Stringer Goes After the Pension Investment Companies
It is A Secret: Stringer Looking For Ways to Run for Mayor
Stringer Puts Pressure On de Blaiso to Stop the Mold At Public Housing
First the Daily News Attack Torres For Not Taking Responsibility for NYCHA Mess Now They Give Him Space to Praise the Same Person His Was Blaming
True News Wonders Why the NYT Did Not Point Out the Poor State of Public Housing Finances When the Candidates Were Making Promises of More Services During the 2013 Election
Not Running for Mayor But Going After Animal Lovers? Animals Put at Risk in New York City’s Shelters, Audit Finds (NYT) Animal Care and Control of New York, the nonprofit group that cares for the city’s stray and unwanted animals, has administered unsafe drugs and stored vaccines improperly, the comptroller said. * Stringer blasts ‘stomach-crawling’ state of city animal shelters (NYP)Stringer blasted the city Health Department for fostering a “system of dysfunction” in city-funded animal shelters, which are overcrowded and use dated medicine
Last Week True News Called the Pension Funds Leaky Tuesday the NYT Agrees
A Look Back At the Hevesi Pay to Play Pension Scandal
Former New York Liberal Party head Ray Harding charged with taking kickbacks in pension fund scheme * Raymond B. Harding Pleads Guilty in Pension Fund Corruption
Pay to Play Pension Boss McCall
McCall who Closed LICH Blames Paterson Carl McCall, chairman of the SUNY Board of Trustees blames former governor Paterson for providing the funds to buy the hospital, after a comptroller report told the state not to buy the hospital. (NY1 Interview) The State University of New York bought LICH in 2009. Big mistake: “This has been very costly for us,” says H. Carl McCall, chairman of SUNY’s board of trustees and a master of understatement — for “costly” scarcely describes it. Mayor cuffed by his own crusade(Mcmanus, NYP)
James, Stringer and Council Blast Airbnb Before City Council Hearing
Wednesday Update Neighbors’ complaints to 311 over Airbnb are on the rise(NYP) * A New York City Council hearing pitted affordable housing advocates against proponents of sites like Airbnb, with lawmakers bashing short-term rentals they say hurt low-income residents, The New York Timesreports: *City Council blastsAirbnb executives in contentious hearing (NYDN) Council members accused the company of helping landlords transform affordable housing units into illegal hotels. But Airbnb executive David Hantman said the company doesn’t support illegal hotels and tries to remove abusers from the site. The eight-hour hearing was Tuesday before a packed audience.* Council Slams Airbnbfor Having No Idea How Many Listings Are Illegal | New York Observer * NYC Council members ripped into Airbnb.com executives at a contentious hearing, accusing the company of helping landlords transform affordable housing units into illegal hotels.* Complaints about short-term apartment-rental services such as Airbnb soared in the past year — but there were only 12 inspectors to act on them, a city official said.* Public Advocate Letitia James blasts Airbnb for making Brooklyn "least affordable" housing market in nation(NYDN)* Council Slams Airbnbfor Having No Idea How Many Listings Are Illegal (NYO)* Airbnb’s affordable housing(NYP Ed)
Airbnb Buys News Organization and Starts It Media Blitz to Brainwash New Yorkers That They Are Not Wearhousing Apartments
Airbnb and Uber's Latest Lobbying Tactic: Donate to Bill De Blasio * Airbnb Really Wants Bill De Blasio To Be Cool With Airbnb ... * Former de Blasio campaign manager Bill Hyers joins Airbnb (NYDN)
Stringer If You Attack the Mayor Expect to Be Sent A Message or Attacked Back
Wednesday Stringer NYP Update
Monday Stringer Starts the Fight Back
Sunday NYP Stringer Hit
New York City's first lady says Thursday's launch is a major milestone* NYC won't permit nine of 1,700 planned pre-k centers to opendue to health and safety concerns * Nine private programs that were to offer free, city-financed pre-K this year will not open because of safety concerns or other issues, and 36 programs will not be ready to open on Thursday, the first day of school, The New York Times reports:
Big hopes for little kids(NYDN Ed)
Final Touches Range From Flowery to Frantic as Expanded Pre-K Awaits Start(NYT)
Stringer Finally Gets Around to Clarence Norman's Contract
Revenge for Norman Friends Support for Stringer Opponent Spitzer?
