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nyc elections nov 2019 nyc charter revisions on ballot queens da race public advocate nov municipal elections nyc

Please Vote Tuesday, 11/5 NYC Municipal Elections

NYC Public Advocate, Queens District Attorney, Brooklyn District 45 NYC Councilmember Races & Changes to NYC Charter to be Decided

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Please Vote Tuesday, November 5 in NYC Municipal Elections

NYC Public Advocate, Queens District Attorney, Brooklyn District 45 NYC Councilmember Races & Changes to NYC Charter to be Decided

nyc poll site locator queens poll site locator manhattan polls locations bronx poll sites brooklyn polling locations staten island polls sites locations locator nycNovember 4, 2019 / NYC Neighborhoods / NYC Government & Politics / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Continued.

I. NYC Charter Revisions on Ballot November 2019

The NYC Charter was drafted and enacted in 1897 - 1898 as part of the consolidation of large swaths of the outer boroughs within the New York City limits. According to Wikipedia, in 1989 the NYC Charter underwent significant revisions, after its mandate was challenged in court, and the powers of the New York City Board of Estimate were given back to the NYC Mayor and City Council. On the ballot this election are five proposals to change the NYC Charter which include the following: 1) Special Elections, 2) Civilian Complaint Review Board, 3) Ethics & Government, 4) City Budget and 5) Land Use. Please note that I am using the Non-Partisan Voters Guide [since 1989] as the source with which I have outlined the proposals below.

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1. The Special Elections change would eliminate run offs in special elections by allowing voters to rank the candidates in order of preference. The purpose of this would be to enable a candidate to win, in an unclear race of top choices, by re-allocating the votes of the candidates receiving the lowest number of votes to their second choice. This process would be repeated until only two candidates remained, at which time the one with the most votes would be declared a winner.

Editor's Comment. This seems complicated and thus subject to error or malfeasance. And it's hard to see whether this would play out fairly in reality.

 

2. The Civilian Complaint Review Board members would increase from the current 13 to 15. Currently eight members are directly appointed by the Mayor - including three of whom are nominated by the NYPD Commissioner - and the other five members are appointed by the City Council, but subject to the Mayor's approval.

The change would make the City Council appointees direct and hence no longer subject to Mayoral approval. And the two new members would be appointed by: 1) an agreement between the Mayor and the City Council Speaker, and this appointee would serve as the CCRB Chairperson, and 2) the Public Advocate.

FYI. The Civilian Complaint Review Board or CCRB investigates civilian complaints regarding members of the NYPD.

 

3. The Ethics & Government change would replace two of the members appointed by the Mayor to the Conflicts of Interest Board with appointees selected by the Public Advocate and the NYC Comptroller. Require that the NYC Corporation Counsel be subject to approval by the NYC Council. Have the Director of the Minority & Women Owned Business Enterprise program report directly to the Mayor and supported in an NYC Mayor's office.

And change the rules governing interactions by former City elected officials and senior appointed officials with NYC City government agencies by lengthening the 'no-appearance zone' from one to two years.

Editor's Comment. Be advised that the devil is in the details, which I don't have the time / resource to research more fully, specifically the wording of what's replacing what.

 

4. The City Budget change proposal would allow the city to establish a rainy day fund, set minimum budgets for the Public Advocate and Borough Presidents, and some specifics regarding when the Mayor must submit non-property tax revenue projections and budget modifications.

Editor's Comment. Guaranteeing taxing authority / budgets to government officials, regardless of the circumstances / need, would seem to me to be ill-advised. Make them pitch the funds based on needs, and when required, money can be borrowed.

 

5. The Land Use change proposal would require that the Department of City Planning transmit a detailed project summary to the Borough President, the Borough Board, and the Community Board affected by the project, and to post the project to its website, at least 30 days before the application is certified for public review.

The proposal also increases the time allowed for public review of ULURP [Uniform Land Use Review Procedures] from 60 to 90 days for those certified in June and from 60 to 75 days for those applications submitted in the first half of July.

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Editor's General Comment regarding proposals. The #2 and #5 proposals seem pretty straightforward and seem to be improvements. The #1 proposal seems complicated and therefore subject to trouble, and the #4 proposal seems ill-advised because it's ensuring funding without requiring ongoing discussion / need for it. The #3 proposal seems like an improvement, but with this one the devil is in the details, which I don't have time to properly research.

 

The nation's various founding / charter documents are essentially a public contract we have with each other as citizens of the same nation, state and / or city. These documents articulate how we are to interact with one another in order to avoid chaos or the personalization of power that becomes manifest in authoritarian states. This is the beauty of the rule of law, which provides for equal treatment under the law and due process. I think too often we who have these freedoms, take them for granted, in much the same way as we take for granted things like good health.

Why so often is it that only after we lose these precious gifts, that we learn their true value?

 

II. Three Races: NYC Public Advocate, Queens District Attorney & City Council District 45 Brooklyn

nyc things to do nycNYC Public Advocate - Current Public Advocate Jumaane Williams replaced Letitia James in a Feb / March 2019 election because James was elected to the NYS Attorney General position in November of 2018. Williams is competing against Republican NYC Councilmember Joseph Borelli and Libertarian Devin Balkin.

Queens District Attorney - This is an open position because former Queens DA Richard Brown retired / died earlier this year. Queens Borough President, Democrat Melinda Katz who narrowly defeated Tiffany Caban in the June primary, is vying for the spot with NYPD Police Officer, Republican Joseph Murray.

NYC Councilmember for Brooklyn District 45 - This is an open position which was vacated by Jumaane Williams, following his win as the NYC Public Advocate. Farah Louis defeated seven other candidates, in the June election earlier this year. She will run against Republican Anthony Beckford and Libertarian David Fite.

Thank you for taking the time to keep the eternal vigilance that Jefferson said was the "price of democracy" and for working to inform yourself, because Jefferson also said that "... people who think they can be ignorant and free, believe in something that never was and never will be ...".

May what's best, and those who are best, for the general well being of the community win.



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