter at his own expense. The crowd laughed good-naturedly at his steady self-promotion as he repeatedly urged them to consult his anthonyweiner.com (http://anthonyweiner.com/) website for his "50 ideas for the city." And they laughed again, this time with cheers, when he talked about how he would substitute "a little vinegar" for the "sugar" approach he said Michael Bloomberg had used to win increased aid from Republican leaders in Albany and Washington. "I might not look like much," said Weiner, "but I can handle myself. And I relish a fight."

http://www.villagevoice.com/

ryan
April 26th, 2005, 01:36 PM
yeah, but can he win with a name like "Weiner?"

alex ballard
April 26th, 2005, 07:01 PM
yeah, but can he win with a name like "Weiner?"

He'd literally be the NIMBY's chioce;D.

krulltime
April 27th, 2005, 12:45 PM
April 27, 2005

Bloomberg would beat Ferrer in mayor's race: poll


In a major turnabout, a new poll shows Mayor Michael Bloomberg beating former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer in the race for Gracie Mansion.

Mr. Bloomberg would win the election 51% to 38% in a matchup with Mr. Ferrer, according to a Marist College poll of registered New York City voters conducted this week. A March poll showed Mr. Ferrer leading the mayor 49% to 42%.

When pitted against other Democratic candidates for mayor, Mr. Bloomberg would win against City Council Speaker Gifford Miller by 50% to 36%, the poll shows. He would beat Brooklyn Congressman Anthony Weiner by 48% to 36% and Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields by 47% to 41%.

The mayor's approval rating rose to 48% in the new poll, up from 43% in March and 46% in December. However, 52% of those surveyed said they were less likely to vote for Mr. Bloomberg based on his support for the proposed West Side stadium.

Thirty-two percent of those polled said education should be the top priority for the winner of the mayoral race; employment, economic development, and reducing poverty and homelessness were seen as No. 1 priorities by other respondents.

From April 25 to 26, Marist surveyed 525 registered voters, with a margin of error of +/-4.5%.


COPYRIGHT 2005 CRAIN COMMUNICATIONS INC.

TLOZ Link5
April 27th, 2005, 05:56 PM
This is going to be a repeat of 2001. Bloomberg doesn't seem to be trying any new tactics because (this is my speculation) he's just expecting to divide and conquer.

AmTavani
May 10th, 2005, 12:30 PM
If election day were today, which NYC Mayoral candidate would you vote for?

Please take a moment and click on the link below to vote.

http://andrewtavani.blogspot.com/2005/05/new-york-city-mayoral-race-poll.html

ZippyTheChimp
May 25th, 2005, 09:15 AM
Gotham Gazette - http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/demographics/2005-05-25 00:00:00/5/1426

Four Trends That Shape The City's Political Landscape

by Andrew Beveridge
25 May 2005

The election of Antonio Villaraigosa (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7937184/site/newsweek/) as Mayor of Los Angeles encouraged Fernando Ferrer's campaign to rally Hispanic support (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/20/nyregion/metrocampaigns/20latino.html). But it is not a strange kind of vanity that turned Michael Bloomberg into Miguel in some recent ads, as the billionaire's mayoral campaign started in earnest with television commercials in Spanish (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/18/nyregion/metrocampaigns/18bloomberg.html). New York City is not like Los Angeles, where nearly 85 percent of all Hispanics are Mexican. There is a dizzyingly diverse mix of Hispanic immigrants in New York, and the various groups may not all respond to one ethnic appeal.

This diverse wave of immigrants to the city is one of four demographic trends that define New York City’s unique political landscape, all of which the candidates must understand, even if they have little power to change them.

Immigrant Waves

New York City's recent population growth was fueled by immigration. Without it, the city's population would not be near eight million. "Without the immigrants,” Mitchell Moss has said, “New York City would be Detroit," a city whose population is lower now than it was in 1930. During the 1990s New York City continued to draw large numbers of immigrants with a variety of backgrounds, origins and economic status (http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/Demographics/20021211/5/10). Unlike virtually every other immigrant area in the United States, immigrants to New York City come from many different places:

older European countries such as Russia, Italy and Poland;
the Caribbean, including the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Haiti;
Asia, including China, Korea, Pakistan, Bangladesh and India;
Central and South America, including Mexico, Ecuador and Colombia.
Some of these groups are better educated than others; some gravitate to the professions; some are self-employed. The economic status, family status and ratio of male to female vary widely from group to group. The immigrants in New York City today are much more segregated from the rest of the population and from other immigrant groups than were immigrants at the turn of the 20th century, and even groups from the same nation often gravitate to different locations.

Mayor Rudy Giuliani once remarked that he loved all immigrants, legal or illegal, but in recent years New York City, along with the rest of the country, has reversed that inclusive sentiment. After 9/11, the climate for undocumented foreign born, foreign students and foreign workers in New York City (as elsewhere) has worsened. Entering the country, either legally or illegally has become much more difficult, and undocumented immigrants have a harder time living here since they can no longer open bank accounts or obtain driver's licenses. It is possible that the immigrant waves have now slowed.

Racial Segregation and the Black Middle Class

The African Americans in New York City are highly segregated (http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/Demographics/20020301/5/594) from other groups. Within this segregation, there is a burgeoning black middle class in South Eastern Queens as well parts of the Northeast Bronx and recently the beginnings of one in parts of Harlem. Blacks in Queens have incomes at least on par with the whites living there, and the neighborhoods around St. Albans, Cambria and Laurelton are especially affluent and virtually 100 percent black. These areas contain highly mobilized and affluent potential supporters for any mayoral campaign. Many candidates have already recognized this constituency and sometimes visit the black churches in Queens on Sunday mornings in search of votes and contributions. Rising Income Inequality

Areas of wealth exist around the boroughs, but New York City and especially Manhattan remain economically stratified with income inequality (http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/Demographics/20030611/5/421) dwarfing that of most third world countries. Neighbors and peers of Michael Bloomberg in the Upper East Side zip code of 10021 supplied the most political donations to both the Bush and Kerry campaigns in 2004 of any zip code in the country. The rich folks constituting the top 20 percent of Manhattan have about 50 times the income (over $350,000 on average) of the poor folks in the bottom 20 percent. Income inequality within the very small geographic area of Manhattan is a growing trend, and it seems there is little New York City can do about it. Middle Class Exodus of People and Jobs

Many people of the middle and upper middle class are moving outside of New York City into the New York metropolitan area. The movement of people and jobs undoubtedly increased in the aftermath of 9/11, but the trend began in earnest after World War II (http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/Demographics/20030113/5/125), especially the more affluent who sought employment, housing, city services and improved quality of life outside of city limits. New York City is increasingly the home of the foreign-born, as well as native-born African Americans and Hispanics. Such residents, in fact, are more and more in need of primary, secondary and higher education, decent health care, reasonable employment, public transportation, etc. While the wealthy take care of themselves and the middle class leave New York City, new residents and those on the bottom become the core recipients of vital city services and those most affected by changes to them. Yet, the city struggles to fulfill these needs, despite its disproportionate tax burden. The Campaign for Fiscal Equity school funding case, the abolition of the commuter tax, the crumbling city infrastructure and the big development plans both for Ground Zero and for the West Side contribute to the impression that New York City residents and their needs are subordinate to the interests of suburban and upstate residents.

It may not matter much whether Gifford Miller, Anthony Weiner, Virginia Field, Freddy Ferrer or Michael Bloomberg is elected, or which ethnic, immigrant or racial groups the candidates mobilize. New York City's needs will remain the same, and these same four trends will continue to shape the issues. Managing or overcoming the negative impacts of these trends will prove a daunting task for the next mayor, whoever that turns out to be.

Andrew A. Beveridge (http://www.socialexplorer.com/Andrew_Beveridge.htm) has taught sociology at Queens College since 1981, done demographic analyses for the New York Times since 1993, and provides expert testimony on a range of cases, including housing discrimination. The opinions expressed are his alone.

Rem 311 JHF
June 6th, 2005, 04:07 PM
Alot of you Would Disagree W. Me on This Particular Note, But HEY!!.The Man Speaks his Mind and I Really Think that He Would make a Great Mayor for The City of New York and Would be Good on Certain Views Such as The Schools Situation,Crime in our Streets,Welfare and Many Other Things!!

ZippyTheChimp
August 9th, 2005, 08:29 AM
Gotham Gazette - http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/finance/20050809/8/1512

Campaign 2005: 10 Budget Choices Facing The Next Mayor

by Glenn Pasanen
09 Aug 2005

Whoever is mayor on January, 2006 will face monumental decisions about New York City’s budget, thanks in part to the $4.5 billion deficits projected for each of the next two fiscal years.

A budget ultimately reflects the values of those who make it and approve it, and the mayor’s choices on the following ten budget-related issues go to the heart of his or her values and vision for the city.

1. Education Education plays an immense role in the city’s finances, with spending on it for operational expenses expected to reach $17 billion in 2006, or 32 percent of the total city budget. The city’s share of that funding has increased an average of almost four percent each year since 2000.

The big unknown in education is the city’s obligation, if any, to meet the state court order in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit. The court has ordered an increase in city education operational spending by $5.6 billion over four years and $9.2 billion in capital spending over the next five years. It is not clear what the state and city shares would be.

Specific issue: Whether the city will share in the new spending required by the CFE case, and how much that share will be.

2. City Workforce.

No city union currently has a contract for the 2006-2009 financial plan period. Yet, the Bloomberg administration’s current plan assumes future settlements will be at half the rate of inflation. Higher agreements will mean finding hundreds of millions of additional dollars.

Specific issue: Negotiating union contracts, and paying for future city labor settlements.

3. Public Safety

Major crimes continue to decline in New York City, even as the number of police officers declined by some 3,700 officers in 2005, or over nine percent, from a peak of approximately 40,000 in 2000, according to a report by the Independent Budget Office (http://www.ibo.nyc.ny.us/iboreports/march2005.pdf) (in pdf format). The agency’s report also notes that another reasonable money-saving budget choice is available – civilianization, using lower-paid civilians to do work currently being done by higher-paid uniformed officers.

Specific issue: What the number of uniformed police officers should be, and whether to expand civilianization in the department.

4. Sanitation

One of the major increases in city spending in the past few years has been the escalating cost of residential waste disposal. Disposal has tripled in cost since the closing of the Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island in 1998, to $300 million currently, according to a recent Independent Budget Office report (http://www.ibo.nyc.ny.us/newsfax/insidethebudget138.pdf) (in pdf format). The use of new marine transfer stations and rail lines that would reduce the costs of the very expensive truck-based system used today raises important cost, equity, and environmental issues.

Specific issue: How to reduce the escalating costs of the current truck-based waste disposal system in the city

5. Overtime

The cost of overtime for police, firefighters, and the city’s other uniformed services in 2005 again reached more than $700 million, nearly $200 million more than was initially budgeted for the year, according to a report by the Financial Control Board. The underestimating of overtime costs is, in fact, a pattern that goes back well into the 1990s, and the Financial Control Board sees the pattern continuing in the Bloomberg administration’s new financial plan.

Specific issue: What management measures to employ in order to reduce the exceedingly high overtime costs for the uniformed services.

6. Property Tax

The city’s property tax will bring in an estimated $12.4 billion in 2006, or about 43 percent of all city tax revenues. It’s also the only city tax projected to increase substantially in the next four years (by $3.2 billion, says the Financial Control Board). The tax became a hot issue in November 2002 when Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council increased the rate by 18.5 percent – after a decade in which the average tax rate had been frozen. The $1.8 billion in new revenues produced by the increase helped solve a budget deficit that at one point had reached $6 billion.

The mayor’s $400 rebate to homeowners – continued in the four-year plan at a cost of over $250 million a year -- has wiped out that increase for many homeowners, but has left the burden on commercial owners and renters (who pay a substantial percentage of a landlord’s property tax). The rebates have exacerbated a bizarre, confusing property tax system (http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/finance/20030408/8/341) in which private house owners pay lower property taxes than coop and condo owners; worse yet, renters, with lower incomes than homeowners on average, pay by far the highest residential rate.

Specific issue: What to do to reform the city’s bizarre property tax system, while maintaining its place as a vital source of city revenue.

7. Personal Income Tax

The personal income tax, or PIT, is the second largest -- and most progressive -- city tax, bringing in $6 billion (20 percent of tax revenues) in 2005. Its rates currently range from 2.9 percent of income for lower-paid taxpayers to 4.45 percent for households earning over $500,000. The two highest rates (4.25 and 4.45 percent), which added about $540 million in revenues to the 2005 budget, will be eliminated at the end of this calendar year. That will make the PIT less progressive, and make it more difficult to resolve the city’s long-term budget deficits.

Specific issue: Whether to restore the higher personal income tax rates for higher-earning New Yorkers.

8. Rainy Day Fund and Structural Budget Balance

The $3.5 billion surplus in the fiscal year 2005, along with the $1.9 billion surplus in 2004, have triggered a lot of interest, most recently by the City Comptroller in his July report, in establishing a so-called “rainy day fund,” which means saving all (or some of) any budget surplus and setting up procedures for using it over time – as, say, when an economic recession cuts revenues sharply. Under current state law, any surplus must be spent in the fiscal year of the surplus.

