Saturday, June 19, 2010

Independent thought?

From City Pragmatist:

The strongest push to hobble NYC’s community boards by forcing them to hire dedicated planners and revert to a narrower “planning board” role (an idea we strongly oppose) came not from Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, but from the former chairman of Manhattan Community Board 2, Brad Hoylman, who was one of five invited “experts” who spoke at the Charter Revision Commission’s June 10 session on Government Structure in Staten Island. Why the commission chose Hoylman as a featured guest became evident upon examination of his credentials.

Hoylman’s official Charter Revision Commission bio shows him only as “a senior executive and general counsel at a New York City nonprofit organization.” But a Web search reveals that the nonprofit he works for is the Partnership for New York City, the pre-eminent policy and public relations arm of New York’s big business and real estate development community and its principal advocate for a strong-mayor, weak-community form of government.

Hoylman’s co-panelists also have credentials that raise serious issues about their ability to take a fresh look at City Hall’s structure: Eric Lane, who with F.A.O. Schwarz, Jr., shaped NYC’s current strong-mayor government; Gerald Benjamin, who helped Lane to do this; Doug Muzzio, a CUNY Baruch College political affairs professor who develops and delivers “cultural diversity training programs for the New York City Police Department;” and Marc V. Shaw, a member of the city and state permanent governments since 1981 who currently works for commission chair and CUNY chancellor Matthew Goldstein as Interim Senior Vice Chancellor for Budget, Finance and Financial Policy.

Given Lane’s and Benjamin’s charter revision commission history, and Hoylman’s, Muzzio’s, and Shaw’s current employment, it’s evident that the commission did not cast its net very far looking for dissenting views.


Anonymous said...

Nice hairdo.

Malba Gardener said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Malba Gardener said...

Some community Boards such as 7 in Queens , are too big, with too much power, whose members who have served over 20 years and have more power than our elected officials. They bully and threaten community activists,and anyone who has the audacity to speak up. There needs to be term limits on CB members. They also need to be made more accountable to the community they represent. They cannot be allowed to violate FREEDOM OF INFORMATION LAWS, SHRED DOCUMENTS, LIE TO THE COMMUNITY, AND MAKE COMMENTS ABOUT CIVIC LEADERS THAT SEEK TO DEFAME AND WISH HARM UPON THEM. TERM LIMITS AND ACCOUNTABILITY.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Anonymous said...

Sounds like our new boro historian.

Setting policy without consulting with his constituents.

Anonymous said...


inform us of everything - we need the other neighborhoods to catch fire too - dont disappoint us and do little more than old politcan love fests like another civic group.

Suzannah B. Troy artist said...

Community boards are the most undemocratic part of nyc governement. We did not vote for these people.

I stopped attending community board 3 meetings in the East Village. I would complain about too many bars and NYU mega dorms. The community board chair at the time David McWater owned aprox 10 or more bars and never he or the manager Susan Stetzer said for the record, please put in the minutes David McWater the chair owns bars.

It was a huge conflict of interest. I wrote that big waste of tax payers money scott stringer and he did zero.

When he visited CB3 I was told -- my words -- it was one big orgy of admiration.

I spoke with SLA about it and wrote the mayor's office. That was before Mike flushed democracy completely down the toilet.

I would say outside investigation needs to done on community boards.

City wide we need to vote for the people that represent us. They need to be accountable and that includes who they are dating because it is very, very cozy in way too many ways.

Malba Gardener said...

Su, and if you do not go along with what the CB tells you to do, and you file a FOIL request, go on to obtain a decision against them from the State Department, your local Councilmans Chief of staff may call you UNDEMOCRATIC AS I WAS CALLED.

Anonymous said...

Comment from the original post:


On Manhattan’s West Side we’ve been aware of Hoylman and his secret job for years. We’re also aware of the large-scale displacement of long-time residents and small business that Hoylman and The New York City Partnership — the boys’ club of landlords, developers and Bloomberg/Doctoroff Corporate Welfare — have unleashed on Chelsea and Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen.

Hoylman is expected to run for Christine Quinn’s seat in 2013 and she’s expected to support him. Hoylman is a past president of GLID (Gay & Lesbian Independent Democrats), so he might have some electability despite his advocating for neighborhood destruction on behalf of NYC developers. Quinn — as many know — sold out to the dark side in 2002, betraying her constituents and is a strong advocate for bad development.

On Charter issues, the current Commission, while it lacks the circus atmosphere of Rudy’s Commission from the 1990′s, still lacks credibility. The so-called “experts” overall reflect the administration’s agenda. Marc Shaw is the permanent government, Doug Muzzio is a newspaper talking head who states nothing but the obvious, and Hoylman is point man for Related, Vornado, Durst and Ratner.

By pushing for so-called community planning boards, Hoylman’s just reinforcing the damage done to community boards by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. Community Boards used to have some degree of independence. In the last ten years, Scott Stringer has turned Manhattan Community Boards into political cronies, for example, his campaign manager. Stringer created a so-called independent committee to recommend community board appointments, but key membership in that committee is held by — you guessed it — the NYC Partnership. His Director of Land Use, just now leaving for a higher profile job with a major developer-landlord, obtained his apartment from a developer on Manhattan Community Board 4 while he was District Manager of the same Community Board. Of course tenants remain reluctant to complain to Board 4 about that same developer-landlord given the cozy relationship.

And Stringer’s appointment to City Planning, Anna Levin, is so popular rubber-stamping obscene development that Douglas Durst, developer of the Bank of America tower on 42nd St., participated in a party for her retirement from the community board.