The Record: May 2004


Teamsters Local 237, the union representing hospital security officers and other New York municipal workers, announced yesterday that its bargaining committee had unanimously rejected the same accord accepted last month by the city's largest municipal union. (NY Times)

In a rare public split, Mayor Bloomberg conceded yesterday that he disagrees with ex-Mayor Rudy Giuliani over how best to deal with major disasters in the city. (Daily News)


A high-powered device called a Command Post Radio has fundamentally changed the way commanders communicate in high-rise fires and subway emergencies in the city. (NY Times)

Reporters are trying to guess just who may be leaking the juicy tidbits about the handling of the sexual harassment accusations against Queens Councilman Allan W. Jennings Jr. (NY Times)


Mayor Bloomberg to city employees: I'm watching you! Even the NYPD's top intelligence official became the unlikely target of an investigation recently. (Daily News)

One of New York's hidden treasures - a rusting elevated railroad that stretches down Manhattan's West Side - is about to take its first step toward a public debut. (NY Post)


Two months before it goes into effect on Aug. 2, the city's new lead-paint legislation has caused nonprofit groups and private developers to shelve plans to redevelop buildings for low- and moderate-income tenants. (NYTimes)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg yesterday defended his decision to transfer some responsibilities of the Fire Department to the Police Department, including major control over the city's response to biological or chemical attacks. (NYTimes)

A female staff attorney filed a federal employment discrimination suit Thursday against the City Council, alleging she was denied a raise because she complained about Speaker Gifford Miller's handling of a sexual harassment complaint. (NY Newsday)

Embattled City Councilman Allan Jennings quietly married a staff member at a private Brooklyn ceremony last month. (NYNewsday)

Government officials and community organizations are working together to bring relief to areas of Haiti and the Dominican Republic devastated by torrential rainfall and flooding that left an estimated 2,000 dead and 13,000 homeless. (NY Newsday)

A Manhattan judge heard arguments Thursday about whether Mayor Michael Bloomberg violated the city charter by making a $126 million deal to allow Snapple to install beverage vending machines in thousands of public buildings. (Associated Press)

After two years of tax and fee hikes, spending cuts, layoffs and appeals for state aid, the task now facing city leaders looks easy: trim the property tax and control expenses. Exactly how to do so remains disputed. Yet aides to Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the City Council say despite their political friction, talks toward an agreement are under way for the fiscal year that begins July 1. (NY Newsday)


Relax, New York - and leave the worrying to us. That was the message of calm delivered yesterday by Gov. Pataki, Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, even as the White House warned of possible terror attacks against the U.S. in the coming months. (Daily News)

Fifteen years ago, New York City agreed to spend $600 million that it receives from the Battery Park City Authority on low-cost housing. But a report issued on Wednesday said that little if any of that money had actually been spent on housing, because the city had used it for general budget needs. (NY Times) (Daily News)

The city faces substantial budget gaps, larger than those forecast by Mayor Bloomberg, in fiscal years 2006 through 2008, according to a report released yesterday by state Comptroller Alan Hevesi. (NY Post)

Mayor Bloomberg unveiled the winning design for the $1.5 billion Olympic Village in Queens yesterday, promising the waterfront housing will happen even without the Games. (Daily News)

Federal agents announced the arrests of a 134 alien felons yesterday in raids boycotted by the NYPD. Mayor Bloomberg, who has been fighting for more anti-terrorism dollars from the federal government, said the Police Department "just didn't have the size of the resources that [the federal government] asked for." (Daily News)

A top aide to Mayor Michael Bloomberg has accused arts executives who depend on city funding of political disloyalty because they gave money to one of the Mayor's would-be opponents. (New York Observer)

The Super Bowl could be headed to New York - and the planned Manhattan Jets stadium - by 2010. National Football League Commissioner Paul Tagliabue sent Mayor Bloomberg and Gov. Pataki a letter yesterday, telling them a decision could come as early as next year. (Daily News)


With 10 days left before the deadline for the city to adopt its budget for next fiscal year, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Gifford Miller remain far apart on a plan for property tax relief. (Daily News)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said yesterday that he would not budge from his plan to give $400 property tax rebates to homeowners in next year's budget. (New York Times)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg last year donated $15 million to the Carnegie Corporation to distribute to small cultural and social service groups n the city, many of which have received budget cuts from the city. (New York Times) (New York Post)

