Archive for the tag 'scott stringer'

A home in Seagate after Sandy. (Photo by Erica Sherman)

New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer announced the formation of a Sandy Oversight Unit this morning, with its first task slated to be an audit of the Build it Back recovery program.

Stringer is targeting the program in the wake of headlines earlier this year that noted money has been distributed and construction started in only a handful of cases nearly a year after Build it Back’s launch, despite nearly 20,000 homeowners on the wait-list.

The unit will be looking to see if the Housing Recovery Office – the program that oversees Build it Back – has set goals and timetables for the delivery of services and established procedures to reduce the backlog of applications. It will also look at the quality of the service and review fraud prevention procedures, with a focus on the Single Family Program.

The Oversight Unit will draw from the Comptroller’s Audit, Contracts, Budget and Policy Units, with an overall goal of reviewing how federal aid has been spent, making recommendations to reduce fraud, waste and abuse, monitoring the progress of Sandy projects and proposing policy recommendations for managing the financial tracking in future emergencies.

To aid the review, Stringer is holding Town Hall meetings across Sandy-stricken neighborhoods to hear from residents about the problems they face. The following locations and dates have been set:

  • April 30 in Breezy Point from 6 to 8 p.m.
    Bay House, 500 Bayside Drive, Breezy Point, NY
  • May 6 in Coney Island from 6 to 8 p.m.
    Coney Island Hospital, 2601 Ocean Parkway, Brooklyn, NY
  • May 20 in the Rockaways from 6 to 8 p.m.
    Mt. Carmel Baptist Church, 348 Beach 71st Street, Arverne, NY
  • May 28 in Staten Island from 6 to 8 p.m.
    Olympia Activity Center (OAC), 1126 Olympia Blvd., Staten Island, NY

Mayor Bill de Blasio is already seeking to increase the efficiency of the program, announcing today that his office has completed a report that will kickstart the process, getting money out to homeowners faster. Details of those reforms will be made public later today.

Meanwhile, the mayor is also seeking to slash the property tax bills of 1,500 city residents who have rebuilt or repaired their homes since Superstorm Sandy. He announced yesterday that his office is pushing for support in Albany to provide a property tax credit for Sandy victims.

Construction and renovations to a home can trigger a higher assessment value, even if it’s solely for Sandy recovery. The bill would allow the city to grant partial property-tax abatement to nullify the higher assessed value from those repairs.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

To be eligible, homeowners would have to meet three criteria. First, the city had to reduce the valuation of the homeowner’s property in fiscal year 2014 from the value in 2013 because of Sandy damage. Second, the city would have had to increase the assessed value of the property for fiscal year 2015 compared with 2014. And, lastly, the 2015 assessed value of the building must exceed 2013′s.

While the city controls its property-tax rate, the Legislature and governor must approve special abatements like this.

The mayor has six weeks to gather support and pass the reforms before city property tax bills are delivered.

MBCG boardmembers, including new president Judy Baron (left) and outgoing president Ira Zalcman (right) pose with Comptroller-elect Scott Stringer

MBCG boardmembers, including new president Judy Baron (left) and outgoing president Ira Zalcman (right) pose with Comptroller-elect Scott Stringer

The Manhattan Beach Community Group met earlier this month for their 72nd annual general membership meeting, an end-of-year celebration where new officers are installed and the year’s accomplishments celebrated. This year’s event carried extra weight as the group’s president, Ira Zalcman, said goodbye after seven years of leadership, and the group passed an amendment to its bylaws intended to create peace with its rival neighborhood group.

The December 4 event – which we must note with regret has taken far too long to find its way to our website – drew nearly 200 neighbors, as well as a broad swath of incoming and outgoing elected officials.

Most significantly, the group passed an amendment to its bylaws that they hope will end a bitter six-year feud with the Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association, a rivalry that many say has divided the community, and diminished its power to effect positive changes in the area.

The new bylaws create an exception for members of the “other group” to rejoin the MBCG as directors without having to wait the requisite two years. Passed with only one objection, by MBNA member Ed Eisenberg, the motion provisions for the group’s president to appoint as many as four members of the MBNA to the MBCG’s board, so long as the MBNA agrees to dissolve.


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de Blasio (Source: Streets Blog)

Well, if you’ve managed to stay away from the television, radio, newsstands, social media or any website geared towards New York residents, here’s the list of citywide and borough winners from last night’s election, as well as those in Southern Brooklyn races:

  • Bill de Blasio (Mayor)
  • Letitia James (Public Advocate)
  • Scott Stringer (Comptroller)
  • Eric Adams (Brooklyn Borough Presidnet)
  • Kenneth Thompson (Brooklyn District Attorney)
  • Chaim Deutsch (CD48)
  • Vincent Gentile (CD43)
  • Mark Treyger (CD47)
  • Alan Maisel (CD46)
  • David Greenfield (CD44)
  • Jumaane Williams (CD45)

What do you think? Meet the new boss, same as the old boss? Or a whole new era for Brooklyn and New York City?