Mayors Rudolph Giuliani and Michael Bloomberg have used billions of dollars of annual surpluses to pre-pay the next year’s expenses. That is politically attractive – I call the surplus a “sunny day fund” for mayors – because it’s an easy way to avoid new taxes or reduced spending for 12 months. The downside is that it’s a one-time revenue. Without the recent surplus, the mayor and council would have had to find $3.5 billion in service cuts and new revenues. If there were $3.5 billion of recurring cuts and revenues in the 2006 budget, next year’s deficit at this point would be $1 billion, not $4.5 billion; the four-year plan would be considered close to “structurally balanced,” that is, long-term revenue and expense projections would be roughly equal.

Specific issue: Whether to create a rainy day fund as the most reasonable way to achieve a more structurally balanced financial plan

9. Capital Budget

The July report by the Financial Control Board calls the Bloomberg administration’s latest 10-year, $62.4 billion capital budget strategy – the separate city budget that funds (by borrowing money in the financial markets) the rehabilitation, replacement, and new construction of public facilities – “by far the largest ten-year strategy ever presented.” The education portion is $18 billion, or 29 percent of the total. Since the debt service for this capital work is paid out of the operating budget, fiscal monitors worry about the burden of such an investment: $4.3 billion in debt service in 2006 (14.4 percent of city tax revenues), rising to $5.9 billion in 2009 (17.4 percent of city tax revenues).

Specific issue: Whether to support the city’s current 10-year capital budget strategy and its priorities.

10. Budget Process

The current mayor’s Charter Revision Commission (http://www.nyc.gov/html/charter/html/meetings/public_meetings.shtml)has spent eleven months discussing possible changes in the city’s charter, and their work has focused in large part on two important questions: 1) public (and fiscal monitor) access to city budget information, and 2) the quality (and usefulness) of many charter-mandated budget and management reports. (The commission has said it is no longer considering the second question for the ballot in November, but it remains an important issue.) A running theme among critics of the commission’s proposals has been deep concern about possible expansion of the already extraordinary power that the city’s mayors have over the city budget.

Specific issue: What to do to expand the public’s knowledge of, and participation in, the city’s annual budget process.

Glenn Pasanen, who teaches political science at Lehman College, has been in charge of Gotham Gazette's finance topic page since 2001.

ZippyTheChimp
August 16th, 2005, 09:01 AM
Gotham Gazette - http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/landuse/20050816/12/1526

Campaign 2005: Mayoral Candidates’ Plans On Planning

by Tom Angotti
16 Aug 2005

The culture of mayoral politics in this city continues to invoke strict allegiance to the imperial power of the office. The game is how you get to City Hall so you, the mayor, can make things happen -- not how you can help neighborhood residents make things happen. And most people, whether in office or not, don’t have the foggiest idea how the arcane systems of zoning and planning work.

None of the mayoral candidates are making land use issues the front and center of their campaigns, though they mention them in their ideas about housing. But a little digging unearths some distinctly different approaches.

Bloomberg’s Down-zoning and Up-zoning

Buried among Bloomberg’s claims of accomplishments are two initiatives connected to land use – down-zonings and up-zonings.

The down-zonings are of low-density neighborhoods in the outer boroughs to prevent “overdevelopment.” The down-zonings are aimed at preventing new housing development and conversions that build to the maximum floor area permitted under existing zoning. In other words, they keep developers out. While in some cases these down-zonings are long-overdue measures to help preserve stable communities, in other cases they end up having little effect except helping homeowners in the areas to decide who to pull the lever for in November. In many cases they respond to anti-immigrant prejudices, since many of their new neighbors happen to be immigrants.

The other controversial Bloomberg policy has been to up-zone areas in more dense in-lying residential communities, like Greenpoint and Williamsburg in Brooklyn, one of the deeds for which Bloomberg counts the numbers of jobs and housing that are projected to be created, but has nothing to say about the enormous local resistance he faced.

Ferrer’s Inclusionary Zoning And Community-Based Planning

Fernando Ferrer offers a clear alternative to Bloomberg. The Bloomberg administration continues to oppose mandatory “inclusionary zoning”--the use of zoning to make housing developers include units for people with low and moderate incomes. At first, Bloomberg’s planning experts claimed that inclusionary zoning doesn’t work, and they opposed a proposal to incorporate inclusionary provisions in the Fourth Avenue rezoning in Brooklyn, which would have allowed developers to voluntarily incorporate affordable housing units in return for getting more square feet of building space. Then, after considerable pressure over the mayor’s rezoning of Greenpoint and Williamsburg in Brooklyn, the administration went along with voluntary inclusionary measures.

In contrast, Ferrer proposes to mandate inclusionary zoning in target areas that are under development pressure. He would require that 30 percent of new housing units in these areas be affordable – 15 percent for low-income and 15 percent for moderate-income households. In return, he would offer a series of bonuses and incentives to developers to make it worth their while. If they provide more than 50 percent affordable units, they would receive financial incentives and density bonuses. Under certain conditions, they could transfer their development rights to other parcels of land or contribute to a housing fund that would produce affordable units elsewhere.

Ferrer also proposes a comprehensive zoning overhaul and reduction of red tape, but it’s not clear what this would mean; in the past, City Hall has retreated every time they faced the Herculean task of changing the thousands of custom-made zoning provisions that developers and individuals are invested in, and communities have fought for or against, over the last half century.

Ferrer recently chose to announce his plan for housing while in the Melrose neighborhood of the Bronx., where he had supported community residents who opposed a city housing proposal that would have displaced many people when he was Bronx Borough president. He funded their alternative plan, which was then adopted by the city, and which has led to revitalization of the neighborhood. Subsequently Ferrer has been an advocate of community-based planning, and supported the principles of the Campaign for Community-based Planning in the last election.

Weiner On Opening Up The Process

Anthony Weiner, however, hits the hardest at the planning process under the Bloomberg administration. He derides “too many insider deals” and says that too many of the new projects are financed “off budget” – through PILOTS (Payments in Lieu of Taxes) and new special authorities like the ones used in the mayor’s Midtown West plan. Weiner calls for “legal requirements that ban insider deals” and “laws that open up the bidding process,” ending the practice of no-bid contracts. Weiner also criticizes the environmental review process, saying that Environmental Impact Statements are “tools of development rather than what they were intended to be.”

Fields On Inclusionary Zoning

C. Virginia Fields claims credit for having sponsored an alternative plan for Manhattan’s West Side that did not include Bloomberg’s ill-fated Jets stadium. Fields has also come out in favor of mandatory inclusionary zoning in neighborhoods “shifting from affordable to market-rate housing” and a voluntary program in other areas.

Other Races

Beyond the mayoral candidates, at least two others who are running this year have come out with relevant statements.

Norman Siegel, candidate for Public Advocate, has been calling for a more open process of planning and has come out strongly against the use of eminent domain to promote new development.

Scott Stringer, candidate for Manhattan Borough President, recently released a series of recommendations for reforming Manhattan community boards. They include provision of a professional planner to each community board and greater support for the 197-a planning process, in which community boards can prepare plans and get them officially approved.

Putting Planning On The Agenda

The Community-based Planning Task Force has launched a campaign to get candidates to put community planning issues on their agendas for discussion in the campaign. Their recommendations are detailed in their report Livable Neighborhoods for a Livable City (http://www.mas.org/contentlibrary/LivableNeighborhoodsReport.pdf) (in pdf format), and the candidates are being surveyed to see if they agree with the recommendations. They have not yet formally responded.

Tom Angotti is Professor of Urban Affairs and Planning at Hunter College, City University of NY, editor of Progressive Planning Magazine, and a member of the Task Force on Community-based Planning.

ZippyTheChimp
August 18th, 2005, 08:52 AM
Gotham Gazette - http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/transportation/20050818/16/1530

Campaign 2005: Democratic Mayoral Candidates’ Transportation Agendas

by Bruce Schaller
18 Aug 2005
Where do the Democratic candidates stand on transportation issues?

Although transportation is a critical part of every New Yorker’s daily life, only two of the candidates running in the September 13 Democratic mayoral primary have announced positions on the major issues.

Miller

Council Speaker Gifford Miller centers his transportation agenda on giving first priority to continued restoration of the subway system. In a May 12 speech (http://www.millerfornewyork.com/mta/speech_051205.html), the most comprehensive address on transportation issues of any candidate, Miller declared that the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s two-decade program to bring the subway system to a state of good repair is “stalling.” Miller charged that the MTA cut the five-year construction budget for the subway and bus system by $5 billion, resulting in delays for “already underfunded items such as communications and signals systems, power stations, ventilation plants and passenger stations.”

Miller called for repairing and modernizing the system before spending money on new subway or commuter rail lines. He says that funding should be funneled to the repair program from expansion projects and new taxes. He would give priority to extension of the #7 line to the West Side and the Second Avenue subway project in preference to the commuter rail project that would send Long Island Rail Road trains to Grand Central Terminal. Miller also called for reinstatement of the commuter tax, once paid by suburban residents who work in the city but repealed in the late 1990s in an Albany political deal. Miller asserts that the mayor should “stop accepting defeat” on a commuter tax and proposed a graduated tax.

Another source of new revenue in Miller’s plan is to obtain full value on the West Side rail yards. Miller opposed the Jets/Olympic stadium plan and now opposes the new MTA plan to build a new headquarters on the site and thus generate funds by selling the MTA’s valuable Midtown office building.

The Council Speaker has also addressed transit security issues in the wake of the London subway bombing, advocated improved rapid bus services, and proposed an expanded ferry system.

In response to a question in the August 16 candidate debate, Miller opposed tolls on the East River bridges.

Weiner

Congressman Anthony Weiner proposes to modernize the city’s transportation system, but in a quite different fashion. Where Miller emphasizes underground transport – over which the mayor has no direct control -- Weiner emphasizes waterborne and surface transit programs that are subject to City Hall’s direction.

First on Weiner’s plan (http://www.anthonyweiner.com/solutions/show/7) is building ferry landings throughout New York. Weiner would thus expand ferry service to neighborhoods like Red Hook, Long Island City, Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, Coney Island, Bayside and the areas around LaGuardia and JFK airports. He believes that ferries, which are currently a small niche transportation provider, can circumvent congestion and spur economic and residential growth in these areas. Toward this end, Weiner, who sits on the House transportation committee, secured $15 million toward ferry service (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/06/nyregion/06ferry.html) from the Rockaways to Manhattan.

Weiner also emphasizes creating a bus rapid transit system throughout the city, including bus-only lanes on major travel corridors. Weiner thus seems prepared to support plans currently being drawn up by a joint City-MTA task force to establish at least five bus rapid transit corridors in the city.

From his seat in Congress, Weiner also helped obtain $100 million in the new federal transportation bill for a freight tunnel between New Jersey and Brooklyn. The tunnel is a controversial proposal that lacks the support of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which would be charged with finding financing for the multi-billion proposal and building the tunnel. Mayor Michael Bloomberg at first supported, and then under pressure from Queens community groups opposed the tunnel plan.

Finally, Weiner also jumped on transit security issues after the London bombings. He announced a six-point security plan that includes bomb resistant trash cans, digital station cameras and 911 subway cell phone service.

Ferrer and Fields

Remarkably, a search of news clips and the campaign Web sites of Fernando Ferrer, the former Bronx borough president, and Virginia Fields, the Manhattan borough president, turned up only sparse comments on transportation issues.

Ferrer’s most widely publicized transportation issue has been reversing the expansion of metered Sunday parking instituted in 2003 and recently rolled back by the City Council. Ferrer assailed metered parking, which forced some worshippers to feed the meter in the middle of services, as “a tax on worshipping.” Ferrer has also advocated using the MTA surplus for security cameras and counter-terrorism training.

Fields has not made transportation issues a focus of her campaign. As borough president Fields has supported (http://www.mbpo.org/2002/SPS2002_Overview_Priority_Initiatives.htm#Transpor tation) the Second Avenue subway and lower Manhattan’s new transit hub, and opposed the Jets stadium deal and MTA plans to purchase more diesel buses.

In the August 16 candidate debate, Fields said she is open to the idea of London-style congestion pricing and using the revenue toward improving mass transit. But like all her opponents, she opposed tolling the East River bridges. She also stated her support of a commuter tax, with revenues directed to mass transit.

Bruce Schaller, who has been in charge of the transportation topic page since its inception in 1999, is head of Schaller Consulting, which provides research and analysis about transportation. He is also a Visiting Scholar at the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at New York University.

lofter1
August 18th, 2005, 09:02 AM
As to the poll: It is too early for a clear decision on my part. I would be interested to see how many are still undecided as to their choice for mayor. The primary is still one month away and much will be revealed about and by the candidates between now and then.

BrooklynRider
August 18th, 2005, 09:31 AM
Can we reset the poll or put a new one up there?

BrooklynRider
August 27th, 2005, 07:20 PM
This is one of the reason's why Mike Bloomberg is not a shoe-in for me. Bicycle riding should be encouraged, not a crime in NYC. There is no argument that can support the repeated harassment and arrest of bicycle riders - especially when the police are shadowing them. This is where Bloomberg veers WAY off my map of reasonable action by a mayor. And, since this pertains to basic rights and freedom, it trumps economics.


August 27, 2005
Monthly Mass Bicycle Ride Leads to 49 Arrests in Manhattan
By JENNIFER 8. LEE AND MATTHEW SWEENEY
Forty-nine bicyclists were arrested last night in Manhattan at the monthly Critical Mass ride, the police department reported.