The City Council held hearings on a bill that would would make it illegal for a store to resell undergarments after they have been returned for refunds - and exposed a few shortcomings. (Daily News)

The City Council will soon move forward with a proposal to ban car-alarm sirens from city streets, officials said yesterday. After months of examining and tinkering with several proposals, officials said they have crafted a bill that would completely eliminate the alarms within a few years. (New York Post)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg has visited traditionally Democratic southeast Queens to seek support. Although he seemed unlikely to win the endorsement of the Guy R. Brewer Democratic Club, local Democratic City Councilmember Leroy Comrie said the mayor was well-received. (Newsday)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said yesterday that he might clamp down on Queens Borough President Helen Marshall's use of sirens and flashing lights on her personal cars. The mayor has stripped the emergency devices from the cars of many of his top aides. (Newsday)


As Mayor Bloomberg and lawmakers prepare to strike a spending plan for the next fiscal year, they face a wildly snowballing budget...surplus? (Daily News)

Controversial City Councilman Allan Jennings said that $3,000 in camera video equipment, a laptop and recently ordered Gateway desk top computers were stolen from his Jamaica office sometime over the weekend. (Newsday)


Even as Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg stood at a lectern on April 26 and said there would be no cuts in city spending next year, the City Council had already prepared a two-page list of $220 million in cuts it says are hidden in the mayor's budget. (NY Times)

Last Tuesday, after the city's former police and fire commissioners endured hours of withering criticism from the commission charged with investigating the Sept. 11 attacks, the current police commissioner presented his views on how the city deals with current threats. (NY Times)

Mayor Bloomberg is hiring a network of privately run firms to help turn around the city's most violent and disruptive students in 48 "second-chance" schools - including recently released jailbirds, The Post has learned. (NY Post)

The number of major crimes in New York state dropped for the 10 straight year in 2003, according to preliminary results from an FBI survey of U.S. police departments. (NY Post)


When Bank of America asked the city last year for more than $1 billion in tax-free bonds and other incentives to build a skyscraper on 42nd Street, the city took nothing for granted and had its own economists analyze the potential economic impact of the project. (NYTimes)

City Council Speaker Gifford Miller and his aides have been organizing a letter-writing campaign against Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg as part of the speaker's so-called budget tour through the five boroughs, which began last week. (NYTimes)

The Bloomberg administration and many of the city's arts groups are in sharp disagreement over how much the cultural budget will lift their financial gloom. (NYTimes)

Gov. George Pataki is afraid to commit. That was the charge Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver leveled Friday as city leaders pressed Pataki to make a downpayment on a court-ordered hike of city school aid. (Newsday)

The budget remains undone. Security and other tough challenges worry top bureaucrats. Still, the financing of next year's mayoral race is rearing its head again at City Hall. (Newsday)

The mayor's spokesman took a swipe at a potential campaign rival for allegedly using public funds for political purposes. (Newsday) (Dailynews) (NY Post)

Dan Doctoroff - the deputy mayor at the forefront of the city's quest for the 2012 Summer Olympics - has little name recognition in New York City and even less around the globe. (Daily News)


Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has slammed the Sept. 11 commission's criticisms of the city as "uninformed." New York's top cop also said the city was prepared for further terrorism. (Daily News)

For the first time, cops and firefighters in the city's subways soon will be able to communicate by radio with their counterparts above ground, Mayor Bloomberg said yesterday. (Daily News)

The verbal slugfest between Mayor Bloomberg and Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Brooklyn) got even nastier yesterday, as Bloomberg blasted the congressman as "a poster child for what's wrong with Washington." (Daily News)

If you can't take pictures on the subway, then the terrorists have already won. That's the view of Mayor Bloomberg, who blasted a Transit Authority proposal to ban picture-taking on subways. (Daily News) (NY Post) (Newsday)

City Comptroller William Thompson announced yesterday that, contrary to a recent memo, staffers who join him at weekend parades won't be rewarded with time off. (NY Post)


