Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Stringer Weighs in on Council Race

Riverdale Report
By Robert Press

BRONX, NEW YORK, February 18- Last Friday Manhattan Borough President (and leading candidate for City Comptroller) Scott Stringer came up to the Riverdale Y to endorse Mr. Andrew Cohen for the 11th council seat currently held by term limited Councilman G. Oliver Koppell. Manhattan BP Stringer is no stranger to the 11th council district as his parents have lived there for many many years. Stringer however, unlike Councilman Jimmy Vacca (on the term limit vote), said that “This was a non mom decision”. Candidate Cohen thanked Manhattan BP Stringer for his endorsement, and the pair went inside to say hello to some of those inside. You can go to my blog at to see photos of the endorsement, and a few of the people Cohen and Stringer met.

Was last Tuesday's Community Board #8's full board meeting a preview of next year's board. Cb 8 Chairman Bob Fanuzzi was absent, and Vice-Chair Maria Kurry ran the meeting. The meeting opened with a public hearing on the Fiscal Year 2014 Preliminary Budget Capital & Expense requests of the board, and the comments by the city agencies to those requests. Comments by city agencies ranged from the agency will try within existing resources, agency supports request but funding is needed, agency funds insufficient refer to elected officials, can not be funded in FY 2014 resubmit for FY 2015, further study is needed by the agency, and private funding is needed. Some of these community board requests are presented year after year, and receive the same answers almost like the movie Groundhog Day. Some board members wonder when the movie will end.

After a brief gallery session, the presentation of the New York Yankee Youth Leadership Awards where five deserving students from the board area received scholarship awards from Mr. Rosco Brown of the New York Yankee organization took place. When the local elected officials were finished speaking, the board went into committee reports complete with committee resolutions for the full board to vote on.

The first committee to present resolutions to the board was the Economic Development Committee. Three separate Street Activity Permits that failed to pass in committee due to a lack of quorum were brought to the floor. Before any discussion on the resolutions this CB8 and Economic Development Committee member pointed out that there was a mistake on the recorded vote in committee (which was corrected), and I asked that the three Street Activity Permits be brought up separately. Vice-Chair Kurry ruled that the three separate permits be heard as one resolution, and then started discussion on the resolution. 

After most board members were allowed to speak on the resolution the question of “Why if we are going to close major streets was this not heard in the Traffic & Transportation Committee came up. After allowing some board members to speak a second time this board member asked and never got to speak once on the resolution as Vice-Chair Kurry closed the discussion and called for a vote. When the vote was taken there was confusion, and the official vote was never announced to the public.

The meeting continued with more confusion on other committee resolutions with the exception of the two resolutions from the Traffic & Transportation Committee. There was no confusion at the T&T committee level, and no confusion at the full board meeting. I certainly hope that last Tuesday's full Community Board 8 meeting is not a preview of future meetings, as current Cb 8 Chair Bob Fanuzzi had better not turn his back on his current Vice-Chair who seemed very comfortable sitting in the seat of the chair.

If you have any comments about this column or would like to have an event listed or covered in this column or on my blog you can e-mail us at or call 718-644-4199 Mr. Robert Press.

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