The rides are described by their organizers, the environmental advocacy group Time's Up!, as a demonstration to promote the use of transportation other than cars. The ride at Republican National Convention a year ago swelled to more than 5,000 riders, several hundred of whom were arrested. Since then, the rides have become a point of contention with the police.

Last night's arrests took place in at least four locations: Astor Place; Houston Street and Second Avenue; West 18th Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues; and along West 34th Street. The captain who was overseeing arrests at Astor Place said the bicyclists were being charged with parading without a permit, disorderly conduct and obstructing traffic.

The Bloomberg administration says that the rides are large and not spontaneous, and thus require a permit. Lawyers for the city have requested an injunction against the rides. No ruling has been issued, but Time's Up! is in discussions with city lawyers.

The bicyclists, who have split into different starting points since the police confrontations began, began riding last night around 7:30. About 250 cyclists started in Union Square with 15 officers on scooters behind them. As that group moved through the city, officers from different directions converged on the group and bisected it, arresting bicyclists.

Time's Up! says that because the rides are demonstrations, they are subject to free-speech protections.

"People have a right to ride their bicycles on the street of New York," said Norman Siegel, a lawyer who represents the group. He is also a candidate for the city's public advocate.

"I'm calling on Mayor Bloomberg to intervene," Mr. Siegel said. "He has to tell the police department to chill."



Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

ZippyTheChimp
August 31st, 2005, 09:58 AM
Gotham Gazette - http://www.gothamgazette.com/article//20050829/202/1545

The Mayoral Candidates On Parks
29 Aug 2005

http://gothamgazette.com/graphics/futureparkt.jpg
What would you do? Play Gotham Gazette's Parks Game (http://gothamgazette.com/parksgame/)

Four candidates for mayor discussed issues facing city parks, including staffing, maintenance and safety, at a forum on July 26 sponsored by Parks1, a campaign to have the city spend at least 1 percent of its budget on park maintenance. The discussion included Democratic candidates Fernando Ferrer, C. Virginia Fields and Gifford Miller and Conservative Party candidate Thomas Ognibene. Mayor Michael Bloomberg was invited, but did not attend. Representative Anthony Weiner could not attend because of a vote in Washington. Dave Evans of WABC TV, Erik Engquist from Crain's and Daily News columnist Errol Louis questioned the candidates. The following is an edited transcript.

MAJOR ISSUE? (http://www.gothamgazette.com/print/1545#major)
PROTESTS ON THE GREAT LAWN (http://www.gothamgazette.com/print/1545#lawn)
ABANDONED PARKS (http://www.gothamgazette.com/print/1545#abandoned)
1 PERCENT PLEDGE (http://www.gothamgazette.com/print/1545#1)
PAYING FOR PARKS WITH CONDOS (http://www.gothamgazette.com/print/1545#condos)
FIRE THE COMMISSIONER? (http://www.gothamgazette.com/print/1545#com)
CAR-FREE PARKS (http://www.gothamgazette.com/print/1545#cars)
SUPERVISED PLAY (http://www.gothamgazette.com/print/1545#sup)
LITTERING AND VANDALISM (http://www.gothamgazette.com/print/1545#lit)
OPEN AIR WI-FI (http://www.gothamgazette.com/print/1545#wifi)
GIVING UP PARKLAND (http://www.gothamgazette.com/print/1545#giv)
AFTER THE OLYMPICS BID (http://www.gothamgazette.com/print/1545#oly)
COMMUNITY GARDENS (http://www.gothamgazette.com/print/1545#gar)
IF I WERE MAYOR... (http://www.gothamgazette.com/print/1545#if)

THE MAJOR ISSUE FACING PARKS

Dave Evans: What do you see as the single greatest challenge facing our parks today?

Thomas Ognibene: As a City Councilman, one of the things I committed myself to was rehabilitating the parks in our community. I worked with the community leaders of the civic associations and the community board and I think the total we spent, my district alone, was about $25 million. On every park I found a civic association in the community that was wiling to police that park, go in there and clean it up and make sure in the morning that all the debris was removed. The people who drove in the community, one of the first things they saw when they came in was a real beautiful park.

Gifford Miller: The biggest challenge we face for our parks is in fighting the notion that parks are an amenity -- that parks are a luxury. Parks are something much, much more. Parks are important. Parks are a necessity. Parks are at the heart of what makes our city strong, our city safe, our city prosperous and our city livable.

We see this struggle right now with the parks department and with this administration. This administration looks at the parks and says, "It's not bad," and not bad is fine for something that isn't truly important. But if you look at parks as being every bit as much a part of the fabric of life in our city as education, as transportation and safety and security and in fact as inseparable from those things, because when you have strong parks you're going to have a stronger and safer and more prosperous city, you look at where we are today and recognize that it is not acceptable.

In too many communities in this city, particularly low-income communities, our parks are neglected or abandoned. There was a piece in the New York Times the other day in which the parks commissioner said that he thought it was OK to allow parks to be abandoned and to go "back to nature" as it were. This was a park that was overrun with drug use and prostitutes, which don't seem like "nature" in its basic form.

There is a problem of vision, a problem of commitment and I have a plan to change it. It starts by reclaiming the bottom 50 percent of our neighborhood parks. I have made a commitment to add $10 million to our operating budget and $25 million dollars to our capital budget to reclaim those parks.

We have to enforce park cleaning in every park. You know, they're supposed to clean every park everyday. They don't. We have to actually enforce that.

We should improve the under-funded facilities in every borough. We should ensure that the crime statistics are available, regarding every park, so parents can know whether the parks that they're sending their kids to are safe, and we should encourage more public and private investment in every borough and not just Manhattan. We have to change our vision of what's acceptable in our city for our parks and we have to raise our standards.

C. Virginia Fields: Perhaps one of the greatest challenges facing our parks is that of funding because that funding has been systematically reduced and cut over year. Being able to bring the funding level up to the point where it is going to allow us to provide for safe, accessible and well maintained parks is going to require political will, commitment and a desire to do all that we can to ensure that our parks are safe, accessible and well maintained.

As borough president, I have heavily invested in the parks throughout Manhattan. I have invested in the parks because I know the value of parks. I see parks as perhaps the great equalizer -- equalizer in the sense that every community, every neighborhood should have safe, respectable and well maintained parks, because in this city we have people who cannot afford to leave and go away to summer homes. They too have a right to be able to go to a park and enjoy it. In order to do that, we have to invest in every neighborhood and in every community.

I know how to get things done with respect to making parks safe, accessible and well maintained, and as mayor, as far as our economic development overall initiatives, I see parks as a part of that

Fernando Ferrer: I believe the largest problem with our parks today is the unevenness of investment in parks and the maintenance of our parks across this city. That's the problem I saw as the borough president of the Bronx for nearly 15 years and a member of the council for about five.

The efforts to reclaim Orchard Beach, Joyce Kilmer Park, reinvest in Crotona Park, St. Mary's Park and everything in between with a multi-million dollar effort. The effort to acquire new parkland, the effort to get the New York Botanical Garden to create an unprecedented number of community gardens throughout the borough. It was also important to create livable open spaces, but that requires that anyone serious about parks do three things: One, support Intro 327 that will re-circulate approximately $50 million of concession funding back into the maintenance of parks. Second, to have minimum staffing levels and maintenance levels for every park in every community district in every borough or city. And third, to have a completely transparent and ongoing review of our parks, so that everyone in every neighborhood can not only see the condition of their parks, but be part of the constituency for better parks in every community.

PROTESTS ON THE GREAT LAWN

http://www.gothamgazette.com/graphics/greatlawn.jpg
Should it be a right to mass gather at the Great Lawn

Errol Louis: This question is about the free speech issues that were raised about the use of the Great Lawn in Central Park and in particular, the city policy that limits large events to six in the course of the summer, four of which are by the New York Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera. Do you agree with the current limitation on the use of the Great Lawn or do you think it runs contrary to sentiments expressed by the Supreme Court when it said, in a case in the 1930s, "Wherever the title of streets and parks may rest, they have immemorially been held in trust for the use of the public and … have been used for purposes of assembly, communicating thoughts between citizens, and discussing public questions"?

Gifford Miller: I'm with the Supreme Court on this one. This is clearly a wrong policy. We've introduced legislation in the City Council to repeal it. As important as the Dave Matthews Band is to a lot of people, I don't see how it's more important than the right of the people who wanted to protest the views that were being espoused in Madison Square Garden during the Republican convention. The grass is important as well and there could be I think reasonable accommodations made for bonding for damage that is done as associated with rallies and free speech at the Great Lawn, but to reserve it for just a couple of Philharmonic events and maybe one or two others is wrong and if I were mayor, I would revoke it.

Fernando Ferrer: Like any New Yorker, I treasure the Great Lawn in Central Park. But blades of grass are replaceable. The first amendment is not. It seems to me that that's what bonds are put up for. In fact, the group that wanted to use the Great Lawn offered not only to do that but presented a sensible plan for their assembly and their demonstration that in fact would've been better for this city than the plan that the police commissioner and the mayor ended up approving. I agree also with the Supreme Court on this issue.

ABANDONED PARKS

Erik Engquist: The parks department admits that it no longer maintains a certain number of parks, because "investing in them would be throwing good money after bad." Do you reject that out of hand, or is there some logic to ignoring parks that the surrounding community does not seem to take care of?

Virginia Fields: I do reject that out of hand. It is absolutely irresponsible for the city to assume that it does not have the responsibility to keep parks well maintained and to provide the resources to make it happen, because this is public land and if the city does not invest, then no one will assume that responsibility. That is why I propose that, as a part of development plans for parks, we also factor in how [the park] will be maintained. Part of my commitment to parks is to invest in maintenance workers.

Thomas Ognibene: There's no such thing as a community that doesn't care about the parks that are in it. Just think what would happen if we adopted the same attitude toward policing or to our schools. If you work with the police, the Department of Environmental Protection and other agencies and you renew the park and you make that investment, the people of that community will cooperate with you to keep their park beautiful for their senior citizens, for the people and their children. That attitude by the city of New York is unfortunately reflective of the attitude of many people in that administration about many of the aspects of life in the city of New York, and it's totally wrong.

THE 1 PERCENT PLEDGE

Errol Louis: Mr. Miller and Mr. Ferrer, you know many of the people here favor setting aside 1 percent of the overall city budget for parks. I'm wondering, why haven't you done that in the past and if you might take a pledge to handle it differently?

Gifford Miller: I think that the 1 percent pledge, what it actually says, is to work toward 1 percent. I take that pledge. We should work toward 1 percent. But it is an enormous increase in our city's maintenance and operating budget, and I don't think we'll be able to get all the way there. I do think we need to work toward it.

If you look at my record as speaker of the City Council over the last four years, I have fought against the cuts that the mayor has proposed every single year to our parks, restoring millions and millions of dollars of cuts even during the toughest budget that the city ever saw. This mayor proposed drastic cuts, I stopped them. In this past year's budget, just for example, I restored more than $9 million in cuts that the mayor proposed and then actually added $2.4 million for additional parks personnel, for parks enforcement to make sure that we are doing more to make our city's parks safer.

Do I think we're going to get all the way to 1 percent? That would be an enormous increase, up to $500 million from around, a little less than $200 million. It would be great, but I don't think we're going to get there in four or eight years.

Fernando Ferrer: Bringing the budget up by more than $270 million is a promise that is difficult to make given the current budget and the budget deficits that we all predict.

There are things, however, that we can and must do to work toward that. I would like to see the parks budget in my lifetime go back to about half a billion dollars in pre-1990 budget terms, about 1 percent of the budget. I think we have to work toward that. A good first step is allowing parks to keep the $50 million of concession funds and to spread them across the parks that have been neglected the most.

And let me react to something that was said before. When it was pointed out that an official of this city said that "in some parks to improve those parks would be throwing good money after bad," that individual, as a spokesman for this city, should have been summarily fired. If that's the attitude, if that's the belief of this city, Mike Bloomberg should've acted on it quickly and made a real affirmative statement about fairness and equity in parks and excellence in every one of our parks, no matter where they are.

Dave Evan: Do you feel it's impossible to take this 1 percent pledge because of current and future budget issues?

Fernando Ferrer: I think knowing that this pledge in four years would bring us to nearly half a billion dollars, as much as I would like to do it, there's no way I can tell you forthrightly that I have the means to do that if I were mayor. And by the way, the proof of that is this mayor, who says he loves parks, hasn't even begun to do it and won't even commit himself to keeping $50 million of concession funds in our parks

PAYING FOR PARKS WITH CONDOS

Erik Engquist: Brooklyn Bridge Park addresses the oversight that, for many years, Brooklyn Heights and the surrounding communities did not have a real park. The government stepped in and said, "We'll build you a spectacular park. We'll allocate the money, but we will not allocate one penny to pay for the maintenance of this park. Therefore, we need to build commercial, revenue generating facilities in this park, which has turned out to be condominium towers." Is this a good model?

Thomas Ognibene: No I don't think extortion is ever a good model. To say that you're willing to commit to build a park, automatically when you utter those words, there is a commitment to maintain it. If you're trying to put pressure on people to build a development that has nothing to do with parks, and using that as leverage, then in a sense, you're breaching your pecuniary duty to the people. So, I would never allow it. The people deserve the park, and I think they should get the park.