Comptroller staffer fired for doing personal work on city time(NYP) A politically connected employee who held a comfortable $140,000-a-year job in the city Comptroller’s Office was forced out after getting caught doing personal work on city time — for 14 years. Carmen Martinez, who served as director of the comptroller’s Community Action Center, admitted that she used “an excessive amount” of city time and resources to work on behalf of various nonprofits since 2000, according to Conflicts of Interest Board documents. Martinez, once a campaign treasurer for then-Brooklyn Democratic leader Clarence Norman Jr., was granted immunity for testifying against him before a grand jury. He was convicted in 2005 of accepting illegal contributions. Flashback 'New DA' quizzed on ties to ex-con pol | New York Post * amNewYork writes that the New York City budget comes with money for more than a few decent causes, but without a tax hike, the increase from last year’s budget is only good so long as the economy moves along without a hiccup:
Stringer Budget 180: No Deficit Problem After Accounting Correction
Comptroller Scott Stringer pushed back after investment firms cut back on buying municipal bonds, and he pointed to a new teachers contract to show that the city has its finances in order Controller Stringer looks to soothe investor worries over city bonds as deficit is projected to grow to $3.2B(NYDN)
EXCLUSIVE: Mayor de Blasio's deal with labor unions and his housing plan are expected to balloon the city's deficit from $370 million to $3.2 billion, but Controller Scott Stringer hopes to ease Wall Street worries by assuring the city's debt won't be affected. He ruined Mayor de Blasio’s birthday party a couple of weeks ago, but now city Controller Scott Stringer is rushing to Hizzoner’s defense after investment firms cut back on municipal bond buys.* He ruined Mayor de Blasio’s birthday party a couple of weeks ago, but now city Controller Scott Stringer is rushing to Hizzoner’s defense after investment firms cut back on municipal bond buys. Stringer insisted that there’s no reason for anyone to stop investing in city bonds, and pointed to the new United Federation of Teachers deal as proof that New York has its financial house in order. “Bond buyers should be pleased by the fact that the mayor’s labor agreement with the UFT is a major first step in resolving years of expired contracts that had been casting a shadow on the true fiscal picture of the city,” Stringer told the Daily News. Some Wall Street honchos beg to differ.* Budget watchdogs vouch, tentatively, for de Blasio’s U.F.T. deal(Capital)Carol Kellermann, president of the fiscally conservative Citizens Budget Commission, approved of the 10 percent salary increases over seven years the U.F.T. was offered. "The perspective raises are fair and reasonable,” Kellerman said. “Yes, they start to go up in the out years, but even the highest raise is not 4 percent, which is what in the early years of the Bloomberg administration he was giving out.” The former mayor had established a bargaining pattern by giving most unions salary increases of 4 percent a year for two years. That ended when he and the labor leaders stopped negotiating, resulting in all the expired contracts.* The Manhattan Institute’s Nicole Gelinas breaks down the recent revisions to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s budget and the long-term fiscal problems with the United Federation of Teachers’ contract:* New York City’s Independent Budget Office analyzed de Blasio’s executive budget and financial plan and noted that its own watchdog role was “complicated” by the mayor’s “highly complex” agreement with the teachers union: http://goo.gl/6qS5am * City faces larger budget surpluses in next two years than Mayor de Blasio projects: Independent Budget Office(NYDN)* City in better fiscal shape than projected, but union deals could cloud budgets(NYP)
* New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer released an analysis of the city’s modified FY15 executive budget, which takes into account the fiscal impact of labor agreements and better-than-expected tax revenue that has narrowed out-year budget gaps: http://goo.gl/z1f8w6
Stringer In the Budet Crosshairs As the Daily News Says the Budget Smells 1975 . . .
