The Quadrennial Advisory Commission convened late last year to assess the salaries of members of the New York City Council.
Because the council had not received a salary increase since 2006, the Commission recommended a 23% pay increase raising annual salaries of council members from $112,500 to $138,315 in addition, to the reclassifying their jobs as full-time positions, the attempt of which is to dissuade council member from seeking outside employment that would create conflicts of interests.
For the ever after supposedly taking the Commission’s recommendation under advisement, Progressive Melissa Mark-Viverito, Speaker of NYC Council and her comrades will not heed the recommendations of the Quadrennial Advisory Commission and have under the cover of darkness put together a legislation granting the NYC Council thugs a 32% increase, raising annual salaries of council members from $112,500 to $148,500.
As stated by Viverito, “The City Council is embarking on unprecedented, substantial reforms that will strengthen New York City’s legislative body…and help Council members serve the districts they proudly represent.”
The Communist NYC Council while clearly under fire for their proposal of the sizeable wage increase will vote on the legislation February 5, the date of which coincides with the vote on Bill de Blasio’s Central Park horse carriage deal, the timing of which is raising outrage.
PAY TO PLAY:
In other words, de Blasio bought his Commie comrades at the NYC Council with raises funded by New Yorkers being fleeced down to the last speck of lint in their pockets by our Communist mayor.
Asked about the timing of the two bills being voted on together, Councilman David Greenfield, a Brooklyn Democrat, said, ‘I don’t think it reflects well on us.’
About the horse-carriage bill, Mr. Greenfield said: ‘Last Friday’s hearing made clear that we should not be voting on horse carriages until important questions, like workers’ compensation, job loss, the pedicab industry and the appropriation of public parkland, are resolved.’
The timing also attracted the skepticism of good government groups who expressed worry that it could be a quid pro quo, with a priority of the mayor’s facing a vote at the same time as raises for the Council.
‘There is no rationale for the Council to introduce a bill that raises their salary beyond what the commission recommended, without a public hearing that makes the case for why they need to do so,’ said Dick Dadey, the executive director of the watchdog group Citizens Union.
‘I hope very much that there has been no horse trading between the two bills, given that they are both going to be voted on at the same meeting,’ he added.
A spokesman for the City Council declined to comment on any relationship between the legislation on horse carriages in Central Park and pay for Council members. Wiley Norvell, a spokesman for the mayor’s office, said they were ‘separate and distinct issues….’
“Separate and distinct issues”? Is that why the NYC Council is holding a “one-day” hearing in which New Yorkers will be able to sound off just 48 hours before the council votes on their pay increases next Friday? Unprecedented and downright corrupt!
In every previous pay raise round — in 1979, 1983, 1987, 1991, 1995, 1999 and 2006 — the Council voted into law the salary recommendations of special temporary commissions set up to provide the public with an independent judgment of how much pay levels should be increased.
Never has a Council passed raises greater than a commission thought warranted. De Blasio got his money, the animal rights activists got their stables, and Council members are sealing the deal with big money in their pockets….
Twenty-four hours ago, the New York Daily News reported the following:
Unable to answer basic questions about his plan to limit horses and carriages to Central Park by building a stable in the park, mayoral aides took a beatdown at a Council hearing last week.
Now, the mayor’s office has sent a document to Council members that was described as “fact sheet” but is really a writ of execution.
At any one time, roughly 180 licensed horses reside in four privately owned stables on Manhattan’s West Side. Their masters pay monthly boarding fees that enable the stable owners to meet their bills, including considerable real estate taxes in an area booming with development.
De Blasio’s plan calls for cutting the number of horse licenses to 110 on Dec. 1. As the suddenly unlicensed and unemployed steeds are sent to meet their fates, the number of stabled horses will plummet, taking with them their boarding fees….
— Sandi Bachom (@sandibachom) January 28, 2016
Suddenly this past Wednesday in light of de Blasio’s agenda to starve out and bankrupt owners of Central Park horse carriage stables[i] Viverito met with Council members informing them to vote in favor of the Horse Carriage bill.
Then by the close of business one day later, the NYC Council suddenly in favor of the horse carriage bill had finished writing legislation for their 32% pay increase.
Horse Carriage Bill:
The vote would come less than two weeks after city officials received low marks from Council members for their inability to answer questions about the legislation at a hearing. The de Blasio administration has subsequently circulated a fact sheet to members with answers to some of their questions.
The legislation is a priority for de Blasio, who promised during his campaign to banish the industry as one of his first acts as mayor — a pledge that helped secure the backing of an animal-rights group that later targeted his primary opponent in the race.
But the Council has evinced little enthusiasm for such a ban, with some members criticizing the potential for lost jobs…..
While de Blasio claims that he is not banning the horse carriages from Central Park he is reducing their numbers making a deal with the union that would decrease the number of horse carriages from 200 to 75 by 2018. In addition, Bill de Blasio’s horse-drawn carriage plan raises fear that it could end pedicabs.
Under the deal, the city will forbid pedicabs from operating in Central Park south of the 85th St. Transverse starting June 1.
Unfortunately for the pedicabs, that’s where the best business is.
‘He promised to ban horse carriages, and instead he gave them a monopoly,’ fumed Laramie Flick of the New York City Pedicab Owners Association….
“Monopoly,” of course, would depend upon whom one asks. Nevertheless, de Blasio is killing two birds with one stone, i.e., the Central Park horse carriages and the pedicabs.
Real estate moguls and political donors, Steve Nislick and Wendy Neu whose fingerprints are all over de Blasio’s horse carriage bill for decades have had their sights set on the properties on which Central Park horse carriage stables are located.
Nislick, a former chief executive of Edison Properties has had designs on the Manhattan properties dating back to the era of Rudolph Giuliani as mayor yet parties both dispute “claims among opponents that Nislick, sees the horse stables as a potential real estate opportunity” in spite of their political donations to de Blasio and funding the push for the horse carriage ban.
The New York Daily News at least got this one right, Boss Tweed would cheer.
Originals Photos source:
- De Blasio: courtesy of Kevin Case Flickr, (CC BY 2.0).
- Viverito: courtesy of wiscDennis, Flickr (CC BY 2.0).
- Pedi Cab and Horse Drawn Carriage: courtesy of Urban_Lisa, (CC BY 2.0)
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