Virginia Fields: Clearly that should not be a part of the decision in terms of building a park in any neighborhood. So, I certainly do not accept that.

One of the things that I would advocate to make sure that parks are part of the planning process is to establish a unit within the department of parks that works directly with the planning agencies so that, as projects are being built in neighborhoods, we are also planning for open space. Part of that planning is to identify how it would be maintained. And that would help us in moving forwards to make sure that we have adequate open space and parks in areas as we developed new communities.

FIRE THE COMMISSIONER?

Errol Louis: Mr. Ferrer said that he might have fired the parks commissioner, Adrian Benepe, for the statement he made about parks that are deteriorating. I was wondering if the other candidates agree.

Virginia Fields: No, not on the basis of what I heard about the statement, but there will certainly be an expectation that all the parks would be well maintained in this city and that budgets will be reflected so that we can do the necessary maintenance.

Gifford Miller: Occasionally, I've had my remarks taken out of context, and I wouldn't want to get fired on the basis of one comment I made to a paper. I certainly don't think that any parks commissioner in my administration would make such a comment under any context. But the commissioner is a well-meaning person who's worked hard on behalf of the city of New York, and I wouldn't fire him for one comment.

Thomas Ognibene: I would have had him clarify that type of an answer because it's the kind of insensitive remark that hurts a lot of people and a lot of communities. I don't know if it justifies firing him, but I certainly would have brought him to the office immediately and asked him what he meant by it and, if he had a good explanation, I'd make sure to get a hold of the press and explain what he meant by it.

Dave Evans: Mr. Ferrer, is there any way you would want to respond or clarify.

Fernando Ferrer: There is no way I would want to clarify what I said. If you are committing to equity and performance in all our parks, not just some of them, all of them, then you have to hold the highest-ranking members of your administration to those standards.

CAR-FREE PARKS

Erik Engquist: Some advocates say that cars should never be allowed in the parks. I hear from motorists that driving through parks is a way to enjoy them. Some also say it reduces crime if they can drive through parks. Would you be in favor of a flat prohibition on cars and vans in the parks?

Virginia Fields: What I have supported and continue to support is a balance between transportation and use of parks. And I think it can be done, as we look at what we've been able to do in Central Park. I would prefer looking to see how we can do that as opposed to outright prohibition.

Gifford Miller: We need to strike a balance, but I would come down further on the side of car-free parks. As somebody who drives around the city sometimes, it feels great when you get that shortcut through one of the parks and get there quicker than anticipated. But I would like to see us do serious traffic studies and I like to see us do experiments eliminating traffic completely from the parks because my gut is that we would be a better city if we really made our parks car-free places.

Thomas Ognibene: In my community, in the 30th council district, we don't even allow parking near the parks after nine o'clock at night. Parks are for people. There are children in parks, there are elderly in parks and they're doing things there without the expectation that they're going to get struck by a motor vehicle. So it doesn't make any sense to me, under any circumstances, to permit cars in parks. Most New Yorkers who drive cars, should be very well acquainted with taking a little more time when they're driving. It's a very little inconvenience to protect those who are our most vulnerable and use the park.

Fernando Ferrer: I lean very heavily in favor of car-free parks.

Dave Evans: In Central Park, there all those cars during rush hour and I see numerous accidents involving cars hitting bicyclists. Where do you propose putting those cars?

Gifford Miller: I would put them everywhere else but in the parks. I'm not suggesting, of course the cross-town transverses in Central Park -- those should be retained for the cars. But in the part that's actually in Central Park, Prospect Park, and other parks, we should be trying to eliminate cars. And they're going to have to find other ways to get around. I don't know exactly what's going to happen in terms of traffic studies, but my guess is that New Yorkers will find another way and that life will go on and our parks will be safer and people will be able to better enjoy our parks.

Fernando Ferrer: There's really one choice that becomes evident in this entire conversation. Who do you remove? Cyclists and runners and pedestrians, or vehicles? It seems to me that removing vehicles is the most sensible thing to do, and there are alternate means to getting around the city, as we all know. The sky won't fall if you say you can't use Park Drive.

SUPERVISED PLAY

Errol Louis: The highest rate of juvenile crime occurs between 3 and 6 p.m. and the shift for parks department staff ends at 2 p.m., which leaves parks as possibly the largest unsupervised after-school program in New York. As mayor, how would you ensure that kids play and learn in supervised parks?

Fernando Ferrer: One of the reasons I've talked a lot about after school programs is because of the Police Athletic League on Kelly Street, P.S. 52 playground, with a real human being in the park that was called a Parkie. [These] were the things that kept me off the tough streets. We've got to move back to utilizing our parks, especially in the warm months, as havens for kids in places like where I grew up, who really want that alternative, whose parents want that alternative. That's what I want to begin to use that $50 million concession investment for: a real human being that will be able to supervise play and make parks a welcoming place again. Not in some of our parks, all of our parks.

Thomas Ognibene: With all the stakes in this problem, it isn't necessarily just the parks department's problem. Obviously, the highest instance of juvenile crime in the city of New York is that period after school and before six o'clock. There has to be a police presence because there are many people that enjoy the park and it's unfair that their enjoyment be disrupted.

No matter what the statistics say, generally most of the kids that are in the parks are having a good time, playing sports, interacting, not disturbing anybody, but there will always be a few kids who feel that they have some God-given right to vandalize the park and disturb everybody's peace and enjoyment of it. We thought it was a general policing problem and our precincts always cooperated and I would look to have the precincts cooperate in that aspect of it too.

LITTERING AND VANDALISM

Erik Engquist: How do you get people to stop destroying and littering in our parks?

Gifford Miller: One of the important lessons that we've learned in this city is the broken window lesson. If you allow the window to be broken and you allow it to remain broken, someone is going to break the next window. But if you try to stop it and you replace that window quickly, then you don't have greater crimes down the road. The same thing is true with graffiti. If people put graffiti up, and you show up the next day and paint over it, eventually people will give up.

If somebody vandalized a park bench, of course that person is responsible for vandalism. But the parks department's job is to fix the broken bench. In the end, the problem is not just that bench, the problem is that way too many parks across this city get that kind of treatment, they deteriorate. After 10 years, the borough president's office comes in and puts a bunch of capital money into renovating the park. Then there's no maintenance, there's no commitment to keeping that park in nice condition. Then you come back in [after 10 years] and put the capital budget in to completely overhaul the park again. So at the end of the day, we're wasting a lot of money by spending a huge amount of money on the capital infrastructure of our parks instead of spending our money wisely on maintaining the parks.

If we treat our parks with respect and we put a quality park in play, the community will keep it that way. But if you allow a park to deteriorate and you treat it like it's not worth anything, the community will start to treat it that way. We have to respect all of our parks. We have to provide a decent quality park everywhere and then people will respect what's being done in our parks.

Virginia Fields: That goes to the heart of what we've been talking about all evening. When we invest, we're able to have staff in the park that is able to monitor the different areas. I have to believe that with the appropriate staff, seeing broken benches, cracked sidewalks and other repairs that must be done, we will take care of it. But we lack those resources, so as a result, we see much neglect. That's why I, too, support using the $50 million generated from concessions to reinvest in the upkeep of those parks and giving the mayor the flexibility to be able to use those dollars in areas of greatest need.

OPEN AIR WI-FI

http://www.gothamgazette.com/graphics/wirelessbryant.jpg

Erik Engquist: Cities across the country are starting to provide free wireless service in parks and other gathering places. Should the city provide wireless Internet access so people can surf the Internet while sitting in our parks?

Thomas Ognibene: It sounds like a wonderful idea if we could do it, but there are a lot more problems in our parks that deserve the money. I don't know if we're ready yet to commit to putting wireless Internet in parks. I think the people go there, hopefully, to get away from wireless Internet.

Gifford Miller: Well I think that expanding access to wi-fi is a good idea. I certainly would be happy to look at whatever proposal there is, but I think the focus on our park system ought to be the parks and not as a means to expand the Internet.

Erik Engquist: I think the idea is, if you have more people in the parks, sitting on those benches, it's less likely that a vandal would come and destroy the bench.

Gifford Miller: Vandalism is not the biggest problems in parks. The biggest problem in parks maintenance is that people use the grass, and it gets beat up, and nobody fixes it, ever. The biggest problem in the parks is that after years and years and years, the water fountain breaks and there's like three plumbers in the entire City of New York. The biggest problem in parks is that the bathrooms are not open. The problem is not vandalism; the problem is the lack of adequate maintenance in our parks.

GIVING UP PARKLAND

Dave Evans: As you know, they're building a water filtration plant in Van Cortlandt Park. The mayor promises that, in return, $200 million will go to the Bronx parks over the next decade. People are concerned that parkland can be bartered or traded in the future and that this sets a dangerous precedent. Do you agree?

Virginia Fields: There are some issues that all of us must be concerned about as we look to how we have lost park land and how park land has been used for purposes other than recreation and parks. I would advocate a much more public process before any parkland is taken over for use other than its intended use. This is public land and the public should have an opportunity to discuss it, to review it, and the relevant elected body should have an opportunity to vote upon it. That would alleviate the fear that many people have about the possibility of more parkland being taken.

Fernando Ferrer: I was for filtration avoidance. I thought that the city and the state should've taken aggressive steps for land acquisition and dealing with the Westchester town's raw sewage issue and sewage disposal issues. My position was not to be.

There are a lot of other egregious uses of our parks: city employee parking in Borough Hall Park in the Bronx, use of parks for non-park issues like storage and vehicles, storage of equipment. That's got to come to an end. Parks are for people. Parks are for families and their children. Parks are for the enjoyment of this city.

AFTER THE OLYMPICS BID

Errol Louis: Although New York's bid for the 2012 Olympics failed, it focused attention on the role of parks as sports facilities. Excluding the West Side, what specific parks and sports facilities would you continue to pursue as the mayor?

Gifford Miller: The Olympics bid was a great and important thing for our city. It's a shame that the mayor crippled the bid by tying it all to the West Side Stadium.

There's a variety of overhauls of public facilities in our parks that would've been a positive aspect of getting the Olympics. We have to continue to try to find the funding to do those.

In the end, the Olympics never were going to be the silver bullet to create a brand new future for our city. The Olympics were going to come and were going to leave. It was never a real economic development plan. It was never a substitute for a real plan for our parks. We now have to sit down and do the hard work of figuring out how we are going to afford to do what's necessary with our park's facilities without the Olympics.

Fernando Ferrer: Apparently this mayor confused the Olympics with a real economic development plan and physical development plan for the city. He similarly confused park creation with landscaping for multi-million dollar condos.

We know the parks that need, desperately need, infrastructure renewal that only the city, the state, and the federal government can come together to accomplish.

COMMUNITY GARDENS

http://www.gothamgazette.com/graphics/com_jardin.jpg

Erik Engquist: Community gardens were placed in dilapidated, forgotten empty lots. Then, when property values went up, developers came back and said, "OK, your job is done here, now I'm going to build". Is that fair?

Thomas Ognibene: I like community gardens. I think you can have a balance with community gardens, but you can't give up valuable real estate. There is a place for some community gardens but obviously there comes a time when we have to develop a certain amount of housing.

Gifford Miller: Community gardens play an incredibly important role in communities. Community gardens can provide for better housing, stronger housing, stronger communities and we have to have a realistic plan that says, OK, these are the gardens that we're going to keep and we've made that commitment, but we also have to have enough support for insurance and all that for the long run.

Virginia Fields: I'm a strong supporter of community gardens, and I'm very pleased at how many of them have served to beautify areas and to create open space in areas which otherwise would just simply be concrete. I believe that the city should pay the premiums for the insurance for community gardens.

http://www.gothamgazette.com/graphics/lizchristy_big.jpg
New York City's first community garden was founded in 1973 (http://www.pps.org/gps/one?public_place_id=45#).

Fernando Ferrer: You're looking at the guy who created the most of them in one place in this city with the help of the New York botanical garden and substantial capital funding from my office [as Bronx borough president]. Most still exist, and they are extraordinary places. We brought communities out to participate in them, to play in them, to enjoy them and to knit them into the fabric of their neighborhood.

IF YOU WERE MAYOR...

Dave Evans: Now, for the closing question. In the first 100 days of your term as mayor, what specific steps would you take to further parks in general

Fernando Ferrer: Let me go back to the three specific points that I made in my opening statement. First, ensure that every dime from concession funds we make in our parks gets re-circulated into park maintenance and good repair. Second, minimum staffing and maintenance standards for every one of our parks. They have to be clean and in good repair. Third, a completely clear, transparent and publicly accessible way for the people in every community to judge the effectiveness of this city's administration with respect to the good repair and maintenance and safety of their parks. That means crime statistics, that means repair statistics and that also means pictures of their parks.

For too many years, too many families have had to deal with dust bowls in the middle of what should be parks. It would be lovely to have wi-fi access. That means to be able to sit down on a bench. The benches and the slabs would have been replaced and painted from time to time. Working water fountains, working comfort stations, pavement that isn't cracked and destroyed beyond repair, swings, tennis courts, basketball courts, those are the things that people want in their parks and those are the things that this city has to provide. It doesn't take much more than a commitment to understand that parks really are an integral part of living in this city.

