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This Week in New York City Government

Mayor:

Mayor de Blasio Releases November Financial Plan Update, Furthering Administration’s Priorities While Protecting City’s Fiscal Health

Mayor Bill de Blasio released New York City’s November Financial Plan Update for Fiscal Year 2015 and an updated four-year financial plan.

The plan moves forward the administration’s key initiatives, while protecting the City’s long-term fiscal health. While the November Financial Plan does reflect new initiatives that have been launched since June, it also includes significant savings over the Adopted Budget’s projections. In fact, out-year gaps have been further reduced since the Adopted Budget in June, putting them well below historical levels (as noted by independent raters and monitors).

City Announces Contract Agreement Between Local 891 School Custodians and 32BJ Public School Cleaners and Handypersons

 

The de Blasio administration announced that a contract agreement has been reached between Local 891 School Custodians and their employees, 32BJ cleaners and handypersons. The 32BJ cleaners and handypersons work primarily in the City’s public schools, but they are not employees of the City; rather, the Local 891 School Custodians serve as the individual employer.

The nine-year agreement covers October 22, 2007 through October 21, 2016 and includes 18 percent in raises over the contract term and a $1,000 bonus, as well as required health savings that will offset the cost of the contract. The settlement conforms with the established pattern that was fully accounted for in the City’s adopted budget and labor reserve, meaning that there are no new costs for the City as part of this agreement.

The agreement maintains existing benefits for the approximately 5,000 full-time equivalent school cleaners and handypersons who keep New York City public school buildings safe and clean for more than one million children.

The gross cost of the agreement is $211.1 million, which will be offset by approximately $21 million in guaranteed health savings – resulting in a net cost of $190.2 million.

Under the agreement announced today, employees will receive a total of 18 percent in raises over the nine years of the contract. This includes approximately eight percent in restructured payments for the 2008-2010 round of bargaining, in lieu of the raises that had been granted by the previous administration to much of the rest of the municipal workforce, provided in incremental lump sum payments through 2020. The employees will also receive a total of roughly 10 percent in raises through 2016, for the 2010-2017 round of bargaining.

Citywide and Borough Electeds:

New York City Council To Vote on Approval of Affordable Housing Project at Queens’ Astoria Cove

The City Council voted to approve Astoria Cove’s housing development in Queens. The Council also voted on legislation requiring the Department of Homeless Services to ensure eligibility in city shelters for applicants leaving Human Resource Administration domestic violence shelters. Additionally, the Council will vote on legislation relating to accessible pedestrian street signals.

Astoria Cove

The City Council will vote on an amended proposal to the Astoria Cove land use approval in Queens. Under the leadership of Council Member Costa Constantinides and Council Land Use Chair David Greenfield, the City Council has pushed for additional affordable housing and other changes to the proposal to benefit New Yorkers. Together the changes mean that 27 percent of the residential floor area of the building will be affordable at varying income levels.

Additionally, a $5 million capital contribution has been secured for the construction of a ferry dock and funding has also been secured to invest in Whitey Ford field, the adjacent NYCHA Astoria Houses senior center, and the Astoria branch of the public library.

The proposed project would involve the construction of five mixed-use buildings on the 8.7-acre development site, containing approximately 1,723 apartments.  The project would also provide a site for a 60,567 square-foot public elementary school that would be located on the reopened section of 26th Avenue at 9th Street and accommodate approximately 456 children in pre-kindergarten to 5th grade. The project would also provide new publicly accessible open space along the waterfront and a centrally-located pedestrian walkway to be called “8th Street Mews.”

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. Issues ‘LinkNYC’ Wi-Fi Report

BP Diaz Issues ‘LinkNYC’ Wi-Fi Report

In a new report Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is calling on the City to pursue an environmentally-friendly component to the new, free wireless network, LinkNYC, announced by Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) last week.

The new system, which will replace existing public pay telephones with devices to create the world’s fastest municipal Wi-Fi network, should include the installation of solar panels as part of the new installations, said Borough President Diaz.

“DoITT needs to ensure that the implementation of the ‘LinkNYC’ plan is equitable, resilient and meets the needs of the people of this city regardless of their neighborhood or income level. Serious questions have been raised about ‘LinkNYC,’ and DoITT must address those concerns before this contract is approved,” said Borough President Diaz.

The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy has taught us that all major infrastructure investments need to be implemented in a manner that incorporates sustainability and resiliency for major emergencies.

The design selected has several desirbale feautures.  However, the 24-hour battery back up is insufficient.  After Hurricane Sandy, lower Manhattan was out of power for five days.  “LinkNYC” should be required to implement a design that incorporates solar power and reduces the network’s dependence on ConEdison.

