Also Votes to Require Recycling at Street Fairs
City Hall, February 11, 2009 – At today’s Stated Council meeting, the members of the New York City Council will vote to override a Mayoral veto 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 street fair operators to provide both waste and recycling receptacles at street events;
• Allow residential building residents access to water tank inspection information; and
• Require taxis and livery cabs to post a passenger bill of rights.
CHANGES TO RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS FOR DC-37 EMPLOYEES
The City Council will vote to override a Mayoral veto to allow District Council 37 members to reside outside of New York City if they have completed more than two years of city services. 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. “This legislation allows members of District Council 37 to 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. “By overriding the Mayor’s veto and requiring that DC 37 employees complete two years of service in New York City, we help City residents compete for these jobs. This legislation will allow each individual DC 37 member to make the best decision for his or her own family.”
STREET FAIR RECYCLING
Members of the City Council will vote on legislation to require street fair operators to provide both waste and recycling receptacles at street events. Additionally, the bill requires that the receptacles are monitored to avoid contamination and a mixing of refuse and recyclables, and that waste and recycled materials are properly bagged, bundled and carted. Any violation of the law would make street fair operators liable for a civil penalty of one hundred dollars for each violation.
“When vendors come to use our City’s streets for street fairs during the warmer months, they must clean up after themselves in way that is both effective and environmentally conscious, said Council Member Darlene Mealy. “This is why I proposed this legislation to ensure that operators provide recycling bins to the public and properly bag and bundle their refuse. New Yorkers should be able to enjoy street fairs on clean streets. By having the appropriate number of garbage cans and recycling containers, New Yorkers will be able to keep our City both clean and environmentally sound.
TAXI AND LIVERY CAB PASSENGER BILL OF RIGHTS
The Council will also vote on legislation that would make it easier for passengers to know and understand their rights when riding in taxis and livery taxi cab by laying out a passenger bill of rights. Under the legislation, taxi and livery cab drivers will be required to make the bill of rights accessible to their passengers.
Some of the rights included in the livery cab bill of rights are that:
• Drivers honor a pre-approved fair quoted by the dispatcher;
• Cars are in good condition; and
• Drivers are properly licensed
“Car service passengers today have no clue that their ride is governed by the rules of the Taxi and Limousine Commission, and that needs to change,” said Council Member Dan Garodnick. “When you get in the back seat of a for-hire vehicle, you should have the comfort of knowing that your basic rights as a passenger are protected by law. Riders need to know where to file a complaint, and that they have recourse if something goes wrong.”
“I’m pleased that this legislation has come to the forefront which will protect my constituents in the Bronx and those who live in boroughs where yellow cabs are not frequent,” said Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo. “This bill of rights will clearly be stated in a place where people can see them and now they will have a place to call when they feel that they need a place to issue a complaint.”
ACCESS TO WATER TANK INSPECTION
The City Council will vote on legislation that will require building managers to make water tank inspection information available to residents within five days, when requested. Currently, the results of such inspections are not made available to the public. The building manager will be required to post a notice stating that the inspection information is accessible. The legislation also requires the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to provide the City Council with an annual report over the next three years on water tank inspections.
“There is no reason that water tank inspection reports should be guarded like state secrets, yet that is the reality today,” said Council Member Garodnick. “These records are withheld from members of the public without exception, yet the public deserves to have access to this critical information. New Yorkers have every right to know the condition of their drinking water, and this is a good-government bill that will bring that information into the light.”
INCREASING CLASSROOM SPACE IN THE VILLAGE
The Council will vote to create a 560 seat elementary school at 6th Avenue and 17th Street. The new school, which was brokered by the New York Foundling Charitable Corporation, the Rudin Family and the School Construction Authority (SCA) with support from local elected officials and Community Board 2, will serve Manhattan’s District 2 and will be the first elementary school built in Community Board 5. The Rudin Family raised the idea with the SCA after hearing from local parents during the ongoing St. Vincent’s hospital development project about the severity of school overcrowding in Chelsea.
“Community Board 5 and District 2 schools have seen a tremendous growth in their populations,” said Speaker Christine C. Quinn, “and for too long, classroom space has been getting tighter and tighter. This is fantastic news for the community and a great example of what can be accomplished through innovative and responsible development.”