Yassky at Citizens Union Breakfast Briefs
May 6th, 2009

“That’s proceeded, in my view, tolerably well,” David Yassky, council member from Brooklyn Heights, said.

In response to a question on the Greenpoint-Williamsburg rezoning, Yassky said the policy has been more good than bad. Despite some complaints about an insufficient supply of affordable housing and the type of development, he views the policy as a success.

A poorly executed facet of the rezoning is parks development along the Brooklyn waterfront. City government must be held accountable for its failure to build the promised parks, he said.

“If we can do better, we have to do better,” said Yassky.

Yassky set this as his campaign’s theme for city comptroller. Government should be judged by what it achieves, not what it spends, he said this morning at a meeting sponsored by Citizens Union and New York University’s Wagner School of Public Service.

Budget changes must be tied to efficiency and productivity, he said, and the capital projects budget must be controlled.

He proposed the city budget be written like the federal budget so that each City Council committee could review its part of the budget. “A process like that would encourage the council to dig into the meat of the budget,” said Yassky.

Government must push innovation forward, he said, and should use tax incentives and zoning to develop new sectors of the economy, improve the environment and preserve the essential character of the city’s distinct neighborhoods. For example, he said, the city can foster growth in bioscience and environmental technology by using tax incentives to encourage the development of new lab space and by coordinating among the city’s research institutions.

The same policy tools of zoning and tax incentives can be used to preserve and promote small businesses. “Part of what defines the neighborhood is the local commercial strip,” Yassky said. Additionally, neighborhood residents must do their part by organizing ‘buy local’ campaigns. City government is about job creation and economic growth, he said.

By on May 6, 2009, 12:25 pm
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