Candidates running to represent the 6th City Council District on the Upper West Side say they’re disappointed Mayor Michael Bloomberg has sued the comptroller for rejecting a contract for a homeless shelter in the neighborhood.
“Bloomberg’s lawsuit demonstrates his lack of concern for the Upper West Side community,” Democratic candidate Helen Rosenthal said in a statement emailed to the Gotham Gazette earlier today.
She said the decision is evidence of a “process void of transparency.”
Her opponent, Ken Biberaj, also responded to the Gotham Gazette.
“It is disappointing that the mayor has chosen to sue the comptroller instead of formulating a more comprehensive plan to deal with our homeless crisis,” he said in an email.
The New York Times reported this morning that Bloomberg sued Comptroller John Liu for rejecting two contracts worth millions of dollars between Aguila Inc., run by a former homeless services commissioner, for the operation of two homeless shelters.
One is in the South Bronx; the other is on 95th Street on the Upper West Side.
Liu rejected the contracts as too vague; Bloomberg said the comptroller’s duty of registering contracts is limited and “not a vehicle for the comptroller to usurp the mayor’s authority to enter into contracts.”
The seven candidates running for the 6th district had praised Liu for his decision on July 3 to reject the contract for the homeless shelter on West 95th Street.
— Helen Rosenthal (@HelenRosenthal)
Other candidates, such as Debra Cooper, have written letters to the comptroller urging him to reject the contracts, citing a lack of transparency and data.
“The lack of transparency undermines the public’s right to involvement in the affairs of their community,” Cooper wrote, adding, “It is only a quick fix wasting away our tax dollars.”
The candidates are vying for the seat being vacated by term-limited Councilwoman Gale Brewer, who is running for Manhattan borough president.