Borough President Diaz’s report outlines various recommendations for the implementation of “LinkNYC,” including the potential inclusion of fire call boxes as part of the system. The report also discusses the various fiscal issues similar networks have faced in other cities, such as Philadelphia, Seattle and Akron. Greater transparency is needed in regards to the projected advertising revenue generated by this new system, in order to ensure greater equity in service delivery.

The report can be found at http://on.nyc.gov/11PZgCl.

Capalino+Company Releases Legislative Bills Introduced at City Council Stated Meeting

In an effort to keep our readers informed, Capalino+Company has compiled a comprehensive list of City Council Bills that were introduced at the Stated Meeting on October 22nd.

New York City Council Bills:

For Stated Meeting November 25, 2014

Introduction & Reading of Bills

  • Int 0551-2014

 By Council Members Chin, Johnson and Kallos

A Local Law to amend the New York City charter, in relation to requiring city agencies to amend their official forms and databases to accommodate multiracial identification where racial identification is required. Governmental Operations

  • Res 0472-2014

By Council Members Chin, Johnson and Kallos

Resolution calling on the state and federal governments to amend their official forms and databases to accommodate multiracial identification in all instances where racial identification is required. Governmental Operations

  • Res 0473-2014

By Council Member Constantinides

Resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to pass, and the Governor to sign, A.2342/S.6900, to create a property tax abatement for homeowners and a water and sewer charge abatement for not-for-profit entities that install a sewer line check valve. State and Federal Legislation

  • Res 0474-2014

 By Council Members Crowley and Vallone

Resolution calling upon the Legislature to pass, and for the Governor to sign, legislation that would create parity among the different pension tiers for employees of the uniformed services. State and Federal Legislation

  • Int 0552-2014

By Council Members Dromm, Johnson, Menchaca, Mendez, Torres and Van Bramer

A Local Law to amend the New York city charter, in relation to collecting and reporting data related to sexual orientation and gender identity.

General Welfare

  • Int 0553-2014

By Council Member Eugene

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to requiring bilingual after-school programs. Education

  • Int 0554-2014

By Council Member Eugene

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to training for certain employees of the city of New York on runaway and homeless youth and sexually exploited children. Youth Services

  • Res 0475-2014

By Council Member Eugene

Resolution declaring the last day in February as Rare Disease Day in New York City. Health

  • Int 0555-2014

By Council Member Ferreras

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to the senior citizen rent increase exemption. Finance

  • Res 0476-2014

By Council Member Ferreras

Resolution approving the new designation and changes in the designation of certain organizations to receive funding in the Expense Budget. Preconsidered – Finance

  • Int 0556-2014

 By Council Member Greenfield

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to prohibiting for hire vehicles from charging excessive rates.

Transportation

  • Int 0557-2014

By Council Member King

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to requiring the city to repair damage to sidewalks caused by trees owned by the city. Transportation

  • Res 0477-2014

By Council Member Levin

Resolution calling on the New York State Legislature to pass, and the Governor to sign, A.8702/S.6716, which would create the Empire State Music Production Credit. State and Federal Legislation

  • Int 0558-2014

By Council Member Levine

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of

New York, in relation to an annual report on compliance with the Americans with disabilities act by the department of parks and recreation. Parks and Recreation

  • Int 0559-2014

By Council Member Rodriguez

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to agreements between livery base stations. Transportation

  • Res 0478-2014

By Council Member Rosenthal

Resolution recognizing the contributions of the members of Shorewalkers, Inc. which promotes and preserves New York City’s shores and wetlands, and recognizing the first Saturday in May each year as “The Great Saunter Day.”Waterfronts

  • Int 0560-2014

By Council Members Treyger, Greenfield, Rosenthal, Matteo and Cumbo

A Local Law to amend the New York city charter, in relation to clarifying that independent expenditures are not authorized by candidates. Governmental Operations

  • Int 0561-2014

By Council Member Treyger

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to posting public notices in multiple languages.Health

  • Int 0562-2014

A Local Law in relation to the creation of a Hurricane Sandy community groups and houses of worship recovery task force. Recovery and Resiliency

  • Int 0563-2014

By Council Members Ulrich and Deutsch

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to repealing the call up provision following the granting of base station licenses.Transportation

  • Int 0564-2014

By Council Member Vacca

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to online submission of city business permits, licenses and applications. Technology

  • Int 0565-2014

A Local Law to amend the New York city charter, in relation to evaluating the fiscal impact of rules. Governmental Operations

  • Int 0566-2014

 By Council Member Vallone

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to requiring muni-meters receipts that can be affixed to motorcycles. Transportation

  • Res 0479-2014

Resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to introduce and pass, and the Governor to sign, legislation establishing a property tax credit for Class 2 cooperative and condominium buildings that are designated safe after a Façade Inspection Safety Program inspection.

