Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Who needs community input?

From the NY Times:

It has never been easy for a mayor to get things done in New York City, where every government proposal must navigate a thicket of community groups, policy boards, and empowered neighborhood gadflies who can blackball a project in a blink.

So the Bloomberg administration has taken a tack that could be called “do it first, answer questions later.” And the key to the strategy is to start small, and to use the word “pilot.”

Dozens of marquee administration projects, as broad as transforming the city streetscape with pedestrian plazas and bright green bike lanes or using new ways to train principals and encourage school attendance, have started as so-called pilot programs, ostensible experiments that are often exempt from the usual forms of city review.

The pilot has emerged as the mayor’s signature policy weapon. Admirers see an innovative way around red tape. Critics see a blunt tool that undermines democracy by minimizing the public’s role in scrutinizing the ideas of government.

Once a pilot is in place, there generally is no requirement for review in, say, a public hearing or a City Council committee, even if the pilot is expanded. Indeed, some pilots are expanded but never pronounced permanent, suggesting that they are still in the experimental stages.


Anonymous said...

so bloomberg is an.y.c. "pilot czar". does this sound familiar ?

Anonymous said...

How odd. This article quoted nobody that backed up its assertions and pointed to no actual project that didn't have extensive community review. Not to mention that these projects work, and are popular. I don't know what's going on at the New York Times, but it ain't journalism.

Queens Crapper said...

Gale A. Brewer, a City Council member who has worked in city politics for three decades, once wanted to install information kiosks in front of City Hall to help guide visitors. The building and its grounds, however, were designated landmarks, so any new structure would require extensive review. She labeled the kiosks temporary to avoid further vetting.

“I knew I was being disingenuous,” Ms. Brewer said. “They were there for at least three or four years.” She added, “The way things get done in New York City is figuring out a way to get around the rules.”

Guess you were wrong.

Anonymous said...

Critics see a blunt tool that undermines democracy.... It's called ZOG.

Anonymous said...

The City may as well use the term "End Run Around" instead of "Pilot".
But what can you expect from a very corrupt system, in which the City can cut funding & 1000 civil workers will be losing their jobs, while the City Council gives over $ 50 million dollars to their friends of NON-Profits who by the way are also CB members of various Community Boards across the City.
This is how the Council Members keep all their ducks lined up in order & push through their various policies.

Anonymous said...

One person see a blunt tool that undermines democracy called ZOG. I see an ARP anti-semite who blames other people for his shortcomings in life.