Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Charter commission goes out with a whimper

From The Real Deal:

Six months after being formed, the city Charter Revision Commission issued its final report yesterday, declining to make any recommendations on the three thorniest land use issues before it.

The 15-member panel appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg heard from deeply divided interest groups such as the Real Estate Board of New York and Pratt Center for Community Development, but said certain issues were too complex to tackle in the brief period allotted to them.

The commission acknowledged the deep divide on those issues, such as a proposal from community advocates and elected officials to increase the influence of community boards and borough board presidents within the ULURP process. The commission declined to make any changes.

"The commission has considered both the criticisms and the responses to [increasing the role of community boards and borough presidents] and recommends for the future both further empirical study and analysis of how such changes would affect development in the city," the report says.

The panel declined to suggest changes to the city Department of City Planning uniform land use review procedure, known as ULURP. In addition, it decided not to propose regulating controversial community benefits agreements or to revise a locally-driven land-use mechanism called 197-a.

However, the panel in its 219-page report did suggest requiring disclosure of third-party campaign spending from independent groups such as real estate interests, and publishing on city maps the locations of private as well as public waste-treatment facilities, the panel's report issued yesterday says.

The commission, appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg in March, was directed to review the city's charter and after holding a series of hearings, to make recommendations on how to revise it. Its major recommendations yesterday were a term-limit proposal, the disclosure of independent campaign expenditures and reducing signature requirements for candidates' petitions.

The report contained no surprises, coming weeks after a draft was released, but the findings do memorialize the arguments of the competing interests for any future attempts to change the charter, which is the city's constitution.

1 comment:

Suzannah B. Troy artist said...

Civic's lesson from Henry Stern....

Me doing my best to bring attention to the fact king Mike and gang have flushed democracy down the toilet twice two years in a row circumventing the voters -- the people of NY again in 2010.