Virginia Fields: First, it is absolutely essential for us to be able to do the things that we have talked about -- make sure that our parks are safe, make sure they are accessible, make sure that they are well maintained. In order to do that, we need the adequate resources. So funding would be a priority. I would make sure that dollars are there in order to ensure that we increase our money for expenses, as well as capital.

I am proud to have signed the 1 percent pledge. Why did I sign that? I think it establishes something to work toward -- a goal, a commitment and with that in mind, I would work immediately on the funding.

Secondly, I would work on promoting the parks. I think that the parks should be very much involved with overall planning and toward that end, I would establish a special unit, directing our parks to work directly with our planning agencies -- the City Planning Commission, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Economic Development -- so that as decisions are made for development, Parks is at the table That will allow us to better address a lot of the issues that we have talked about here today.

Again, parks should be the great equalizer in every community and every neighborhood, so no matter what your social or economic level is, you too can enjoy our parks.

Gifford Miller: I've laid out a very specific plan for what I would do with parks. First of all, we need to reclaim the bottom 50 percent of our neighborhood parks and in my first 100 days, I would make a commitment to expanding the maintenance budget by $10 million and $25 million dollars capital commitment to reclaim those parks which are falling apart.

Second, I would enforce that current rule to clean the parks every day.

Third, I would make sure that we make parks safer by enacting Parkstat legislation, which would, like Compstat with the police department, make available statistics about how many crimes are occurring in every park in the city, so that we make sure we are putting our resources to the parks that are having spikes in violent incidents and crimes. The only park that they do that right now in is Central Park.

I would expand public/private partnerships beyond just Manhattan and into the outer boroughs.

I think that you can have some insurance that I would do those important things, not just because I say that I'm going to do them, but if you look at my record as speaker of the City Council, I've already provided leadership in all of those areas.

Thomas Ognibene: I enjoyed going to the parks for recreation and just to relax. And when I did become councilman, I went around to all the various community organizations. I didn't listen to what the parks department told me as a councilman, because it wasn't what the people wanted.

The most important thing you can do is to meet with the people -- those people who are near the park, those people who have organized to protect the parks -- and find out what they want, what they think is necessary so that the park can come to be a real amenity, a real service to the people that live in that community. If you sit down with them, and give them the opportunity to interact with your parks commissioner, and let them plan and then you go out and fund it, and build it according to their desires and their hopes and their wishes, then you're really performing service to the community. I did that in my park in the 30th council district and there's no reason that it can't be done on a scale as big as the City of New York.

Parks bring us close to our community, make us comfortable in our community and give us the quality of life that we deserve.

ZippyTheChimp
September 1st, 2005, 08:49 AM
Gotham Gazette - http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/waterfront/20050901/18/1551

Campaign 2005: Three Ways The Next Mayor Could Improve The Waterfront

by Carter Craft
01 Sep 2005

The transformation of the waterfront may seem remarkable to those who live in Manhattan and Brooklyn, but what is most remarkable about it is how little is happening in the other three boroughs. A couple of scattered improvements include the new Hunts Point Riverside Park on the Bronx River and the new esplanade along the Upper Bay, and Kill van Kull on the North Shore of Staten Island. But much more should be done – and could be done, if the next mayor focused on three ways to create real momentum for improving the waterfront.

1) Make Albany and Washington DC work for New York

Part of what makes the waterfront such complicated terrain is that it is governed by state and federal laws and agencies. For too long this regulatory complexity has been looked at as a limitation rather than an opportunity.

For instance, the Water Resources Development Act that was approved by the United States House of Representatives in July authorizes federal funds for waterfront improvements throughout the nation. In our area, Perth Amboy, Carteret and Bayonne are all named beneficiaries, but little is named in New York City other than Flushing Bay and, for the first time, Newtown Creek.

Federal money could do much for the East River, where miles of crumbling esplanade are restricting access, or even Pugsley Creek, which is proof that not all parks are actually park-like. The same kind of federal aid that is going to restore the New Jersey Meadowlands would go a long way to help Jamaica Bay, whether solving the mystery of the disappearing marshlands or creating access along the east side of the bay where communities are walled off by JFK Airport.

In Albany, legislative leaders have hatched a bond issue to appear on the ballot this fall that hopes to authorize billions for transportation projects statewide. There are a handful of intelligent projects, such as the $19 million proposed for the Bronx River Greenway. But there is nothing for the Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway, nothing to address the chronic traffic congestion in our central business districts, nothing that addresses the movement of goods in the city. Perhaps most unfortunate is the neglect of water transit, another missed opportunity.

2) Focus mayoral agencies on constructing community improvements alongside their new and expanding facilities

Both the Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Sanitation have massive capital projects in various stages of planning or development. The environmental agency has set the bar high with their work at the Newtown Creek Water Pollution Control Plant, which includes not just cost over-runs (covered well by the daily newspapers), but also (ignored by the press), a canal walk along Whale Creek, a little-known arm of Newtown Creek. Such a community improvement, when developed alongside an infrastructure improvement, illustrates the balance that public agencies throughout the nation are increasingly taking to help offset the traditionally negative impacts such facilities have on local communities.

A logical next step would be for the agency to look at similar improvements alongside the gargantuan retention basins being built to capture the combined sewer effluent which pollutes our waterways during heavy rains.

A more pressing public works project is the planned retrofit and expansion of the city’s marine transfer stations by the Department of Sanitation. The long term solid waste management plan approved in June constitutes a giant step towards a smarter garbage policy. The importance of this work cannot be overstated, because since Fresh Kills landfill was closed by the last mayor (who did not take the time to create another plan), the amount of funding that New York City taxpayers are spending to support the transportation of garbage is even greater than the amount we are spending through the city budget to support New York City Transit subways and buses.

Looking ahead, this case offers two lessons for the next mayor.

The first is to work openly with community and interest groups to address pressing public issues. In the case of the solid waste plan, the Organization of Waterfront Neighborhoods led the way towards a more enlightened policy that places a greater emphasis on water and rail-based transit and eliminates thousands of miles of truck trips each day. Affiliated groups such as the Waste Prevention Coalition helped create pressure not just for more intelligent transportation, but also a different way of looking at garbage – we could reduce the 13,000 tons of residential waste we produce each waste.

Lesson two is that even your own agencies, Mr. Mayor, may not be able to do what you expect of them. Virtually every community activist has a war story to tell involving Sanitation pick-up schedules, or performance, and while these stories are increasingly tempered with good news about low-sulfur diesel fuel, or collaborative district managers who send a truck right when it is needed, history shows that the Department of Sanitation’s expertise is in pick-up and transportation, not recycling, not waste reduction, and certainly not the design or construction of facilities which anyone would call community friendly. In developing the long term solid waste management plan the city brought in the Economic Development Corporation to shepherd the project, but one has to wonder whether an organization classified as ”quasi-governmental” is the appropriate one to lead and manage perhaps the most expensive and complicated multi-borough construction project started since the wave of new sewage treatment plants came along more than 30 years ago.

Nevertheless, the new solid waste plan could also be a citywide waterfront revitalization plan if the next mayor makes it a point of focus.

3) Harness State-ruled Agencies such as the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to work more constructively with and for the city

The city's relationship with the Port Authority is too narrowly defined. While some say the Port Authority is merely an automatic teller machine for city or state elected officials, the reality is that the agency has much more to offer the city than just cash.

The current administration missed a tremendous opportunity during the negotiation over the leases for JFK and LaGuardia Airports. While the income to the city from the leases is laudable, both Flushing and Jamaica Bays are complicated environs that the city hasn't done enough to steward or revitalize.

For an agency charged with planning and developing facilities for the movement of goods, it is obvious the Port Authority could also meaningfully contribute to the development of the city's solid waste management plan -- if they were asked.

Perhaps much of this tradition of limited engagement stems form the fact that the Port Authority is governed by a board appointed in Trenton and Albany. New York City has no voice on the board, and no power to make appointments. The next administration should seek to change this.

Waterfront Improvement Districts?

The common thread in all these recommendations -- getting more out of Washington DC and Albany, using the capital projects of mayoral agencies to fund community amenities, and engaging the Port Authority in more strategic and direct collaboration -- is that the waterfront needs a massive infusion of resources and funding.

If the rezoning of Greenpoint and Williamsburg is the wave of the future, then will the price of creating public waterfront access be limitless creation of luxury residential development? Hopefully not.

Perhaps the next mayor will look at the success of our Business Improvement Districts and create Waterfront Improvement Districts that are funded, at least in part, by tolls on bridge crossings. After all, it is ironic how the very areas where these bridges grace our shores are also the areas that need the most waterfront improvements.

Carter Craft, an urban planner, is program director of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance (http://www.waterwire.net/).

TomAuch
September 13th, 2005, 01:19 PM
Today is primary day for the Democratic candidates. Personally, I hope that Weiner gets the nod and not Ferrer. Weiner and Ferrer are the only two candidates likely to get the nomination, but my opinion on whether or not Bloomberg should be re-elected depends on whether or not Weiner or Ferrer is the guy. If Weiner is the nominee, then I hope he defeats Bloomberg, but if Ferrer wins primary, then I would rather see Bloomberg get re-elected. Miller and Fields probably won't get the nomination, but if Miller somehow won it I would become undecided (possibly leaning towards Bloomberg) but if Fields somehow wins, then I would have to do some research on her because I do not know much about her or her views.

lofter1
September 13th, 2005, 01:57 PM
One alternative (anyone who says the MTA must be shut down can't be all bad:

http://mayorbrodeur.org/websitebanner.jpg

http://mayorbrodeur.org/

HERE NOW, IS MY GENERAL PLATFORM FOR MAYOR:

“100 INNOVATIONS FOR NYC”

Please compare it to my opponents’ platforms ...

You will see with your own eyes just how god-awful the “major” candidates are.

(Don’t trust the media for anything!)

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

1. FREE SUBWAYS, AND THE DEATH OF THE MTA

The MTA must be shut down.

Period.

Any candidate who says otherwise isn’t qualified to scrub the few public toilets in town.

TLOZ Link5
September 13th, 2005, 01:59 PM
Brodeur's an idiot, not to mention that the New York Press isn't worth the paper it's printed on. It's like a left-wing New York Post. Sorry.

sfenn1117
September 13th, 2005, 03:48 PM
I like Weiner and if it came between him and Bloomberg I'd be split. I can't stand Miller at all, I don't care for Ferrer, I'm kind of indifferent to Fields.

But wait I turn 18 on Nov 17. I can't vote.

TomAuch
September 13th, 2005, 03:49 PM
I'm in your situation. I turn 18 on November 22nd....and I don't even live in NYC (but what happens there affects the rest of the state indirectly so it is an important race.)

TomAuch
September 13th, 2005, 03:51 PM
Brodeur's an idiot, not to mention that the New York Press isn't worth the paper it's printed on. It's like a left-wing New York Post. Sorry.
How is he going to come up with the money for that? I hate having to swipe an MTA card, but I don't think that an alternative is possible (unwelcome tax increase?)

lofter1
September 13th, 2005, 05:24 PM
Brodeur's an idiot ...
That's a given -- he's a politician.

Name me one of this bunch that isn't an idiot.

BrooklynRider
September 13th, 2005, 09:47 PM
...Name me one of this bunch that isn't an idiot.

Can you clarify whether, technically speaking, there is a definable difference between a dufus, a retard, a moron and an idiot? Then, I can name you one or two.

TLOZ Link5
September 13th, 2005, 09:55 PM
Can you clarify whether, technically speaking, there is a definable difference between a dufus, a retard, a moron and an idiot? Then, I can name you one or two.

A "retard" is someone with mental retardation, namely that their IQ at birth is at most 70. Originally, "moron" and "idiot" were specific terms for people who were at certain stages of mental retardation. For instance, an idiot's mental capacity did not exceed that of the average three year-old, while a moron's mental capacity was between that of the average eight year-old and the average twelve year-old. The word "dufus" (neé "doofus," ca. 1970) is just another term for a stupid or silly person.

http://dictionary.reference.com

TomAuch
September 14th, 2005, 12:40 AM
Brace youselves for a close recount and another divisive Democratic primary like in 2001.
----------------------------------------------------------------
New York Democratic mayoral primary undecided
By Christopher Michaud
Reuters
Updated: 12:23 a.m. ET Sept. 14, 2005

NEW YORK - Former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer was the top vote-getter in New York's Democratic mayoral primary Tuesday, but it was unclear whether he could avoid a runoff with the runner-up, U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner.

With 99.7 percent of precincts reporting, unofficial results showed "Freddy" Ferrer had 39.9 percent the vote, just shy of the 40 percent threshold needed to avoid a runoff in three weeks.

Weiner, who made a late push in the final weeks of the campaign, finished with nearly 29 percent.

Christopher Riley, a spokesman for the city's Board of Elections, said there are approximately 25,000 absentee ballots that need to be counted. Those results won't be known for "a couple of days," he said.

Political experts say regardless of the outcome, the Democratic nominee will likely lose against Republican Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire businessman elected just weeks after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center.

The popular incumbent is expected to spend more than $100 million on this campaign.

A lifelong Democrat who switched parties when he decided to run for office to avoid a more crowded primary field, Bloomberg faced no opposition but still threw a victory party Tuesday.

"Somebody told me there's a primary contest somewhere," the mayor joked to supporters. "I love primary night, especially when I don't have to run in one."

