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And From The Sidelines...
February 12th, 2008

Here are some of the initial reactions to City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s State of the City today. And here is a copy of the full text as prepared: State of the City Speech.

From UFT President Randi Weingarten:

“The Speakers proposal reflects her understanding that incentives can make a difference in attracting and retaining highly qualified teachers in some of our most challenging schools. With five middle schools recently added to the states list of troubled schools, we are pleased that Speaker Quinn is championing schools that are in urgent need of support. We look forward to working with her to develop this initiative.”

“This incentive like the school-based one we recently negotiated would be available to all teachers in a middle school who attain or already have the appropriate credentials. That is a great way of building teacher quality and, as a result, helping kids. ”

“But it is difficult to create new incentives when existing programs to help grow capacity, such as the Lead Teacher program, are being considered for the budget axe.”

“At a time when the State and City have put forth budget proposals that reduce education spending by approximately $700 million, we take note of the Speakers commitment to protect the progress we have made for our citys school kids.”

“It sounds like Speaker Quinn has heard the call from the ‘Keep The Promises’ coalition of more than 60 community organizations, advocacy groups and labor unions and we applaud her for that.”

From Councilmember John Liu:

“The five-borough ferry service announced by Speaker Quinn today is an absolutely great idea — something long awaited by New Yorkers. Over the past century, we have forgotten how the City was built, during its early years, on the waterways. We need to rediscover and utilize this tremendous natural transportation resource to overcome many of the
challenges faced by a growing City. And for any congestion pricing scheme to work, fast ferry service from the Rockaways and other outlying areas is a critical component to encourage commuters to use mass transit and leave their cars at home.”

“If done right, the cost of this new ferry service will be substantial — on the order of $100 million a year — and will require us to combine operating expenses as well as debt service on capital expenditures to build the docks and secure the fast ferries required to really make this work. Compared to other capacity expansions of mass transit, such as new subway or rail links, this is a very manageable investment for the long term. For many years now, the Administration resisted the acknowledgment of ferry service as a viable form of mass transit. Today’s announcement by the Speaker
seems to indicate that the Administration has changed its tune. There is now a realization that, for ferry service to be a truly viable transportation mode, we need public investment in addition to private funding.”

From the New York League of Conservation Voters:

“A fleet of energy-efficient, clean-fuel ferries is an excellent way to bridge the gaps in our mass transit system,” said Marcia Bystryn, executive director of the New York League of Conservation Voters. “A comprehensive system of ferries would create more transit options, relieve road congestion and save New Yorkers precious time. We salute Speaker Quinn, Mayor Bloomberg and the Department of Transportation for supporting this ambitious proposal, and we look forward to working with them to implement it.”

By on February 12, 2008, 5:21 pm
In category: Education,Gotham City,Governing,nextNY,Transportation | No Comments »

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