Monday, August 29, 2011
Councilman Oliver Koppell and his buddies in the City Council have found another great cause to get excited about -- stopping the police from busting pot smokers. In New York, carrying a small, concealed amount of marijuana — less than 25 grams, or seven-eighths of an ounce — is a violation, punishable by a $100 fine. But under current state law, the violation becomes a criminal offense when the drug is brought into the open, even when this happens only after the police ask people they stop to empty their pockets or purses. The Council resolution, co-sponsored by Koppell, supports an effort in the state legislature to reclassify the public display of small amounts of pot as a violation. What will they think of next?
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Here is a piece by Harry Siegal at the Village Voice about the continuing fallout from the City Council slush fund scandal and how it will impact the Mayoral prospects for Speaker Christine Quinn. There is also a cameo by our very own Cash and Carry Larry Seabrook.
The Real Deal reports that State Senator Jeff Klein is pushing for enforcement of a law he wrote dealing with the upkeep of foreclosed apartments. Under the law the owners are required to maintain the property after foreclosure, but the Senator is claiming that too many owners are not complying and that could have led to a fatal fire in the Bronx.
Monday, August 8, 2011
This article reports that freshman Assemblyman Eric A. Stevenson (who represents the Morrisania & East Tremont sections in the Bronx) was at the top of the list in terms of the amount of money he was reimbursed for meals and travel to Albany. Assemblyman Stevenson was reimbursed a total of $26,468 this year. Overall, lawmakers received nearly $3 million in reimbursements, with most averaging about $13,000.
The New York Post reports that former State Senator Pedro Espada, who is now under indictment, was the most generous boss in Albany. In just the last three months of 2010, Espada spent more than $750,000 on staff -- which was more than any other Senator for a full six month period. You have to ask yourself, who was watching the store here?
Thursday, August 4, 2011
Looks like the Bronx delegation is a leader when is comes to missing Council meetings. The Daily News reports that Councilmembers Larry Seabrook and Joel Rivera are in the top 5 when it comes to missing Council meetings. Seabrook, who is under indictment for fraud, missed 27 percent of the meetings while Rivera, who is the Majority Leader and gets an extra $23,000 stipend on top of his $112,000 pay, missed 19 percent.
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Here is a New York Post article about Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz but it is really about role of borough presidents. The article details some of the unusual events that BP's preside over -- such as a dog wedding -- and it sets forth the costs to run these offices. For example, they cost $23 million for staff and to operate their offices, they dole out $63 million in capital cash to their pet programs, and BP's pull down $160,000 in salary. Markowitz's office employs 66 people, including three chauffeurs, the most of any borough president. After their role was severely diminished with the 1989 elimination of the Board of Estimate, the article points out that "the role of a borough president includes appointing community board members, making budget recommendations, issuing advisory opinions on land-use matters and producing official maps. " What do you think about these offices?