Mayor Bloomberg wants to make sure kids can ace an eye exam in order to pass their math and reading tests. The city's education and health officials plan to hire firms to provide on-site eye tests and eyeglasses to students with vision problems in some 1,200 schools. The program initially will cover students in grades 5, 7, 9 and 11, but officials said the city may cover all grades in schools in poor neighborhoods. (NY Post)

Schools Chancellor Joel Klein warned educrats to steer clear of using their powers to hire relatives or business partners just months after a nepotism scandal involving a top deputy. (New York Post)

Police are investigating a death threat made against Jamaica Councilman Allan Jennings, Newsday has learned. A police spokesman could not immediately provide details of the investigation late Thursday. Jennings confirmed that he had received a letter threatening his life and containing racial epithets. Jennings said detectives tested the letter for DNA and did fingerprints. (Newsday)


Congress is playing politics with New Yorkers' lives by shortchanging the city out of its fair share of homeland security funds, Mayor Bloomberg yesterday told the 9/11 commission. Bloomberg urged commissioner members to press Congress to give the city more anti-terror cash. (NY Post)

The trash fight between Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council went another round yesterday, when the council unanimously overrode the mayor's veto of a bill restricting when sanitation agents can ticket homeowners. (NY Post) (Daily News)

City Council Speaker Gifford Miller, facing mounting criticism for his response to sexual harassment complaints against a Queens councilman, has directed his staff to gather all information about his handling of the matter so he can confront questions about whether he mishandled the complaints when they were brought to his attention, Council aides said yesterday. (NY Times)

Amid allegations that he sat on a sexual harassment claim, Speaker Gifford Miller sent out a letter last week to staffers saying the Council "must be a place where every staff member knows they are safe and supported." (Daily News)

City Hall lobbyists raked in a record $24.8 million last year, with much of the haul going to operatives with political connections. (Daily News)

A lobbying firm with ties to City Council Speaker Gifford Miller doubled its revenues to more than $1 million last year, according to a report released yesterday. A competitor charged that Parkside is booming because one of its partners, Harry Giannoulis, is an unpaid political adviser to Miller, who has the power to dispense city funds to Parkside's clients. (New York Post)

The teachers union boss and City Council Speaker Gifford Miller have joined a lawsuit to toss out the high-stakes third-grade English test because of snafus that occurred when they were administered. (NY Post)


Governor George Pataki said yesterday that he has begun an investigation into whether Vincent Velella, father of former State Senator Guy Velella, should be removed from his post at the city Board of Elections. Guy Velella pleaded guilty to soliciting bribes from state contractors. As part of his plea bargain, prosecutors agreed to drop charges against his 90-year-old father. (New York Post)

City Council members yesterday sharply criticized the Bloomberg administration over its proposed $13.1 billion school construction plan, saying that it was not detailed enough and that the administration was not fighting hard enough to get the money from to pay for it. (New York Times)

The Bloomberg administration is trying to expand its deal with Snapple to include city-affiliated non-profit institutions from senior centers to museums. The organizations are being offered 15 percent of the gross profits from the drink sales if they install Snapple vending machines. The city would also take 15 percent of all sales. (New York Post)

City Councilmember Yvette Clarke is proposing a bill that would make it a misdemeanor to buy or sell any product that claims to contain an endangered or threatened animal. A survey released yesterday by the World Wildlife Fund found shops in the city selling products labeled as being made with tiger, rhinoceros, leopard and musk deer remains. (Daily News)


The new official guide to the City Council could become a collector's item, since someone made a stupendous goof and included outdated district maps for each of the 51 local legislators. (NY Post)

In a last-minute decision, Mayor Bloomberg will testify before the 9/11 commission tomorrow, amid indications the city's response to the attacks on the World Trade Center will come in for more praise than blame. (NY Post)

Need a loan and don't want to pay on time? Call Mayor Moneybags. A 2003 financial disclosure report shows eight people & institutions owed Mayor Bloomberg money last year - half of them $500,000 or more. (Daily News)

Council Speaker Gifford Miller has sought help from a lobbyist whose clients often have business before the City Council to fill a crucial position, the speaker's chief of staff. (NY Times)


