A Member Item Ban
April 21st, 2008
The City Council’s member item mess continued to draw out over the weekend, with both the Times and the Post calling for a series of greater reforms by Speaker Christine Quinn.
Their call follows one from the Daily News earlier this month, which urged the speaker to abolish all member items.
Both the Post and the Times took similar stances – contending the indictment of two council staffers last week who misused funding earmarked for community organizations was indicative of the potential for corruption within the council’s allocation of discretionary funding.
“It is disappointing that Ms. Quinn is not calling for the elimination of the discretionary funds,” read Saturday’s New York Times editorial. “Legislators are elected to pass laws and draw up budgets, not hand out money to favor-seekers.”
Count them — that’s three of the city’s most influential dailies calling for a member item ban. Whether this will influence Quinn, who is feeling the pressure from council members regarding her reforms, we shall see. By and large, members think it is their right to dole out money to city nonprofits far and wide.
Tomorrow afternoon will be the first working group meeting at the City Council regarding Quinn’s proposed reforms. That gathering could be an indication of how these proposals will proceed.
Stay tuned.By Courtney Gross on April 21, 2008, 1:05 pm
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