De Blasio: ‘Respectful disagreement’ on budget change(Capital)
After a negative Moody’s report and criticism from the city comptroller, the de Blasio administration shifted $725 million in retroactive pay to this fiscal year instead of spreading it out over four years, The New York Times reports:
More on Comptroller Scott Stringer and the Budget
Press and Controller On the UFT Contract Fuzzy Math
Paging Dr. Stringer(NYP Ed)
Scott Stringer has done the citizens of Gotham a public service by calling out the mayor for the accounting gimmicks he used in his budget. As a result, the city won’t be able to put off some of the current costs of the teachers contract into future years. Let’s hope the city comptroller takes a similar look at the rest of the contract, especially the so-called “health savings” that were so heavily touted in selling the agreement. Because it looks as though Mayor de Blasio has more fuzzy math. Here’s another: The cost of the teachers union’s new contract — announced as about $6 billion — is now estimated to be closer to $9 billion. The mayor’s response? It’s an example of the “moving parts” of any union deal. In the past, New Yorkers have been burned by bureaucratic bait-and-switch: Elected leaders pass a budget front-loaded with spending (or tax increases) and “savings” or “cuts” on the back end. Money gets spent and taxes are raised — but the promised savings somehow fail to materialize.
Real Cost of the Contract Increase to $9 Billion Not the $5.5 Promised
Daily News, the New York Times and Capital took deeper looks at the circumstances behind an unusual deal between Mr. de Blasio and Comptroller Scott Stringer concerning the way the mayor’s executive budget accounted for certain retroactive pay raises that are part of the deal with the teacher’s union. The Times “described “a high-stakes tug of war” that “caused Mr. de Blasio frustration and embarrassment and raised questions about the mayor’s approach to brokering deals with 151 other municipal unions that remain without contracts.” * Real cost of teachers union labor deal rises to nearly $9 billion, city says: (DNAINFO) The estimated cost for the city’s deal with the United Federation of Teachers has ballooned since Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the deal earlier this month.The day the deal was announced, his office said the 9-year contract, which includes two years of retroactive pay and raises going forward, would cost the city $5.5 billion.
Mulgrew: Not A Nickel From Teachers for Promised Health Care Savings
Too Good to be True
Teachers union boss Mike Mulgrew’s glee is another reason for concern. He’s crowing because his members pulled off a contract that did not require them to contribute a nickel for their own health care. You’d be hard-pressed to find any such arrangement elsewhere — and not just in the private sector. At the state level, Gov. Cuomo managed to get concessions that increased New York’s public workers’
SHOWDOWN AT GRACIE MANSION: Mayor de Blasio and Controller Scott Stringer held secret late-night meeting to discuss problems with city budget(NYDN)* Showdown at Gracie Mansion: Mayor de Blasio and city Controller Scott Stringer hold extraordinary late-night meeting on city budget. De Blasio was celebrating his 53rd birthday with a low-key party Friday evening at Gracie Mansion. His wife, Chirlane McCray, surprised him with a rendition of “Be My Love” sung by Metropolitan Opera tenor Lawrence Brownlee. Upstairs, however, a far more somber gathering was to about to take place. The mayor, city Controller Scott Stringer and several of their senior aides held an extraordinary late-night sit-down over the mayor’s newly proposed $73.9 billion budget, sources familiar with the meeting told the Daily News.* “THE ACCOUNTING QUESTION behind a de Blasio-Stringer spat” by Capital’s Sally Goldenberg: “The first major dispute between Comptroller Scott Stringer and Mayor Bill de Blasio began with an inquiry from Stringer's staff about the city's agreement with the teachers' union. Emails obtained by Capital show that an aide to Stringer first contacted a top official in the city's Office of Management and Budget to to ask several questions about the accounting for the contract. Administration officials have said they were not briefed by Stringer's office on the matter until the following Friday, May 9.”* News Closeup: Analyzing the teachers union deal with NYC(WPIX)
Bill’s Credibility GAAP For the first time since the 1975 fiscal crisis, a mayor has proposed a budget that runs afoul of the accounting standards that have kept New York City’s finances on the straight and narrow writes the NYDN. The Daily News writes that for the first time since 1975, a New York City mayor has proposed a budget that is off base from the accounting standards that have kept the city's finances on a good path * FISCAL SETBACKS: Controller argues that Mayor de Blasio must account for $725M in back pay for retirement-eligible teachers(NYDN)* Mayor
Stringer and the Mayor
Capital New York profiled Comptroller Scott Stringer‘s relationship with the de Blasio administration, finding Mr. Stringer to be “if not a problem for the new mayor, at least a modest outlier among the almost uniformly deferential occupants of city leadership roles.” “The Comptroller has worked closely with the Mayor to implement his ambitious agenda to lift up our city,” a Stringer spokesman said.
