Charter Recommendations
June 24th, 2010

As the city’s Charter Revision Commission winds up its forums on various issues, groups in the city are setting out their views on what the commission might put before the voters. (The forum on land use will take place this evening at the Flushing public library.)

Earlier this week, the Women’s City Club, a long-time civic group, weighed in on two of the biggies — term limits and nonpartisan elections — and came out against both. In a letter to commission chair Matthew Goldstein, club president Ruth Acker said term limits “focus public officials’ attention on short-term results rather than long-range planning and create a musical chairs governmental game where staff and lobbyists wield undue influence.”

As for nonpartisan elections, which Mayor Michael Bloomberg tried unsuccessfullyto get passed in 2003, Acker said, “There is still no clear evidence to support the view that nonpartisan elections will increase voter turnout, help voters make well-informed choices or increase representation of under-represented groups, including women, in elected office.” Instead she urged the commission to consider other measures, such as making it easier for people to vote and changing New York’s procedures for candidates to get on the ballot.”

Also this week, the Citizens Housing and Planning Council, which had formed its own group to look at the charter, issued its recommendations, aimed, it says, at integrating the long-term planning objectives of the city’s sustainability blueprint, PlaNYC, into the ” structures and processes of city government.” Specifically the council wants the city to look at a means to achieve a consolidated, institutional authority responsible for long‐term, citywide planning” and that the city land use process incorporate the goals of the long-term plan.

By on June 24, 2010, 1:45 pm
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