Since Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg took office in 2002, the Council has pushed through several laws over the administration's objections, overriding vetoes 13 times. (NY Times)

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg yesterday attacked critics who say his new plan to coordinate the city's response to emergencies does not go far enough to prevent squabbling and confusion between the Police and Fire Departments (NY Times)


Ten years ago, Daniel Doctoroff, a multimillionaire Michigan native, gave birth to the city's Olympic bid - now aimed at landing the 2012 Summer Games. (NY Times)

The chairwoman of the City Council Health Committee yesterday ripped into the Health Department for its controversial plan to dole out free physicals and $100 to New Yorkers for taking a fitness exam, saying officials should concentrate on dealing with the serious health problems they already know about. (NY Post)

Lower Manhattan was swamped with more than 500 cops, firefighters and emergency personnel Sunday morning. (Newsday)

Bloomberg to testify at 9/11 commission? The mayor is considering returning for more testimony before the panel.(Newsday)


Mayor Bloomberg announced a new set of protocols yesterday that seeks to define which agency assumes control at emergency situations. (Daily News)

Admitting that the Department of Education looks like "the gang that couldn't shoot straight," Mayor Bloomberg shouldered the blame yesterday for a series of embarrassing mishaps involving the high-profile third-grade reading exams. (Daily News)

Even though the city's economy is getting better, Mayor Bloomberg needs to cut more spending now - or risk massive deficits in the future. (Daily News)

Mayor Bloomberg's proposed budget doesn't do enough to address the city's fiscal woes and will cost New Yorkers dearly in the future, a leading fiscal-watchdog group warned yesterday. (NY Post)

The city will hold runoff elections in 21 parent-led community education councils on May 26 and 27 because there was a tie for 51 of the contested seats in the initial vote, results show. (NY Post)

A miffed Mayor Bloomberg said he might toss out the test results for students who flunked the botched makeup third-grade exams - if a review shows they were confused by conflicting information on the test and answer sheet. (NY Post)


Outside investigators have cleared City Council Speaker Gifford Miller and a top aide of charges they ignored for four months allegations of sexual harassment against Queens City Councilman Allan Jennings. (New York Post)

The Bloomberg administration is dramatically reducing the size of the city's summer-school session by inviting fewer students who will attend classes at fewer sites. The estimated summer-school budget will be $69 million - a drop of $24 million, or 26 percent from last year. (New York Post (New York Daily News)

The City Council's education chief urged Schools Chancellor Joel Klein to toss out the results of Wednesday's makeup reading exam for 2,400 students because they were given conflicting information on the test and answer sheet. (New York Post)

The City Council's chief lawyer quit yesterday amid allegations that he hindered a probe of a sex-harassment scandal. Thomas McMahon's resignation letter was accompanied by a portion of a still-confidential report of an internal Council probe. (New York Daily News)

Mayor Bloomberg had better cough up more details about his $13 billion plan to build and repair schools or the City Council will reject it, Speaker Gifford Miller warned yesterday. (New York Daily News)

Three City Councilmembers joined forces last week in an effort to voice their concerns over the MTA bus takeover that is supposed to become official on July 1. As Councilmen John Liu, Joe Addabbo, Jr. and James Sanders stood on the corner of Cross Bay Boulevard and Liberty Avenue, a corner where Green Bus Lines stop, they asked where the plans are from the city that detail everything that will be occurring on July 1. (Queens Tribune)


City Council members yesterday called upon the parks department to offer a detailed explanation of why it had rejected a request from an anti-war group to hold a rally on the Great Lawn of Central Park a day before the Republican convention in August. The parks department said it will respond by Monday. (Newsday) (Daily News)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Comptroller William Thompson clashed yesterday over the increase in no-bid contracts awarded by the Department of Education. The number of such contracts has risen sharply since Bloomberg assumed control of the school system, and the state government is looking at legislation that would restrict such contracts. (Daily News) (Newsday)

Bronx State Sen. Guy Velella is expected to plead guilty to a felony on Monday in the bribery case against his, sources said. Velella, one of the state's most powerful Republicans, will reportedly serve a year in jail as part of the deal, effectively ending his 32-year political career, and will lose his law license. (Newsday)

