Commission's First Meeting -- With Cheesecake
March 19th, 2010
They were welcomed to the City Charter review process by about 60 attendees and a power point presentation from the city’s Law Department that included old political cartoons of the days of Tammany Hall.
They were welcomed to Brooklyn with cheesecake from Junior’s — courtesy of Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.
Last night, 15 members of the newly minted City Charter Revision Commission sat on a crowded dais in the New York City College of Technology for its first meeting. They introduced themselves, and the chair, CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein, set out a potential timeline for their work, which could end up bringing proposals before the voters this November.
Calling the timeline “aggressive,” Goldstein promised to hold extensive hearings in all five boroughs.
“We are a group of  individuals,” Goldstein said. “Omniscient, no. But thoughtful, yes.”
When considering any charter change, Goldstein suggested the board consider three principles: whether the change would improve government transparency and accountability, would it make government more efficient and effective and would it make civic life more participatory.
“We ensure everyone’s input is taken into consideration,” said Goldstein. “We will be as transparent as possible.”
Over the next month, Goldstein said the commission will hold an initial round of hearings in every borough. Following that, the commission will meet in April to discuss those suggestions, and it will charge the staff to create a report on those suggestions.
Should the commission try to put something on the November ballot, a proposal must be completed by September 3. Goldstein said it was possible for the commission to complete its work in two stages, should it have more to cover after this November.
The commission is widely expected to take a look at the role of borough presidents, the public advocate, land use and, of course, term limits.By Courtney Gross on March 19, 2010, 12:30 pm
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