Finance

  • Int 0567-2014

By Council Members Van Bramer and Dromm

A Local Law to amend the New York city charter, in relation to informing parent teacher associations, community education councils, and principals of instructional arts education requirements. Education

  • Int 0568-2014

By Council Member Williams

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to requiring the police department to submit to the council reports relating to motor vehicle stops. Public Safety

  • Int 0569-2014

A Local Law in relation to the creation of a taskforce to study improving safety in homeless shelters. General Welfare

  • Int 0570-2014

By Council Members Williams and Kallos

A Local Law to amend the administrative code of the city of New York, in relation to eliminating the prearrangement and passenger manifest requirements for commuter vans, repealing the requirement that commuter vans renew their license every six years, and repealing subdivision k of section 19-504.2. Transportation

  • Res 0480-2014

By Council Members Williams and Kallos

Resolution calling upon the New York State Legislature to pass, and the Governor to sign, legislation permitting voter registration forms utilized by agencies participating in the agency assisted voter registration program to code their registration forms, and for such codes to be withheld from public inspection. Preconsidered – Governmental Operations

  • Res 0481-2014

 By Council Member Wills

Resolution calling on the New York City Human Resources Administration to explore obtaining state, federal and private funds for the Teen Relationship Abuse Prevention Program. State and Federal Legislation

 Agencies:

Launching its First Document Digitization Project, City’s Records Department Publishes Online 17th Century ‘New Amsterdam’ Historical Manuscript

As the first step in its efforts to digitize and make available to the public the historical records of New York City government, the City’s Department of Records and Information Services (DoRIS), announced today that it is releasing its first online collection of 17th Century historical manuscripts, showing the early development of the City’s government: ordinances drawn from the Records of New Amsterdam for the period of 1647 to 1661, and their corresponding translations, maintained by the Municipal Archives and Municipal Library.

The Dutch-language manuscripts were translated at two junctures, first by E.B. O’Callaghan in the 1840’s- and then from 1895-1898 by Berthold Fernow. Both O’Callaghan’s handwritten and Fernow’s typeset version are included on the website.

The featured ordinances are a small portion of the collection of New Amsterdam and Common Council minutes for the period from 1647 -1834, and include the manuscripts of proceedings, resolutions, minutes, accounts, petitions, and correspondence from Dutch and English colonial governments and the English translations of the documents.

Images drawn from publications at the Municipal Library include maps and illustrations

311, DOITT, HPD Launch Updated 311 App Allowing Tenants to File Heat Complaints on their Mobile Devices for the First Time

311 Executive Director Joseph Morrisroe, Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) Commissioner Anne M. Roest, and New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Vicki Been announced today that with Heat Season underway, the City has released an update for the 311 Mobile Application, which allows tenants to register heat and hot water complaints from their mobile devices for the first time. The updated app is currently available for download for both iPhone and Android.

The 2014/2015 “heat season” began on October 1, 2014 and continues through May 31, 2015. Residential building owners have a legal obligation to provide tenants with hot water year-round and heat when the outdoor temperature warrants it. In Fiscal Year 2014, New Yorkers registered more than 200,000 heat related complaints to NYC311. Recognizing this as a critical issue for the City’s tenants, 311, DoITT, and HPD partnered to create a means to give New Yorkers the option of filing heat and hot water complaints on the 311 Mobile App.

Ronnie Lowenstein to Head Independent Budget Office Fourth Time for Four-Year Term, Longest-Serving City Agency Head Unanimous Vote by James, Stringer, Brewer and Mark-Viverito

Ronnie Lowenstein has been reappointed director of the New York City Independent Budget Office, the agency announced. The reappointment marks her fourth consecutive four-year term. She first became IBO director in 2000, completing the term of the office’s prior director.

Lowenstein was the unanimous choice of the four public officials the City Charter authorizes to appoint IBO’s
director: Public Advocate Letitia James, Comptroller Scott M. Stringer, Manhattan Borough President Gale A.
Brewer (representing all five borough presidents), and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. The vote
by the four appointing officials followed Lowenstein’s unanimous nomination for reappointment by the IBO
Advisory Board. The advisory board, created under the City Charter for the principal purpose of nominating an IBO director, is chaired by Alair Townsend, a former deputy mayor and publisher of Crain’s New York
Business.