Vote No! on Charter Revision Ballot Questions
Community Boards at Risk!
We are urging a NO vote on
two ballot questions
on November 6. They could weaken Community Boards and hamper the ability of residents to have a say in how their neighborhoods change and develop.
on November 6
would create a “Civic Engagement Commission.” The Commission would be charged with providing “resources, assistance and training related to land use and other matters to Community Boards,” but the Mayor would appoint the majority of members and select the executive director. Community Boards should have sufficient budgets to hire independent experts of their choosing. They should not be dependent on a mayoral dominated Commission, especially when they are reviewing land use proposals, such as neighborhood upzonings, that the City is initiating.
would establish term limits for Community Board members. Land use, planning, and zoning are extremely complicated. Boards can’t afford to lose seasoned members who have earned valuable expertise. As Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer puts it: “If we wipe out all of New York City’s Community Boards’ knowledge every eight years, those boards are going to get steamrolled by the developers and their lawyers.”
Proposal 2 would also allow the Mayor to “assign relevant powers and duties of certain other City agencies to the Commission.” That’s a lot of power added to extensive powers the Mayor already holds. If the Council or public objected, they couldn’t stop any transfer of power because it is in the Charter.
However well-intentioned the Mayor’s Charter Commission may have been, this is not good government. Vote NO on ballots 2 and 3.