Meanwhile, in his first real contest in two decades, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, the 86-year-old prosecutor who has held the high-profile post for 31 years, appeared to have prevailed with 59 percent of the vote. Leslie Crocker Snyder, a former state judge now in private legal practice, attracted 41 percent.

In another closely watched race, incumbent New York Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum defeated Norman Siegel, director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, 48 percent to 30 percent. The public advocate would run the city should the mayor be incapacitated, according to the city's charter.
(c) Reuters 2005. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.

© 2005 MSNBC.com

URL: http://msnbc.msn.com/id/9280055/

lofter1
September 14th, 2005, 08:53 AM
Originally, "moron" and "idiot" were specific terms for people who were at certain stages of mental retardation. For instance, an idiot's mental capacity did not exceed that of the average three year-old ... The word "dufus" (neé "doofus," ca. 1970) is just another term for a stupid or silly person.

Thanks for the clarification...

I stand corrected. I certainly didn't mean to disparage three year-olds.

Seems that we both were not thinking clearly and that I should have written:


"Name me one of this bunch that isn't a dufus"

lofter1
September 14th, 2005, 09:11 AM
Votes for Brodeur (17,185 or 3.77%), had they shifted to Ferrer, still would not have taken Ferrer across the 40% threshold (based on currently counted votes, Ferrer would require an additional ~22,000 votes to win the Primary outright).

Brodeur's Surprise Result: He Takes 4 Percent of the Votes

By PAUL von ZIELBAUER
September 14, 2005

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/14/nyregion/metrocampaigns/14brodeur.html?pagewanted=print

Christopher X. Brodeur, a political gadfly who has been arrested three times on charges that he harassed members of the mayor's press office staff, won a surprising 4 percent of the vote in yesterday's party primary for mayoral nominee.

Mr. Brodeur ran for mayor on the Green Party ticket in 2001, when his campaign included a plan to install high-powered fans in the subway system. "Half the reason I am running is to embarrass the Democrats and Republicans," he said at the time.

BrooklynRider
September 14th, 2005, 09:49 AM
If Brodeur is on the ballot in November, I'm voting for him.

lofter1
September 14th, 2005, 09:51 AM
If Brodeur is on the ballot in November, I'm voting for him.
Probably you'll have to do a write-in...

Schadenfrau
September 14th, 2005, 02:29 PM
Weiner Bows Out of NYC Mayoral Primary
By SARA KUGLER
Associated Press Writer

NEW YORK (AP) - The second-place finisher conceded the Democratic mayoral primary to Fernando Ferrer on Wednesday, sparing the party the threat of a divisive runoff battle in its uphill quest to unseat Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

With absentee ballots still outstanding after Tuesday's primary, Ferrer was just fractions of a percentage point shy of the 40 percent he needed to avoid a runoff with Rep. Anthony Weiner, who had 29 percent.

At a news conference outside his childhood home in Brooklyn, Weiner said he would bow out now and present a unified Democratic battle to unseat Bloomberg. The Republican, a self-made billionaire, has robust approval ratings and infinite campaign cash to spend on securing a second term.

``To succeed, we need focus, we need unity and a chance to make our case against him,'' Weiner said.

Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields and City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, who also vied for the nomination, conceded early, after getting 16 percent and 10 percent of the vote respectively.

Ferrer, the former Bronx borough president, said Wednesday that Weiner ``should be proud of the race he ran.''

``I respect him immensely, and look forward to campaigning with him,'' he said.

Despite Weiner's decision to drop out, election workers will continue counting absentee and other untallied ballots, a process that might last until next week. Some 25,000 absentees were mailed out, and the board of elections is still receiving and verifying them.

If Ferrer still falls short of 40 percent, the city is still required to hold a runoff election, Board of Elections Executive Director John Ravitz said.

Ferrer's run is his third try for mayor after losing the primary in 1997 and a runoff in 2001. He would be the city's first Latino mayor if elected.

Weiner, who in mid-August was dead last in some opinion polls, had surged in recent days as his television advertising took hold and he made strong showings in televised debates. He proposes a ``middle-class tax cut'' for people earning $150,000 or less yearly.

Ferrer had hoped to attract minority voters with endorsements from leaders like the Rev. Al Sharpton. He proposes funding education with a tax on stock trades.

There are 2.6 million registered Democrats in New York City, but fewer than 460,000 voted Tuesday, and some of those interviewed at the polls said they would back Bloomberg in November.

Not to be upstaged, Bloomberg threw an election night party, even though he did not face a challenger in the primary.

``In the days ahead, the professional politicians will be attacking our record, plenty of silly soundbites and plenty of incredible promises,'' he told cheering supporters. ``But I'm not a professional politician - something I'm proud of.''

NYatKNIGHT
September 14th, 2005, 03:11 PM
I'm a little surprised Weiner dropped out so quickly. Not that it will ultimately matter, but still...

Schadenfrau
September 14th, 2005, 03:55 PM
I have much more respect for Weiner now, actually. His actions were gracious and for the good of the party.

lofter1
September 14th, 2005, 09:55 PM
I heard on the news that if Ferrer doesn't get the 40%, even if Weiner concedes, then there will still have to be a run-off.

Talk about a waste of taxpayer money.

BrooklynRider
September 14th, 2005, 10:33 PM
Gifford Miller gets a whopping 10% of the vote after misappropriating funds to send me multiple mailings, thinking I like him.

THAT'S a waste of taxpayer money.

ZippyTheChimp
September 14th, 2005, 11:07 PM
I'm a little surprised Weiner dropped out so quickly. Not that it will ultimately matter, but still...Weiner may have stood a better chance against Bloomberg (although a definate underdog). He had momentum going up, while Ferrer's campaign looks tired.

Duck soup for Bloomberg.

ZippyTheChimp
September 19th, 2005, 05:34 AM
September 19, 2005

In Harlem, Old Questions Cool Welcome for Ferrer

By AL BAKER (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=AL BAKER&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=AL BAKER&inline=nyt-per)

Fernando Ferrer raced through the heart of Harlem yesterday, where he picked up the endorsement of Representative Charles B. Rangel, marched shoulder to shoulder in a parade up Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard with the Rev. Al Sharpton and asked parishioners at morning religious services to send him to City Hall.

But even as he and his Republican opponent, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, sought to shore up support among black and Hispanic voters, Mr. Ferrer, the de facto Democratic nominee for mayor, faced persistent questions, as well as a few jeers along the parade route, about his statement in March that the fatal shooting of Amadou Diallo was not a crime and that there was an attempt to "overindict" the police officers responsible.

At one point, Mr. Ferrer, as he has in the past, sought to take responsibility for his comments, made to a group of New York police sergeants. He also tried to clarify them, calling the 1999 shooting of Mr. Diallo, an unarmed African immigrant, "probably the most unjust and unjustifiable thing I've ever seen," and contending that flawed policing policies had led to it. Still, some black leaders and residents said Mr. Ferrer would probably be continually dogged by questions over the matter in the weeks leading to Election Day.

For his part, Mayor Bloomberg, who has made inroads with black and Hispanic New Yorkers during his first term and has won praise for his sensitivity in handling racially charged issues, sought to chip away at his opponent's endorsement by Mr. Rangel, whom he said he has "worked well with" in the past.

"In my heart I always think that the people that give the endorsement to somebody else, in the end, in the voting booth, will probably be voting for me," Mr. Bloomberg said. "At least I hope so."

Told of Mr. Bloomberg's remarks at the start of the 36th annual African-American Day Parade, a group of black Democratic leaders who were huddled around Mr. Ferrer shook their heads at the mayor's armchair political analysis. Besides Mr. Sharpton and Mr. Rangel, they included Assemblyman Keith L. T. Wright and City Comptroller William C. Thompson Jr.

"I know the mayor is rich, but I didn't know he was a psychiatrist," Mr. Rangel said. "He has a lot of talents, but if he knows how people are going to vote, there's no sense going to the polls."

Mr. Sharpton, calling Mr. Bloomberg's comments "wishful thinking," said, "I hope the mayor is not whistling through a political cemetery."

On a day that capped the first real weekend of the general election campaign, the topic that bubbled to the surface was the complicated calculus of race relations in New York City and which candidate might muster the most support from the city's minority voters. At the start of the parade there was even some jostling over who would lead it: Mr. Bloomberg and his supporters or Mr. Ferrer and his? (In the end, Mr. Bloomberg stepped off first, but the two groups stayed close.)

The events made for a striking contrast with Mr. Ferrer's movements on Saturday, when he went to a farmers' market in Park Slope, Brooklyn, and tried to woo the white voters who had formed the base of support for a Democratic challenger, Representative Anthony D. Weiner. Mr. Ferrer faces a delicate balancing act in trying to attract Mr. Weiner's supporters without alienating the underprivileged he says the current administration has overlooked.

As Mr. Ferrer's day started, he invoked his past as a shoeshine boy whose mother wanted more for him.

"This city has always belonged to the dreamers," he said. "To those who dreamed for their children and those children who, in turn, dream of a better place."

He repeated those themes from the pulpit, at the Kelly Temple on East 130th Street and at Bethel Gospel Assembly Church on East 120th Street. Describing himself as a David fighting a Goliath, he received cordial applause.

The celebratory mood of Mr. Rangel's endorsement was disturbed when Alister D. Harper, 40, left his spot selling T-shirts and flags to ask Mr. Ferrer to account for his remarks about Mr. Diallo. "My words, my fault," Mr. Ferrer responded, before ticking off his achievements over the years. "When something like this even begins to rear its head, you're there saying: 'Wait a minute. We can't have the dangerous and divisive policy that gave rise to Amadou Diallo.' "

Moments later, State Senator David A. Paterson, the Democratic minority leader in Albany, said he believed that Mr. Ferrer could overcome any doubt by talking more about the issue. "I think that Fernando Ferrer has acknowledged wrongdoing there as best he can, but there is an undercurrent," Mr. Paterson said. "He'll get asked this question again."

Along the parade route, sentiments of black New Yorkers seemed mixed. "The thing about black folks is we don't forget something you say," said Kenya (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/international/countriesandterritories/kenya/index.html?inline=nyt-geo) Smith, a karate instructor who was helping to warm up his students for the march and said he was inclined to vote for Mr. Ferrer.

Another marcher, Abdul Rahim Bilal, was less forgiving. Holding a placard of Malcolm X, he said he was a Republican and knew of many Muslims who supported Mr. Bloomberg. Nearby, a gathering of marchers sported buttons reading "African-Americans for Bloomberg, '05."

Up Adam Clayton Powell Jr. Boulevard, near West 121st Street, Patricia White answered a chant of "Four more years" by Mr. Bloomberg's supporters with her own chant: "No more years." Then, when Mr. Ferrer's group approached, she said, "No, no, no," adding, "He didn't apologize to the black people" for the Diallo comments.

A few blocks farther north, former Mayor David N. Dinkins, who said he would soon endorse one of the candidates, mingled with both camps. In the end, asked if a battle for minority votes was under way, he said, "Always."

Mike McIntire contributed reporting for this article.

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

lofter1
September 22nd, 2005, 10:29 AM
As if this will do Ferrer any good ...

Four Years After Bitter Battle, Green Endorses Ferrer For Mayor

September 22, 2005
http://www.ny1.com/ny1/content/index.jsp?stid=1&aid=53694


Democratic mayoral candidate Fernando Ferrer received an endorsement from former rival Mark Green Wednesday in another sign of Democratic party unity ahead of November’s mayoral election.

Green, the former public advocate, campaigned with Ferrer outside a subway station on the Upper West Side Wednesday night.

The two men faced each other in a hotly-contested primary and runoff four years ago that ended with Green facing Michael Bloomberg, whom he lost to in the general election.

The day before the endorsement, on Tuesday night's edition of NY1's "Road to City Hall," both men were asked if they would team up to try to win back City Hall.

"I’ve been talking with Mark Green for the last couple of years, and I’m certainly looking forward to Mark’s support," said Ferrer. "I know we’re talking."

"The party will be more united in 2005 than it ended up being in 2001," said Green.

ZippyTheChimp
September 22nd, 2005, 11:27 AM
New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com (http://www.nydailynews.com/)



Bloomberg has 14-point lead over Ferrer, poll finds

Wednesday, September 21st, 2005

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's bid for re-election has the support of 52 percent of likely voters to 38 percent for Democratic challenger Fernando Ferrer, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.



With seven weeks remaining before the general election, 84 percent of those who made a choice said their minds were made up, the poll found.

Ferrer, a former Bronx borough president, is backed by 49 percent of Democrats and 15 percent of Republicans, while Bloomberg, a Republican seeking a second term running the largest U.S. city, is supported by 42 percent of Democrats and 82 percent of Republicans, the poll found. Independents favor Bloomberg 69 percent to 24 percent, according to the poll.

"The most significant number in this poll is that it's released on Sept. 21," Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said. "There's still a lot of time left in this race. But you have to say at this stage of the game it's a Bloomberg blowout."

Ferrer, who's seeking to become the city's first mayor of Puerto Rican ancestry, gets the support of 28 percent of whites, 46 percent of blacks and 57 percent of Hispanics among likely voters, the poll found. Bloomberg is backed by 67 percent of whites, 39 percent of blacks and 31 percent of Hispanics among the likely voters, according to the results.

Qualities

Ferrer was rated by 66 percent of voters as caring "about the needs and problems of people like you" to 54 percent for Bloomberg, the poll found. Among those polled, 79 percent said Bloomberg "has strong leadership qualities" to 46 percent for Ferrer.

