Also votes to modify alternate side parking rules during heavy winter conditions
City Hall, December 18, 2008 – At today’s Stated Council meeting, the members of the New York City Council will vote to allow members of District Council 37, the city’s largest municipal union, to reside outside of New York City if they have completed more than two years of city service. Additionally the Council will vote on legislation to:
Require the Department of Transportation to suspend alternate side of the street parking regulations if the Department of Sanitation suspends street sweeping operations in the event of inclement weather;
Co-name 48 thoroughfares and public spaces across the five boroughs; and
Authorize the designation of Remains Lighting, a Brooklyn-based lighting fixture company, as a Regionally Significant Project under the State Empire Zones Program.
The City Council will also vote on resolutions urging the Department of Education to ensure they comply with state curriculum regulations and calling on Congress to include $5 billion in funding for the Public Housing Capital Fund in the event a second economic stimulus package is proposed.
Changes to Residency Requirements for DC-37 Employees
The City Council will vote to allow city employees to reside outside of New York City if they entered into a collective bargaining agreement with the city on September 29, 2006 and if they have completed at least two years of city service. This legislative change will allow municipal employees of District Council 37 to reside in Nassau, Westchester, Suffolk, Orange, Rockland and Putnam counties. Currently there are approximately 121,000 DC 37 members. This change would affect approximately 45,000 city employees.
“For too long, the thousands of members of District Council 37 have been unable to take advantage of important benefits offered to other employee unions,” said Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn. “With this legislation, members of District Council 37 can make decisions that will provide the greatest benefit for themselves and their families.”
“Changing the residency requirement for members of District Council 37 is a significant step forward in keeping the best and the brightest working for our City, while giving them the choice of where they want to or need to live,” said Councilmember Robert Jackson, sponsor of the bill. “Agreement on this legislation, which has been a long time coming, will now allow each individual DC 37 member to make the best decision for his or her own family.”
“I am grateful to have been given the opportunity to work on this important piece of legislation,” said Civil Service and Labor Committee Chair Joe Addabbo. “I also appreciate the cooperative efforts that ultimately resulted with Intro 837, which efforts will have a direct beneficial affect on our city workforce.”
Other municipal employees, like teachers and police officers, who have been given exemptions by the State Legislature, will continue to have no residency restrictions.
Alternate Side Parking Changes in WINTER WEATHER
The City Council will vote on legislation to require the Department of Transportation (DOT) to suspend alternate side of the street parking for at least 24 hours if Department of Sanitation (DOS) suspends street sweeping operations because of snowfalls.
This bill was prompted by a Valentine’s Day snowstorm in 2007 that left 2 inches of snow, which was followed by freezing sleet and rain. On this occasion, DOT and DOS, which decide jointly whether to suspend alternate side of the street parking, did not suspend the rules after the storm. Due to freezing conditions, the snow, sleet and rain turned into ice, making it difficult for motorists to move their cars. Many of these motorists received parking tickets for violating alternate side of the street regulations, although the City was not sweeping the streets.
“If the Department of Sanitation has called off street sweeping because of heavy snow and ice, it makes it much more difficult for motorists to adhere to alternate side of the street parking rules,” said Councilmember Maria Baez, lead sponsor of the bill. “This is a common sense bill that gives our city’s hard-working taxpayers a warranted reprieve.”
“This is a common sense bill that respects our city’s taxpayers,” said Councilmember Hiram Monserrate, co-sponsor of the bill. “Last year, when the city was paralyzed by a snow storm that kept street cleaning vehicles parked and left residents with expensive parking tickets who couldn’t move their cars for the snow, it was clear we need to make the law fairer. I would like to thank the Committee and its Chair, Councilman John Liu and Councilmember Maria Baez for all their work on the issue.
STREET CO-NAMING LEGISLATION
The members of the City Council will vote to co-name 48 thoroughfares and public places throughout the City. Voting on all 48 proposed co-namings together in an omnibus bill, these names include streets across the five boroughs in honor of:
· Reverend Gene McGhee, pastor of the Bethlehem Church of God in Christ for over 30 years, at the intersection of 164th Street and 107th Avenue in Queens;
· Count Basie, world renowned musician and band leader in the 1930’s and 1940’s,on 160th Street Between St. Nicholas Avenue and Edgecombe Avenue in Manhattan, where he lived;
· James “Pop” Colon, a Korean War veteran who served in the United States Navy from 1951-1954. and a decorated member of the FDNY for more than 30 years, at the intersection of King Street and Osborne Avenue in Staten Island;
· Marcus Garvey, a Black Nationalist leader who created “Back to Africa” movement in the United States, on all four corners of Gunhill Road and White Plains Road in the Bronx; and
· Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress, at the southwest corner of Park Place and Kingston Avenue in Brooklyn.