Let us know in the comments below.

Local Assemblymembers Alec Brook-Krasny and Steven Cymbrowitz, and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer released the Russian-language edition (pdf.) of the Immigrant’s Rights and Services Manual on Friday at the Shorefront YM-YWHA in Brighton Beach.

This pamphlet serves as a resource that educates New York immigrants on their rights, government benefits, and programs. New York City already provides translations in Chinese, Spanish and Korean.

“I am proud to stand here today with my friend, Borough President Scott Stringer as we present this amazing and much needed resource to the Russian-American community,” said Brook-Krasny. “As an immigrant myself I first hand understand the trials and tribulations of assimilating into the mainstream American community, it is my hope that this guide will serve as a stepping stone to many others who are striving to reach the American dream.”

Brook-Krasny himself is the first Russian-born, Russian-language speaker elected to public office in America. He emigrated from Moscow in 1989, and was elected to represent to 46th District in the New York State Assembly in 2006.

A community education effort led by Stringer’s office along with Brook-Krasny will help distribute the pamphlet to those interested. Workshops will also be held to hand out and clarify aspects of the manual.  Organizations that wish to host a community workshop should call the Borough President’s office at (212) 669-8300.

The following op-ed was written by mayoral candidate and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.

The future looked rosy 100 years ago, when New York undertook a revolutionary plan to build a vast network of subways and elevated trains. But it looks considerably different today, as we struggle to meet urgent transit needs.

Transit deserts dot the Brooklyn landscape, from Mill Basin and Marine Park – where an “express” bus takes over an hour to reach Midtown – to East Flatbush and Greenpoint, a burgeoning neighborhood that relies on the G train as its sole subway link. While our 100-year-old system is designed for connectivity between Brooklyn and the Manhattan core and back, it does little to connect Brooklynites to other Brookynites. Want to get from Williamsburg to Bay Ridge? Better head into Manhattan and back out again. We can and must do better. Our system must reflect where people live and work today, not 100 years ago.

One million more people will be living in our City by 2025 and to put it bluntly: We are not ready. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority – the central nervous system of our regional transportation network – is a fiscal house of cards.

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Manhattan Borough President – and mayoral contender - Scott Stringer sent out the following statement shortly after our report on Friday about the Avenue Z Jewish Center (875 Avenue Z) being vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti. He wrote:

I am outraged by the news that the Avenue Z Jewish Center in Brooklyn has once again been defaced by anti-Semitic vandals, with graffiti on the entrance door to the center, as well as a sidewalk and nearby synagogue windows. There is no place in our community for this kind of vulgar and cowardly attack—and memories are still fresh of the February, 2011 vandalism at the center which looted a donation box and destroyed a large menorah and a Torah. I urge anyone with knowledge of this incident to contact the NYPD immediately, and I have no doubt that through their great work these perpetrators will be caught.

To our knowledge, the Manhattan politician is the only elected official to issue a statement relating to this incident.

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer spent a lot of time in Brooklyn this week, leaving the taller borough behind to spend time talking about his solutions to citywide problems.

The Manhattan beep made it as far south as Manhattan Beach, where he spoke to the Manhattan Beach Community Group during their 70th Anniversary celebration this Wednesday.

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This garbage can-sized sinkhole on Hubbard Street was ignored for nearly six months, despite numerous complaints to 311, until Sheepshead Bites posted it last year.

Potholes. Freakin’ potholes.

Pedestrians don’t like them because they can cause trips. Drivers don’t like them because they can damage cars. The city doesn’t like them because they have to fix them.

Oh, wait, apparently, the city doesn’t have to worry about them. Because they never have to hear the complaints. Because they simply vanish from the 311 system.

One of the most common complaints to 311 is a pothole service request. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer has issued the results of an investigation conducted by his office into the efficiency of 311, logging 280 specific pothole complaints around the borough. Nearly half of those – 134 – were made using 311′s online complaint form. Stringer’s office then followed up on the complaints by making calls and inquiring to the status, using the service request reference numbers given at the time of complaint.

Shockingly, every single one of the online complaints vanished from the system, along with nine percent of the phone complaints.

“It would appear that online 311 pothole complaints are, in fact, falling into a black hole,” Stringer said. “The fact that these complaints are being lost raises questions about what other types of calls may be falling through the cracks.”

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