The survey of 1,504 registered New York City voters, conducted Sept. 14-19, has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. The survey included 774 likely voters, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Quinnipiac is based in Hamden, Connecticut. .

ZippyTheChimp
October 14th, 2005, 06:50 PM
Duck soup for Bloomberg.

Quack!


New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com (http://www.nydailynews.com)

Ferrer fades in the stretch

BY DAVID SALTONSTALL and MICHAEL SAUL
DAILY NEWS CITY HALL BUREAU
Thursday, October 13th, 2005

Call him the Incredible Shrinking Freddy Ferrer.

A new poll yesterday showed Mayor Bloomberg crushing Fernando Ferrer, the Democratic nominee, by a staggering 60% to 32%.

It's the second poll in as many days suggesting Ferrer is on track to lose the race - his third try for Gracie Mansion since 1997 - in a spectacular flameout. A WNBC/Marist poll, released Tuesday night, gave Bloomberg a 27-point lead.

Yesterday's Quinnipiac University poll had the mayor leading Ferrer in all five boroughs, including a two-point lead - a statistical tie when factoring in the margin of error - in Ferrer's home turf of the Bronx.

The mayor holds a commanding three-to-one lead among likely white voters; is favored by both Democrats and Republicans, and is ahead
53% to 38% among black voters.

Hispanic voters are the only group that remains strongly in Ferrer's corner. They support the former Bronx borough president 55% to 40%, the poll showed.

Ferrer downplayed the surveys, saying they are the same polls that incorrectly predicted that the Democratic primary would end in a runoff. Ferrer won the primary by the slimmest of margins.

"I'm not terribly focused on [polls]," Ferrer insisted. "I'm focused in this race on putting forward a vision, even in the face of a man who's already spent nearly $50 million [and] is on track to exceeding the obscene amount of money he spent in 2001 to get himself elected."

Bloomberg tried to keep his elation circumspect. "I am just going to go about doing my job," he told reporters.

Maurice Carroll, Quinnipiac's polling chief, credited much of Bloomberg's surge with his handling of last week's terrorism scare, during which the mayor beefed up security amid unconfirmed reports of a plot to bomb city subways.

Carroll said the mayor was running 19 points ahead of Ferrer in the three days before the terrorism alert - when Bloomberg was getting hammered for skipping a mayoral debate in Harlem - and by 34 points after the scare.

"Now that the threat has been lifted," Carroll said, "we'll see if the mayor's numbers come back down to earth."

Bloomberg said the poll vindicated his decision to go public with information about the alleged plot. "What it really says is that people want to be told what is going on," he said.

Bloomberg's bounce also comes as the mayor last week reported spending a colossal $46 million of his own money on his reelection bid. That compares with about $6.6 million by Ferrer, who, unlike Bloomberg, had a contested primary campaign.

The mayor's hefty spending yesterday drew criticism from three of the city's top watchdog groups - NYPIRG, Citizens Union and Common Cause - who wrote a joint letter urging the mayor to "reign in his excessive campaign spending."

"Our groups have long been concerned about the negative impact of an uneven playing field on the city's democratic process," they wrote. Meanwhile, hoping to boost his coffers and build on his Latino support, Ferrer is planning a fund-raiser and rally this weekend in Puerto Rico, where he last visited in July.

lofter1
October 14th, 2005, 07:14 PM
Well, if Bloomberg wins again at least we'll have four more years of public art all around the city ...

lofter1
October 14th, 2005, 11:48 PM
Two Different Kinds of Math, and Two Spins on Unemployment

By WINNIE HU (http://query.nytimes.com/search/query?ppds=bylL&v1=WINNIE HU&fdq=19960101&td=sysdate&sort=newest&ac=WINNIE HU&inline=nyt-per)
October 15, 2005
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/15/nyregion/metrocampaigns/15truth.html?pagewanted=all


Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/michael_r_bloomberg/index.html?inline=nyt-per) record on creating jobs for New Yorkers came under scrutiny this week as his Democratic challenger, Fernando Ferrer (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/f/fernando_ferrer/index.html?inline=nyt-per), once again accused him of ignoring the needs of poor and minority communities. At the heart of Mr. Ferrer's attack is his claim that 40 percent of the city's black men, and 33 percent of its Hispanic men, are unemployed.

Just how accurate are Mr. Ferrer's numbers? Not very.

Mr. Ferrer's aides said his unemployment figures were based on a report by the Community Service Society, a nonpartisan group that fights poverty. The report, released in February, is titled "Unemployment and Joblessness in New York City, 2004: Better but Still a Long Way to Go."

The author of that study, Mark Levitan, the group's senior policy analyst, said that he never made any such claim about minority joblessness being that high. "My report definitely does not say the unemployment rate among blacks is 40 percent," Mr. Levitan said.

Instead, Mr. Levitan calculated the proportion of minority men who are employed - not unemployed - a statistic known as the employment-to-population ratio. He found that in 2004, 60.7 percent of working-age black men and 67.7 percent of Hispanic men were employed. Both groups trailed behind white men, who had a ratio of 76.6 percent.

Without consulting Mr. Levitan, the Ferrer campaign interpreted the data to mean that if 60.7 percent of black men were employed, then 39.3 percent of black men must be unemployed. The problem with that methodology, economists and scholars said, was that it assumed people who were not employed must therefore be unemployed, an overly simplistic dichotomy of the labor market.

In practical terms, Mr. Ferrer's unemployment numbers counted those who neither sought nor wanted a job, such as students, stay-at-home fathers, early retirees, and the disabled, among others.

"It may make headlines, but I don't think it serves anybody to be throwing big numbers around," said Lawrence J. White, an economics professor at the Stern School of Business at New York University. "It confuses and weakens, rather than sharpens, the comparison."

For decades, many scholarly studies have supported claims that black and Hispanic men in New York City and elsewhere have to struggle more to find work than white men, a chronic problem that becomes more acute in difficult economic times but persists even in good times.

Dalton Conley, director of the Center for Advanced Social Science Research at N.Y.U., said these minorities tended to be at the back of the so-called labor queue - "they're the last to be hired and the first to be fired," he said - because they often have less education and fewer skills, and face greater discrimination from employers.

"It's a complicated issue and a real issue," Mr. Conley said. "I support efforts to address it, but you have to have the right numbers."

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that in 2004, 10.7 percent of the city's black residents were unemployed and 8.5 percent of Hispanic residents, compared with 6 percent of white residents. (The data was not broken down by race and gender.)

Martin Kohli, a regional economist for the labor bureau, said that as the city's economy rebounded, those unemployment rates improved slightly. The average unemployment rate for the first eight months of 2005 was 8.7 percent for blacks, 6.4 percent for Hispanics and 4.6 percent for whites, he said.

But Mr. Ferrer and minority leaders have contended that government agencies grossly undercount the unemployment rate because only those who have actively looked for work in the past month, and are currently available to take a job, are considered unemployed. They said the numbers overlook discouraged workers who have given up, a group that includes many minority men.

Christy Setzer, Mr. Ferrer's press secretary, defended Mr. Ferrer's use of a 40 percent unemployment rate for black men, and a 33 percent unemployment rate for Hispanic men.

"We believe our method for calculating unemployment levels - a methodology that the Bloomberg campaign has employed as well - is more accurate, because it takes into account the vast numbers of people who have given up looking for work and more accurately assesses chronic unemployment in certain communities," she said.

Stu Loeser, a spokesman for the Bloomberg campaign, said the mayor's advisers had used Mr. Ferrer's methodology only to make a larger point about Mr. Ferrer's record on creating jobs, not to endorse his economics in any way.

Mr. Loeser reiterated that Mr. Ferrer had taken "a relatively obscure economic statistic" and falsely called it the unemployment rate. "We were just applying Freddy's methodology to the Bronx in the 1990's," Mr. Loeser said. "And we found that even according to his own customized way of counting, Freddy was a failure in economic development as Bronx borough president."

Still, Mr. Ferrer's emphasis on minority unemployment has not been completely lost in the criticism over his numbers. Indeed, several economists said they found themselves in an awkward position - they said that while they knew Mr. Ferrer's numbers were wrong, they were hesitant to publicly challenge him since he was renewing interest in a neglected issue.

James A. Parrott, deputy director of the Fiscal Policy Institute, said his own research had found that the city's labor market was far weaker than the official unemployment numbers indicated, a situation that particularly affected black and Hispanic men because of the disparity in their unemployment rates.

Even Mr. Bloomberg seems to be paying more attention to the problem. He proposed a program this week to bring more jobs to minority communities with high unemployment like Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. Last week, he announced new steps to expand minority jobs in the construction industry.



Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html)The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

ZippyTheChimp
October 17th, 2005, 08:56 AM
Gotham Gazette - http://www.gothamgazette.com/article/transportation/20051017/16/1620


Transportation Bond Act

by Bruce Schaller
17 Oct 2005

With mayoral candidates giving little attention to transportation issues, voters' biggest choice in the transportation arena will be their vote on the 2005 Transportation Bond Act. The bond act (http://www.dot.state.ny.us/files/final05mou.july13.pdf), approved by the Legislature this spring as part of a 5-year, $36 billion capital plan, would authorize $2.9 billion in state-backed borrowing for transportation, to be repaid through general revenues. One-half of the bond act funds would be dedicated to public transportation in New York City and its suburbs. Projects to be funded (http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us/mta/bondact.htm) include:

• $450 million to move ahead with the Second Avenue Subway
• $450 million for the East Side Access project, connecting the Long Island Rail Road to Grand Central Terminal;
• $100 million for a rail link between lower Manhattan and Kennedy airport;
• $115 million for purchase of new subway and commuter railroad cars;
• $90 million for new buses; and
• $161 million for track replacement and tunnel lighting. An additional $235 million is set aside for upstate public transportation systems.

Although many people think of New York City as synonymous with transit and upstate as synonymous with highway spending, in fact, a substantial amount of statewide highway spending goes to New York City projects. Twenty-three percent of the bond's highway funding will be spent in the city. New York City highway projects (http://www.dot.state.ny.us/files/bond_act_alpha.pdf) (In PDF Format) include:

• $81 million for Kew Gardens Interchange/Van Wyck Expressway Improvements;
• $30 million for closed circuit television cameras, electronic message signs, vehicle detection devices and highway advisory radio on the FDR Drive and Henry Hudson Parkway;
• $23 million for Henry Hudson Parkway Rehabilitation;
• $25 million for West Shore Expressway Access and Safety Improvements;
• $19 million for the Bronx River Greenway; and
• $11 million for Long Island Railroad Bridge Upgrades to allow heavier, larger rail cars to access the Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island market areas.

Bond act spending also aims to maintain the percentage of state highway bridges in New York City that are rated as in good or excellent condition and slightly improve the proportion of interstate highway lane mileage in New York City that is rated as in good or excellent condition.
No one seriously disputes the importance of maintaining and upgrading the state's transportation system. The Bond Act has thus attracted a long list of supporters including Governor George Pataki, Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, State Comptroller Alan Hevesi, and transit advocacy, environmental and civic groups, including the NYPIRG Straphangers Campaign (http://www.straphangers.org/bond_act/bondfacts.html) and the New York Public Transit Association (http://www.nytransit.org/mn_legissues/2005BondAct/index.htm). Both Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his opponent, Fernando Ferrer, support the bond act.

Supporters say that the Transportation Bond Act funds are vital to maintaining the state's sprawling and aging transportation infrastructure. The funding is also critical to construction of the Second Avenue Subway and East Side Access -- projects long discussed and planned but only now garnering the necessary funding. As much as $4 billion in federal funding is contingent on the bond act passing since the federal government evaluates projects on the level of local financial support. Supporters also point out that bond act spending will create construction jobs in the short term and spur economic growth for years to come.

The bond act has also attracted opposition, primarily from groups that feel the state already has too much debt. The Citizens Budget Commission (http://www.cbcny.org/TransportationBondActRelease_9-22-05.pdf) (In PDF Format) says that the state is poised to take on $19 billion in new debt in the next five years. Only the $2.9 billion in the bond act requires voter approval, however. The budget commission argues that voters should reject the bond act as the only way to say to the overall growth in borrowing.

The Automobile Club of New York (http://www.aaany.com/press/where_we_stand/story.asp?xml=say_no_to_bond_issue.xml&SrcID=06) also urges voters to reject the Transportation Bond Act. The Auto Club criticizes the state for raiding the highway trust fund, whose revenues come from the gas tax and auto registration fees. The Auto Club says that the state has used trust fund revenues to plug general budget shortfalls. The Auto Club argues that instead of borrowing to pay for transportation improvements, the integrity of the trust fund should be maintained and used for these projects.

Supporters reply that the real choice -- aside from underfunding transportation -- is between state-backed borrowing and borrowing that would be paid back through transit fares. They point out that after the 2000 Bond Act failed, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority borrowed heavily, leading to two fare increases since then.

In 2000, a $3.8 billion Transportation Bond Act narrowly failed to win voter approval. Prospects for this year's proposal are uncertain. A recent Quinnipiac University poll found (http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x16950.xml) voters statewide supporting the measure by a 56 percent to 36 percent margin. New York City voters supported it by 67 to 26 percent and suburban voters by 60 to 32 percent. Upstate voters were about evenly split.