All 48 street co-names sponsored by 23 different Council members were found to meet the reformed guidelines for inclusion in the bill. To be considered for a street co-naming, proposed honorees must be either individuals who are deceased or New Yorkers of significant importance to New York City. Honored organizations must meet similar requirements.
“New York City recognizes those who have served their communities by honoring them with a piece of our great city,” said Parks and Recreation Committee hair Helen Diane Foster. “This bill gives us an opportunity to acknowledge those who history has overlooked. I am proud to remember all those that have done to make our city a better place.”
Upon passage, this legislation will take effect immediately. Further information regarding each of the 48 street co-namings can be found at: http://council.nyc.gov/downloads/pdf/Fall%202008%20Street%20renaming.pdf.
AUTHORIZATION OF BROOKLYN BUSINESS AS A REGIONALLY SIGNIFICANT PROJECT
Promoting economic development in Northern Brooklyn and encouraging local businesses to stay in New York City, the Council will vote to authorize the designation of Remains Lighting, a Brooklyn-based lighting fixture company, as a Regionally Significant Project (RSP) under the State Empire Zones Program.
“Remains Lighting is an environmentally conscious manufacturer that will bring over 50 new full time jobs, with benefits, into the Brooklyn economy,” said Councilmember Diana Reyna. “By supporting the Regionally Significant Project application of this business, we are demonstrating that we understand the true intentions of the Empire Zone program. It is important for us to stimulate our local economy, even if ideal and qualified businesses do not fall within Empire Zone boundaries. I am proud to see my colleagues at the Council stand with me in supporting Remains Lighting.”
Economic Development Committee Chair Thomas White Jr. said, “Despite Governor Paterson’s plans to revamp and toughen the standards for companies applying to, or remaining in the Empire Zone Program, Remains Lighting will meet these newly proposed standards by relocating and creating over 80 jobs, as well as making nearly $4 million in capital improvements to their new facility in Brooklyn. This is exactly the type of business that the city is looking to attract, as it will expand our manufacturing base and tap into the city’s creative talent when it fills its both skilled and unskilled positions.”
A Regionally Significant Project is a business enterprise that is eligible for Empire Zone benefits although it may not be physically located within an Empire Zone. Empire Zones are designated areas throughout the State that offer economic incentives to certified businesses. Such incentives include tax credits for hiring new employees as well as state sales tax refunds.
In order to qualify as an RSP, businesses are required to create a certain minimum net number of new jobs and to make significant capital investments in their physical plant. Remains Lighting, located at 21-29 Belvidere Street, in Brooklyn is projected to create 60 new jobs over the next five years and projects a total investment of $4.3 million.
In December 2007, the North Brooklyn/Brooklyn Navy Yard Empire Zone approved the request to designate Remain Lighting as an RSP and in July 2008, the Empire State Development also preliminarily approved its eligibility. In order to finalize its designation and receive Empire Zone benefits, the City Council must enact legislation permitting the business to submit a formal application to the State.
Curriculum Mandates RESOLUTION
The City Council will vote on a resolution calling on the New York City Department of Education (DOE) to ensure that city schools are complying with State education curriculum laws. If surveyed schools are not in compliance with state education curriculum mandates, the Council urges the DOE to assist schools that are not in state compliance. Specifically, the resolutions urges DOE to ensure that schools are compliant with state curriculum laws regarding non-core course such as patriotism, citizenship, physical education, and child abuse prevention.
NYCHA Capital Funding
The Council will vote on a resolution urging Congress to include $5 billion in funding for the Public Housing Capital Fund in the event a second economic stimulus package is proposed. Another economic stimulus package with funds allocated for public housing capital projects would likely provide significant funding for NYCHA’s capital needs, including elevator work. NYCHA has been shortchanged by $502 million in federal capital funds since Fiscal Year 2001 and has identified $500 million in capital projects for which it would be able to quickly issue requests for bids should funds materialize.