City Council 2014, Progressives
More About Top Cop Bratton
$298 Million Mistake Gives New York City Retirees Brief Windfall
Why Does the Council Ignore the Corrupt 911 Contractors, Lobbyists Who Push Them?
"THE RESPONSE TIMES ARE TOO HIGH:" Longer 911 ambulance times stir City Council(NYDN) Since changing timing methods, longer ambulance response times shake up Thursday's City Council meeting. Newer times better reflect how long it takes for units to show up, Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano said. City ambulances are taking nine and a half minutes to get to the scene of life-threatening emergencies, new data show.
Council Ignores Comptrollers 911 Contract Investigation
Until last June, response time was calculated from the moment a 911 call was transferred to the appropriate dispatcher. Under that method, ambulance response time was 6 minutes 47 seconds, according to city stats. The city’s new 911 system — which routes all calls through a central set of dispatchers — has drawn fire from critics who say it increases response times and experiences frequent glitches.
Council Names A Street for Ariel But Does Not Hold A Hearing to Find Out the Cause of Her Death the Corrupt 911 Contrats
'It’s been a really emotional day': Manhattan street corner named after 4-year-old Ariel Russo who died in car crash; family reveals they haven't revisited area since tragic day(NYDN)On what should have been Ariel Russo's fifth birthday, the tot's family helped unveil a street sign Monday on the Upper West Side corner where she died last summer. Little Ariel was struck and killed by a teen fleeing police in his parents' SUV on June 4.
Is the Power of the 911 Lobbyist Over the Council the Reason It Names Street and Does Not Investigate Contractors?
A report found a series of blunders led to delays in responding to the accident in Manhattan that killed 4-year-old Ariel Russo * City wants $40 million suit launched by Ariel Russo’s family tossed on technicality -- victims did not call 911 (NYDN) The city wants a $40 million negligence lawsuit filed by the family of Ariel Russo, the 4-year-old who was killed by an unlicensed driver last year, tossed because neither she nor her critically injured grandmother personally called 911. The city insists that a “special relationship,” which calls for the victim or a blood relative to call 911, must exist in order to support a negligence claim. RELATED: ARIEL RUSSO CAR CRASH PROBE FAULTS WIDESPEAD HUMAN ERROR, NOT 911 WOES * RELATED: GONZALEZ: ARIEL RUSSO PROBE FINDS ENOUGH BLAME TO FILL A CALL CENTER
Dead Girl and Lobbyist Still Rake In 911
Lobbyist Are So Protected That Can Rake In $$$ While People Get Hurt By Their Handy Work
In 2010 thru 2011 when the city council was going after problems in the 911 system, HP hired Kasirer Consulting LLC and paid them over $200,000 to lobby city hall for the company. Mercury Public Affairs public affairs have been working on the project for Intergraph Corp since 2007. Before Intergraph hired Sal Salamone as a lobbyist in 2006 to 2008 ($100,000) Salamone worked for the city on the Citytime project until he was let go after the corruption and cost overruns become know on that project, in which Liz Holtzman was one of the lobbyists that cashed in. It had to get through the fog surrounding the 911 contracts. Last month Bloomberg lauded Comptroller 911 audit he once called 'stupid.’ He even said there was nothing wrong with the Hewlett-Packard contract and the city paid those most of the money they requested. The mayor changed him mind on Comptroller budget to stop a federal audit requested by DC 37’s Lillian Roberts.* CM to lobbyist: "You're not really focused on safety, but on the perspective of drivers is that fair? Lobbyist: Yes.(WNYC) * In 2013 Mercury Public Affairs, which was running an independent spending campaign funded by billionaire David Koch and others boosting Mr. de Blasio's general-election opponent, Republican Joseph Lhota.
* New York City mistakenly deposited nearly $300 million this week into the accounts of retired police officers and firefighters, according to Comptroller Scott Stringer’s office, Capital New York reports: http://goo.gl/4wElpB
Ex-Anthony Weiner Campaign Manager Among Those Tapped to Join New Comptroller’s Offfice(NYO)
NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer is exerting some independence from de Blasio. _____________________________________
* Incoming New York City comptroller Scott Stringer has given pink slips to 50 employees who worked for current comptroller John Liu, Capital New York reports:
Liu's Pension Memo to Stringer
Will Stringer Go After Those Politically Connected Pension Managers?