While encouraging to supporters, these poll numbers also provide reason for caution because polls before the 2000 election also showed a majority in support. On election day, many New York City voters "who would be expected to vote favorably" overlooked the proposition in the lower right corner of the ballot. In fact, had the dropoff from the presidential vote to the bond act vote been the same downstate as upstate in 2000, the measure would have passed.

Supporters are aiming to heed the lessons of 2000. A group of business and building associations has funded a statewide Vote Yes for Transportation campaign. The $1.5 million campaign will include door to door canvassing and upstate radio ads.

Supporters have also moved to shore up support on Staten Island. The MTA recently shifted funds to build a third MTA bus depot on the island after the borough president, James Molinaro, criticized the measure.

Chances for passage of the 2005 Bond Act appear to be better than the 2000 measure, which failed narrowly, but are not assured. Voters thus have an important and very real choice to make on November 8.

Bruce Schaller, who has been in charge of the transportation topic page since its inception in 1999, is head of Schaller Consulting, which provides research and analysis about transportation. He is also a Visiting Scholar at the Rudin Center for Transportation Policy and Management at New York University.



Gotham Gazette - http://www.gothamgazette.com/article//20051017/202/1618

The Transportation Bond Act: Vote Yes

by Jeremy Soffin
17 Oct 2005

Unless you are a real policy wonk, you probably are not aware of the most important transportation issue in New York City this election season. No, it is not the well-publicized debate over metered parking on Sunday, an issue that has a relatively tiny impact on the daily lives of New Yorkers and even less on the growth of our economy. The far more pressing issue is a transportation bond act that is vitally needed to restore, maintain and expand the transit system. But, unlike Sunday parking, it has garnered almost no attention just weeks before the election. On behalf of the large and diverse Vote Yes for Transportation Campaign (http://www.voteyesny.org/), I urge you to do just that on Proposal 2 this Election Day.

The Rebuild and Renew New York Transportation Bond Act of 2005 is critical to funding the state’s five-year transportation needs, helping to provide congestion relief, safe roads and expanded public transportation service for all New Yorkers. The $2.9 billion act is split evenly between Metropolitan Transportation Authority transit improvement and highway projects that touch every corner of the state, improving mobility while fueling economic growth, creating jobs and protecting the environment. The state’s 2025 Transportation Blue Ribbon Panel warned last year that the entire transportation network is in danger of deteriorating without significant funding, and the bond act is a key part of that funding package.

That is why nearly every elected official in the state -- including Governor George Pataki and Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and challenger Fernando Ferrer, Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, and City Comptroller William Thompson – supports the bond act. Other backers include labor, business, civic and environmental organizations, from the state AFL-CIO to the Partnership for New York City, from the New York Building Congress to the Regional Plan Association and the League of Conservation Voters.
HELP FOR MASS TRANSIT

There are plenty of reasons why New York City residents should support the $2.9 billion act. First on the list is $450 million to restore and maintain the aging transit system that makes the city possible. This money will pay for new subway cars and buses, track repairs, tunnel lighting, a bus locator system, and Staten Island Railway bridges. The past year has brought numerous examples of the system’s fragility, from track fires to derailments, and the safety of all straphangers is at stake.

The second reason to support the bond act is the $900 million it will provide toward the first significant expansion of the subway system in more than 60 years. These funds will be split between East Side Access (which brings Long Island Rail Road trains into Grand Central) and the first phase of the Second Avenue Subway, two projects that will greatly expand the capacity of the transit system and provide critical redundancy in case of natural or manmade disaster. For example, if there were an incident on the East Side today, the entire Lexington Avenue line would be shut down, crippling movement and the economy. But in the event of such a problem, the 2nd Avenue Subway could continue to carry passengers along the East Side. Similarly, the Long Island Rail Road extension would provide back-up commuter rail service during a major disruption at Penn Station. Both of these projects have languished for decades, but that should not be an excuse to reject them. They are critical to the growth of the region’s economy and our safety, and their completion will be nearly guaranteed if the bond act passes.
THE DANGERS OF DEFEAT

Finally, we must consider what would happen if the bond act does not pass. The $450 million for maintenance of the subway system would have to be found elsewhere. That would likely set up a choice between two unpleasant options. On the one hand, the MTA could fill the gap by issuing more of its own debt, putting further pressure on its operating budget and leading to even more fare hikes. On the other hand, the MTA could fill some of the gap by choosing not to fund other items already in its capital plan, such as the station rehabilitations that are so important to many city neighborhoods. In either case, an already decaying system will become more vulnerable and slide further toward the disrepair that plagued it in the 1970s. No one wants to go back there.

The $900 million that the bond act sets aside for expansion is unlikely to be replaced if it fails, causing the state to lose $4 billion in federal funds that were headed our way. Washington is waiting for the state to match some of that money, and, if we don’t, the federal funds will then go elsewhere. More importantly, if voters reject the bond act, we would lose the opportunity to expand a transit system that is no longer able to accommodate its current ridership and is certainly not prepared for the economic and population growth that the city envisions -- on the Far West Side, in Lower Manhattan, East Harlem, 125th Street, Downtown Brooklyn, Greenpoint/Williamsburg, Flushing and in so many other places.
A REASON TO BORROW

Some people will undoubtedly argue that the state’s system of borrowing money is in need of reform. They are absolutely correct. New York must address “back-door” borrowing, where the state’s public authorities pile up debt with no voter approval and little involvement from elected officials. But this bond act is different. Long-term borrowing for transportation infrastructure will always be appropriate, and the needs of our transportation system are too urgent and important to hold hostage to a reform effort that will be not be completed this season.

We have much to gain from a healthy and growing transportation system and too much to lose if we fail to keep that system running at a world-class level. On November 8, New Yorkers have a chance to show how important transportation is in our daily lives. Vote yes for transportation. Vote yes on Prop 2.

Jeremy Soffin is director of public affairs for the Regional Plan Association

• • • • • • •
For more information in favor of the Transportation Bond Act:
• Vote yes for Transportation (http://www.voteyesny.org/)
The coalition supporting the act
• Transportation Bond Act (http://www.mta.nyc.ny.us/mta/bondact.htm)
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority information page on the act
• Vote Yes on Ballot Proposal Two: Transportation Bond Act (http://www.straphangers.org/bond_act/bond_facts.pdf) (in .PDF format)
Information from the Straphangers Campaign, the advocacy group for subway riders
• Governor Pataki Announces Support For $2.9 Billion Transportation Bond Act (http://www.ny.gov/governor/press/05/sep18_1_05.htm)
• Debt We Can Live With: Front-door Borrowing for Transportation (http://www.newsday.com/news/printedition/opinion/ny-vpqtbi214435383sep21,0,4868225.story)
A Newsday editorial
• Transportation Bond Act is Good Move (http://www.newsday.com/news/opinion/ny-opdol124465379oct12,0,2929520.column?coll=ny-viewpoints-headlines)
By Newsday columnist Joseph Dolman
• New York Voters Back Transportation Act: poll (http://www.newyorkbusiness.com/news.cms?id=11902)



Gotham Gazette - http://www.gothamgazette.com/article//20051017/202/1619

The Transportation Bond Act: Vote No

by Nicole Gelinas
17 Oct 2005

Gotham is an old city with an aging physical infrastructure. But the state’s $2.9 billion Transportation Bond Act, which will be on the November 8 ballot as “Proposal No. 2,” is not the best way for New York City to get the money it needs for its vital transportation assets.

The city certainly does need money for its mass transit, roads and bridges. New York’s subway system, parts of which turned 100 years old last year, needs $18 billion in investment over the next four years just to maintain its current state of repair. More than half of the city’s bridges are considered to be in less-than-stellar condition, and some are actively deteriorating.

But the transportation bonds on the ballot, if approved, will be issued by the state, not the city. The state doesn’t have infinite funds, and thus should make each dollar go a long way. But, despite this, it has not prioritized its proposed transportation-infrastructure investments according to urgent need.
THE CITY’S SHARE

What does this mean for New York City?

The city’s subways, roads and bridges will receive about $1.6 billion of the bond proceeds. At 55 percent of the total, this doesn’t sound like such a bad deal – especially in light of the fact that city residents, workers and businesses pay a little less than half of state taxes
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But the problem is that of that $1.6 billion earmarked for New York City, the bonds provide only about $700 million in funding for projects that the city needs completed now. So, in effect, New York City taxpayers will pay about $1.3 billion (their share of state taxes to fund the bond issue) in order to get back about half that in investment so critically necessary that it justifies new debt.

To wit: The bond act would provide the state-run Metropolitan Transportation Authority with $450 million to maintain the MTA’s core infrastructure, much of it within New York City. This means hundreds of millions of dollars for such mundane but crucial investments as new subway cars and buses, track replacement, tunnel lighting and other maintenance.
BIG TICKET ITEMS

But the bond act would provide a further billion dollars for several pie-in-the-sky expansion projects at the MTA: $450 million each for the Second Avenue subway (from the Bronx to Lower Manhattan) and for the East Side Access project (to connect Long Island Rail Road commuters to the East Side of Manhattan), and $100 million for a rail link from Lower Manhattan to Kennedy Airport.

Any one of these expansion projects might be worth seeing through to completion – but neither the city nor the state has committed to doing that. The Second Avenue subway, for example, will cost $16 billion.


http://www.gothamgazette.com//graphics/bond_act/map.jpg

In a rational world, the city and state would pick one of these projects – and make room in the budget to raise the capital necessary to build it. But each Albany official has his pet New York City project (Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver likes the Second Avenue Subway, while Governor Pataki likes the rail link to JFK), so no single project ever gets enough funds to make real progress.

Until the state and the city can figure out which of these three multibillion-dollar projects it likes best, the MTA would do better to commit the entire $1.45 billion raised through the transportation bond act to making critical investments in the assets it already has, to ensure that New Yorkers can depend on a reliable transportation system.
IMPROVING ROADS

What about roads? Of $1.45 billion earmarked for roads and bridges statewide, the city will get $273 million, or 19 percent. Some of the projects involve work on critical arteries in and out of the city: $81 million to rehabilitate the Van Wyck Expressway in Queens and $23 million to make repairs to the Henry Hudson Parkway between Manhattan and the Bronx. But at least one major project is not quite so critical: $19 million for a “green oasis” in the Bronx.

And to get its $273 million, the city must help pay for $1.2 billion road projects outside the city, including $21.5 million for 11 miles of new hiking trails in Washington County and a new pedestrian bridge near the Erie Canal.
CONTROLLING STATE SPENDING

These initiatives, and dozens of relatively small upstate road projects, may indeed be worthy – and no one is suggesting that upstate be deprived of infrastructure critical to its economy, or that the congested Bronx be deprived of green space.

But the state has so badly mismanaged its finances in recent years that it already has far too much long-term debt: more than $48 billion, which puts it fifth in the nation in terms of debt per person. According to state Comptroller Alan Hevesi, only about half of that debt was for prudent investment in long-term capital assets like transportation infrastructure – another 20 percent was for day-to-day operations, and another 25 percent was to fund state and local programs that should be paid for upfront
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Thus, it is not prudent for the state to raise new debt for worthy “extras.” Every penny should go toward the critical infrastructure that is badly in need of maintenance and repair.

Hiking trails and greenways are great – but the taxpayers who want them should pressure their local politicians to pressure Albany to get the state budget under control, so that we can afford to help pay for them without breaking the bank. If Albany were to cut its bloated and fraudulent Medicaid program by 15 percent, for example, state and local governments would have an extra $3 billion each year to fund smaller capital projects upfront.

Until then, city taxpayers would do better to vote down the Transportation Bond Act, and Gotham would do better to raise $700 million in debt on its own to pay for critical investments in its roads, and to help the MTA pay for critical investments in the subway.
This would send Albany a message: No more debt until state leaders reform the budget to get the debt we have under control.

Nicole Gelinas, a chartered financial analyst, is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor to City Journal magazine.

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For more information against the Transportation Bond Act:
• CBC Announces Opposition To Transportation Bond Act (http://cbcny.org/TransportationBondActRelease_9-22-05.pdf) (in .PDF format)
A statement from the Citizens Budget Commission
• New York's Endangered Future: Debt Beyond Our Means (http://cbcny.org/CBCDebtReport_9-22-05.pdf) (in .PDF format)
A report on state borrowing by the Citizens Budget Commission
• Vote No (http://www.cpnys.org/memos/2005/LM2005-Prop2.html)
A position paper by the Conservative Party of New York
• Staten Island Borough President Opposes Transportation Bond Act (http://www.silive.com/news/advance/index.ssf?/base/news/1126876670175370.xml&coll=1)
• No on Prop 2 (http://www.nypost.com/seven/10092005/postopinion/editorial/54982.htm)
A New York Post editorial

BrooklynRider
October 17th, 2005, 10:07 AM
Well, BVloomberg was at the Farmer's Market at Brooklyn Borough Hall on Sunday taking pictures with people. It's good to know he isn't taking it toally for granted.

The civil rghts issues will keep me from voting for him. There has been no satisfactory explanation for the arrest and extended holding of protesters at pier 57 during the RNC. There has been no satisfactory explanation why Critical Mass bicylce groups are arrested and harrassed.

For all the "good" we think he has done, he has failed to protect the most important thing we have and should be able to depend on: civil rights. I won't vote for Bloomberg, but I doubt I'll vote for Ferrer either.