Guy Velella is expected to resign tomorrow before pleading guilty to a felony charge on Monday. (New York Post)


20,000 students with learning disabilities haven't received special-education services because of a shortage of qualified staffers, according to a survey by Schools Chancellor Joel Klein's office. That's 13 percent of the 150,000 students eligible for special ed. (NY Post)

A unprecedented decision by the Rent Guidelines Board not to vote on specific preliminary rent hikes this year drew no comment from Mayor Bloomberg yesterday. Asked what he thought of the board's action to confer a "range" of possible increases, Bloomberg brushed off the question. (NY Post) (Daily News)

Administration for Children's Services Commissioner William Bell resigned yesterday. (NY Times) (Daily News)

Mayor Bloomberg could soon be losing some of his hard-won control over city schools. Two new bills are circulating in Albany that, if approved, would crack down on no-bid contracts within the Education Department and force city schools to abide by the same rules as other agencies. (Daily News)

Mayor Bloomberg supports a move to raise the legal tobacco- buying age to 19. (NY Post)


City Council Member Melinda Katz filed suit Monday seeking to modify a plan to have 1,300 Rego Park third-graders retake the city's English exam after an internal probe determined the students may have received an unfair advantage. (Newsday)

Laura Bush and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg stood shoulder to shoulder yesterday in an appearance that may well dispel any lingering doubt as to the mayor's feelings about the president, or of the mayor's own political identity. (NY Times)

At a summit at Baruch College, City Council Speaker Gifford Miller and other elected officials questioned whether the city is prepared to handle emergency situations. (NY1)

At a City Council Emergency preparedness summit, officials of the Department of Emergency Management voiced concerns that the city is giving the Police Department too much control at emergencies unrelated to law enforcement. (Newsday)


Nicole Kidman and Sean Penn fight bad guys at the UN. James Gandolfini and Kate Winslet smooch near Gracie Mansion. And in Queens, it's 1930s Chicago. (Daily News)

The Department of Education has signed a no-bid $2.5 million contract with Sprint Corp. to provide long-distance phone services - declining to entertain proposals from other companies in one of the nation's most competitive industries, The Post has learned. (NY Post)


After two years of using politics to help people, Noah Arnow plans to quit so he can study to become a rabbi. (Newsday)


When New York State missed its budget deadline for the 20th straight year, lawmakers said they had a plan to change the budget process and help end the gridlock. (NY Times)

One day after United for Peace and Justice beseeched Mayor Bloomberg to allow the group to hold a 250,000-person rally on Central Park's Great Lawn, Bloomberg said yesterday the lawn is off-limits. (Daily News)

Will New York be a "Wonderful Town" full of "Bombay Dreams" for more than 13,000 delegates to the Republican National Convention this summer? Or is it a wild jungle full of beasts and "Lion Kings"? (Daily News)

Mayor Bloomberg blasted Council Speaker Gifford Miller yesterday for pandering to the teachers union by issuing a study highlighting a supposed exodus of thousands of classroom instructors. (NY Post)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Friday exchanged public barbs with the leader of a huge demonstration planned for August to coincide with the Republican National Convention. (Newsday)


Mayor Bloomberg bragged yesterday that he had slashed the cost of building new schools, just as the City Council got ready to vote on his unprecedented $13 billion construction plan. the High School for Architecture and Urban Planning in Queens, the first school built from scratch since the mayor reformed school construction, is set to cost $300 a square foot - 31% less than the $433 average bid received on projects that were completed last fall, the mayor said. (New York Daily News) After a pricey national search that took six months, Mayor Bloomberg has tapped a New Yorker to jump-start his ambitious plan to open 50 charter schools in the city over the next five years. Stefan Pryor, the chief of staff for the Lower Manhattan Development Corp., has been selected to lead the New York Charter School Center for Excellence, sources said. (New York Daily News) The Water Board's 5.5% proposed rate increase is bloated, several City Council members charged yesterday. Councilman James Gennaro (D-Queens) said the hike could be cut to 3.5% because the board usually ends up with a large surplus. (New York Daily News)