City pension fees jump 28%(NYP)
Firms that manage the city’s five pension funds saw their fees skyrocket by 28 percent last year, a report has found. The $100 million single-year leap brought the city’s total fees to the private managers in fiscal year 2013 to $472.5 million.
Comptroller Scott Stringer
Stringer Attacks Oil Company's Conservative Donations
NYC comptroller questions oil firm’s political giving(NYP) The New York City comptroller has asked a Texas oil company to explain why it has been connected to political donations that appear to have little to do with its energy business. Comptroller Scott Stringer, investment adviser and trustee to the $150 billion city pension funds, is questioning “both the magnitude and the corporate purpose” behind the Clayton Williams Energy Inc. donations to the National Rifle Association and American Crossroads, a conservative political action committee. He’s urging full disclosure to shareholders of all political spending, saying it poses “legal, reputational and operational risks.”
What Happen to the Pension Reforms Announced in 2011 and Killed When Lui Investigation Became Public?
In 2011 the mayor and the comptroller, backed by the leadership of several unions representing city workers, said they would seek to merge the pension plans’ five boards, which have 58 directors, into one far smaller board that would oversee the plans’ combined $120 billion in investments.The consolidated investment strategy could save the city at least $1 billion a year. When cities or states replaced old-fashioned, inefficient, often politicized pension management plans with ones that call for independent, professional managers who oversee large plans, that generally improves their investment returns by 1 percent to 2 percent a year. With $120 billion in the city’s pension funds, such an increase could mean an additional $1.2 billion to $2.4 billion. NYC Pension Chief Seeks $500,000 Managers to Cut Out Wall Street New York City will pay $8 billion this year toward retirement benefits, a cost that has risen more than fivefold since 2002. While the papers write about Spitzer whores not one clear question or editorial has been written about how the pension funds can save money.
Comptroller Race Dirty $$$
John Burnett, the GOP candidate for NYC comptroller, wants his Democratic opponent, Manhattan BP Scott Stringer, to return campaign cash netted at a fashion fund-raiser featuring controversial photographer Terry Richardson.* Stringer Releases New Web Ad in Comptroller Race’s Closing Stretch(NYO)
The city comptroller, Scott M. Stringer, is issuing a directive that he says will standardize how information technology contracts are handled across all city agencies. Comptroller Scott Stringer is moving to step up oversight of information technology contracts by issuing a directive that he claims will standardize how the contracts are handled across all city agencies
What Happen to the Criminal Investigation of 911 That Liu Called For?
Flashback Bungled 911 Call System Redo Cost Taxpayers Millions, Audit Finds(WNYC) The city’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications bungled the contract with by Hewlett Packard, Liu said, causing the upgrade to incur as much as a $362 million cost overrun over the initial budget for the integration. The comptroller’s report, based on a 15-month review, also found that the department allowed Hewlett Packard to “drastically mark up subcontractor bills resulting in questionable billing. Liu said he referred the audit to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office. As reports of problems with the project surfaced, city records show that Hewlett Packard was spending six-figures to registered city lobbyists making the case for HP behind the scenes. HP advocates at the time included Comptroller Liu's campaign spokesman George Arzt , who billed HP $15,000 between 2007 and 2008, attorney Steven Polan and former Republican state legislator John Faso whose lobbying firm charged HP $167,000 for 17 months of procurement work. All three declined to comment.
Stringer Finally Fights for Respect
City comptroller warns de Blasio on open labor contracts(NYP) The city’s fiscal chief lit a fire under Mayor de Blasio over the city’s 152 open labor contracts Wednesday — calling it “critical” that they be settled or nearly settled... * Controller says unresolved union contracts will bring chaos to de Blasio's budget(NYDN) * Stringer Sounds Alarm Over Labor Contracts(WSJ)
Stringer Goes After Hedge Fund Tax Shelters
Comptroller Stringer is calling for an end to what he describes as a tax loophole that allows New York City private equity firms, hedge funds and venture capital firms to keep several hundred million dollars a year in their coffers instead of giving it to the tax man. Comptroller Scott Stringer is calling for a measure to close a tax loophole benefitting hedge funds and private equity firms, but pushing it through the state Legislature could be difficult