From the Gotham Gazette:
Given that land remains one of the principal stakes in the New York political game, zoning and land use policies -- less glamorous but with far greater effect on the city and the well being of its neighborhoods and residents -- will very likely be a subject of commission discussion. The Bloomberg administration and real estate developers see the current city land use policies, notably the Uniform Land Use Review Process or ULURP, as inefficient, time consuming and often wrong-headed. They would like to see it "streamlined" with such changes as shorter time frames for review and elimination of some steps. Others want enhanced purview and greater powers for community boards and City Council on zoning and land use matters. The commission could also look at the composition and authority and processes of the City Planning Commission and the Board of Standards and Appeals.
Among the other topics that a comprehensive commission may address (with different degrees of likelihood) are:
* * the powers and purviews of the mayor, City Council (such as increasing the size of the council; making it a full-time body with limits on earned outside income; enhancing its budgetary role), comptroller (whether the comptroller should have power to establish or sign off on revenue estimates), public advocate (retain or eliminate the office; whether to give it a dedicated funding stream or subpoena power), borough presidents (retain or eliminate; maintain, reduce or enhance authority in areas such as in land use decision making and capital planning and budgeting), and the advisory community boards (providing an enhanced role in planning/land use; providing them with professional support) ;
* * voter participation, such as non-partisan voting, runoffs and immigrant /non-citizen voting;
* * ethics, including appointments to and the purview and procedures of the Conflict of Interest Board, and oversight of lobbying activities;
* * campaign finance (changes necessitated by the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. the Federal Elections Commission; elimination of public funding in non-competitive races; the disclosure of private spending by self-funded candidates);
* * procurement (enhanced bidding and contracting oversight by comptroller or City Council)
* * charter content (such as moving much of charter to Administrative Code)
The public advocate's position and the role of the borough presidents have long been subjects of conversation. In October, at a Staten Island Advance editorial board interview, Bloomberg said that eliminating the public advocate’s office could be on the table. He also said that while he might be open to giving borough presidents a different role, he was not prepared to give them more power by taking it away from City Council.