City Councilman Michael C. Nelson. Photo by Erica Sherman
The following is a press release from the office of City Councilman Michael C. Nelson:
Some New Yorkers just can’t seem to catch a break. Many Brooklyn residents already struggling to repair their Sandy ravaged properties were hit with even more bad news: Their property values increased, meaning higher taxes.
Aside from the sheer absurdity that these rates were determined prior to Hurricane Sandy and were never reevaluated, Councilman Michael Nelson pointed out another flaw made by the city. “If the controversy began from unfair property assessments, it will now be fueled by a shorter than usual timeframe to appeal due the city’s tardiness in mailing them out.” To file an appeal, go to nyc.gov/finance and click on the ‘property’ tab.
The Councilman said he will fight to extend the March 15th appeal deadline, but in the meantime urges anyone who needs legal guidance during the process to schedule an appointment with the free legal services his office offers in any of the following locations:
Councilman Nelson District Office – 1605 Voorhies Avenue, 1st floor, (718) 368-9176 ext. 112
Shorefront Jewish Community Council – 128 Brighton Beach Avenue 4th floor, (718) 743-0575 ext. 7503
Council Center for Senior Citizens – 1001 Quentin Road, (718) 627-7680 – Ask for Lillian
In conjunction with the CUNY School of Law, Community Legal Resource Network (CLRN), Councilman Nelson has allocated funding for the past 6 years to give all his constituents, regardless of financial situation, easily accessible legal service. In addition to property tax assessment appeals, consultation is available for FEMA appeals, civil litigation, landlord and tenant disputes, foreclosure, immigration, debt disputes, drafting of wills and other legal documents and many other issues.
“As all of us in City Council know, an alarming percentage of New Yorkers lack access to affordable civil justice. The legal aid provided by CLRN in my district quickly became one of the most important components of our constituent services. We rely heavily on CLRN to empower our constituents, who have the opportunity to present their real-life issues to compassionate lawyers that are deeply committed to the principles of “justice for all,” said Councilman Michael Nelson. He continued to say that there is no time to waste with the appeals deadline fast approaching.
Councilman Mike Nelson fired off two letters to Governor Andrew Cuomo asking for “licensed plumbers and electricians from other states to work in Hurricane Sandy Zone A Evacuation area buildings” and a grace period for “late payments from New York City residents to all bill collectors, including to credit card and mortgage companies.”
These two initiatives would expedite the repair process for damaged homes and take the pressure off of residents still struggling to regain some semblance of their old lives.
Here is the first of the two letters:
I respectfully urge you to issue an executive order to allow licensed plumbers and electricians from other states to work in Hurricane Sandy Zone A Evacuation area buildings that are still dysfunctional and have not yet been tended to due to a statewide shortage of necessary professionals. Con Edison is unable to work on or provide power to buildings where power was lost, as a consequence of the hurricane, without a certificate of approval from a licensed electrician. Alternatively, I kindly ask you to issue an executive order allowing for apprentices working under New York electricians and plumbers to do the necessary work.
The shortage of plumbers and electricians has been exacerbated by the citywide gas shortage. Shipments of parts and appliances have slowed to a halt and workers are having trouble traveling around the different areas. The city is overwhelmed. By allowing licensed workers from other states or apprentices from New York to do the necessary work, we will be able to get this city back on its feet more quickly.
Thousands of people, many of them elderly and disabled, are struggling. Thank you for your time. I look forward to your response on this issue.
And the second:
I respectfully urge you to issue an executive order, in response to the unexpected devastation of Hurricane Sandy, to create an extended grace period for late payments from New York City residents to all bill collectors, including to credit card and mortgage companies.
Already, for a variety of reasons resulting from the storm, many people have not been able to pay their bills on time. Many residents are still without basic necessities such as power and heat while others spend most of their time volunteering in their communities. In extreme situations, some have lost their homes and others have barely eaten since the storm surge. Quite frankly, people are either literally unable to pay their bills at this time or incredibly occupied with more urgent needs.
An executive order, to issue an extended grace period would prevent the credit scores of tens of thousands of people, who have already suffered so much, from being tarnished during these dire times.
In one-way or another, the entire city is involved in the recovery from this destructive storm. I hope you take my request to heart as I am writing to you not only as a Councilmember but also as a concerned city resident.
Thank you for your ongoing involvement in the recovery efforts. I eagerly anticipate your response.
We’ll keep you updated if Cuomo orders either of these initiatives into effect.
Councilman Mike Nelson posted information on his Facebook page concerning the availability and distribution of free dry ice by Con Edison today for customers without power due to Hurricane Sandy.
According to Nelson:
“Con Edison will distribute dry ice at five locations starting at noon today to customers who are without power due to Hurricane Sandy. Distribution will continue until 6 p.m. or until supplies run out. The company will also have personnel at the locations to answer customers’ questions.”
In our area, dry ice will be available at MCU Park (Cyclones Stadium), 1904 Surf Avenue between West 17th Street and West 19th Street, parking lot section 1B.
Instructions for the safe handling and disposal of dry ice are printed on the bag for residents who pick up dry ice.
It is important to note that dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide and should only be used in well-ventilated areas. Keep children and pets safely away.
The New York Daily News released an in-depth analysis of the attendance records and bill creation frequency of Brooklyn’s local politicians, citing both high and low marks for several of Southern Brooklyn’s lawmakers.
Those leading the charge of civic responsibility include Flatbush Councilman Jumaane Williams, who came in second overall in bill creation with 19, and third in best attendance, missing only 6.9 percent of scheduled meetings.
Councilman David Greenfield of Borough Park and Councilman Domenic Recchia of Coney Island were also cited for their vigorous bill contribution and high attendance ratings. Greenfield introduced 18 bills and Rechhia introduced 25.
On the negative side of things, the Daily News pegged Councilman Michael Nelson of Sheepshead Bay as one of the least active politicians, having only introduced two bills since 2011, and having missed 14 percent of his meetings.
Councilman Lew Fidler was also cited for a low attendance record, but the Daily News failed to report Fidler’s medical problems and subsequent hospitalization in February, which sidelined him for some time.
Assemblyman Cymbrowitz and Councilman Nelson hope to hamper illegal livery cab pickups by changing the south side of Sheepshead Bay Rd. to "No Parking Anytime."
Two local politicians are teaming up to battle livery cab operators on Sheepshead Bay Road, a long-time menace of the congested shopping strip.
Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz and Councilman Michael Nelson blasted the cabbies in a letter to the Department of Transportation’s Brooklyn Commissioner, Joseph Palmieri, saying the pesky motorists are creating a dangerous situation for pedestrians. The letter, sent in May and recently obtained by Sheepshead Bites, took issue with livery cars illegally jockeying for fares at the Sheepshead Bay subway station, and requested the agency take measures to discourage practices that put residents at risk.