The City Council passed a bill yesterday that would require private companies that have contracts with the city to offer the same benefits to the domestic partners of their employees as they do to spouses. The bill was opposed by some religious groups and by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who plans to veto it. (NY Times) (NY Post) (NY Times)

The Regional Plan Association put off a vote on whether to oppose a $1.4 billion West Side stadium after the Bloomberg administration began an intensive lobbying campaign to sway the group's vote. (NY Times)

Council Speaker Gifford Miller has vehemently denied an assertion in a Council lawyer's memo that he had forced her to continue working with Councilman Allan Jennings even after she claimed to have informed Mr. Miller that Mr. Jennings had harassed her. (NY Times) (NY Post) (Daily News)

A City Council lawyer who alleges that she was sexually harassed by Jamaica Councilman Allan Jennings has hired her own attorney and is now threatening to sue the city for salary discrimination. (Newsday)

Thousands of kids will be idle this summer if the mayor's office doesn't find $27 million for a youth jobs program, City Council and community leaders warned yesterday. (Daily News)

Council Speaker Gifford Miller charged yesterday that Mayor Bloomberg is sending a mixed message by reportedly equipping his corporate jets with a missile defense system while insisting everyone is safe. (NY Post)

Council Speaker Gifford Miller has quietly handed out bonuses to some 150 staffers - adding about $300,000 to the city's bottom line, the Daily News has learned. The bonus bonanza was aimed mainly at 90 Council secretaries and support staffers making less than $42,000 a year - each of whom will get one-time bonuses of $1,750 this month, said Council spokesman David Chai. (Daily News)


City Council Speaker Gifford Miller was first told about possibly improper behavior by City Councilmember Allan Jennings in May 2002 and did nothing about it, according to an internal memo that surfaced yesterday. In the memo written September 2002, a council lawyer said she had reported Jennings behavior to Miller and pleaded with Miller and his general counsel to be relieved of her assignment as counsel to Jennings' Committee on Civil Service and Labor. (New York Post) (New York Times)

Who leaked the confidential memo indicating that Speaker Gifford Miller knew about charges of improper conduct by Councilmember Alan Jennings months before he did anything about it? (Newsday)

City Comptroller William Thompson Jr. yesterday held a fund-raising reception aimed at collecting more than $400,000, but it remains unclear whether Thompson will use the money to seek re-election as comptroller or to run for the Democratic nomination for mayor. (New York Times)

Mayor Michael Bloomberg will equip the private jets he uses to travel the world with its own missile-defense systems, WCBS-TV has reported. But Bloomberg has refused to confirm or deny the reports saying he does not discuss security measures. (Daily News) (New York Post) (Newsday) (New York Times)


Tucked away in Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's mostly unsurprising budget last week was one eyepopper: a gift of $200 million for the public hospital system's operating budget, money that will help pull the system out of its red ink. (NY Times)

City Council members attacked the mayor's budget yesterday for failing to pony up the cash needed to overhaul the city's hodgepodge of after-school programs. (Daily News)


Mayor Bloomberg wants to supply the city's 345 public-housing projects with children's books and libraries as part of a new literacy campaign to teach toddlers how to read before entering school, The Post has learned. (NY Post)

It'll be smooth going for Republicans gathered at Madison Square Garden this summer - the city is paving every road in Midtown in time for the presidential convention. (NY Post)


Mayor Bloomberg is serving breakfast to select groups of parent leaders at Gracie Mansion as part of a new public-relations campaign to push his education reforms. (NY Post)


Considering placing an advertisement that is salty, overtly political or proclaiming a hatred for the shot-put on a city bus shelter? Just don't think of doing it during the 2012 Olympics, should New York City win the right to serve as host of the Games. (NY Times)

Mayor Bloomberg may be worth $4.9 billion today, but there was a time when he couldn't even afford a $150-a-month studio in this town. In a rare walk down memory lane, Bloomberg reminisced with a bunch of upper East Siders. (Daily News)

Mayor Bloomberg nudged the state yesterday for authority to give a $400 property tax rebate to city homeowners "every year." (Daily News)

A Bloomberg administration official will head the Boys Choir of Harlem.(Newsday)

Click here to see The Record for April 2004