Council Member Joseph Borelli (R – South Shore) has introduced legislation this month that would compel the New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunication (DoITT) to study the issue of 9-1-1 calls made from mobile phones being routed incorrectly to 9-1-1 dispatchers in New Jersey. DoITT would be required to submit a report to the New York City Council detailing the findings of their study and potential action(s) to be taken to correct this issue and mitigate incorrectly routed 9-1-1 calls.
Borelli has received calls to his office regarding the incorrect routing of emergency calls from constituents who had been affected. One recent call involved a woman who was involved in a vehicle collision in Tottenville, on the south shore of Staten Island, and was connected to an emergency dispatcher in New Jersey who was unable to immediately identify the location, or even identify that the caller was calling from within the bounds of New York City Police Department jurisdiction.
Earlier this month, Borelli had also introduced legislation to allow restaurant owners to include a menu surcharge to cover indirect costs. The legislation is intended to give restaurateurs the option of including a clearly visible surcharge on their menu, appearing similar to the way a corkage fee or large-party gratuity might appear on a menu now, in order to cover indirect costs absorbed by the restaurant and typically built into the price of a menu item. Essentially, it will allow restaurant owners to show their patrons why costs are rising. Instead of building ancillary costs like government mandates into the prices of individual items, which often take patrons by surprise, restaurateurs will have the ability to clearly note the reason for the surcharge.
Research done by Borelli’s office identified New York City as the only city in the United States where this practice is illegal. In fact, in cities like Los Angeles, Seattle, and Austin this is common practice.
“Restaurant operators should be free to itemize their costs this way instead of being forced to build their indirect costs into individual menu items,” said Borelli. “At its heart, this is about transparency, and it’s about providing consumers with greater context when it comes to understanding what determines the cost of their meal. Making illegal a restaurant owner’s right to inform his patrons of the drivers of cost in her or his establishment is misguided.”
“For New York City residents, the fundamental American principles of individual liberty and transparency are universally prioritized,” continued Borelli. “We believe that a reason should be required for making something illegal, not the other way around, which is why it’s so supremely disheartening for an act of transparency to be regarded as breaking the law.”