Malliotakis Blasts City For Response During Snowstorm
Assembly member Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I,Ref – Staten Island/Brooklyn) blasted the city’s response to the first snowstorm of the season yesterday.
On Thursday, the first winter snowstorm of the season wreaked havoc on the day’s commuters, dumping higher-than-expected snow totals across much of the Tri-State area. According to initial reports, forecasters had talked about just a half inch of snow which would quickly turn to rain and more than five inches of snow.
On the George Washington Bridge, multiple sliding vehicles collided shortly after the snow started falling around 2 p.m., closing down the upper levels of the span and leaving traffic stuck. At the Port Authority, hordes of travelers packed into the hub but found “no place to stand” as buses faced major delays. Many of the city’s subway lines were also down or faced major delays throughout the day.
The storm also caused downed trees and major safety concerns for residents across the five boroughs. The lack of immediate response left many wondering if the city appropriately prepared for the snow forecasts. City Comptroller Scott Stringer and Speaker Corey Johnson both denounced the lack of responses from the Department of Sanitation to the storm.
“The city’s response today was an utter failure. It is clear our Mayor and his commissioners were not prepared for today’s snowfall. Although there are only a few inches that accumulated, motorists and commuters were left desperate to find a safe route home with most, after multiple hours, still navigating snow filled streets. There were clearly not enough salt spreaders or plows, leaving roads slippery causing numerous accidents,” said Malliotakis.
“Traffic and the rush hour commute are already a nightmare in New York City, so it should have come as no surprise that inclement weather would exacerbate the problem. When this is over, the city must conduct a review and develop a better contingency plan because what happened today is simply unacceptable and it is only the second week in November,” added Malliotakis.
CM Williams Responds To NYCHA Consent Decree Rejection
City Council member Jumaane Williams (D-Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood), Deputy Leader, responded to news this week that a federal judge rejected the agreement to bring in an independent monitor to oversee the New York City Public Housing Authority (NYCHA).
On Wednesday, Manhattan Federal Judge William Pauley declined to sign off on a consent decree reached in June between Mayor Bill de Blasio, the authority and the federal prosecutors whose in-depth investigation revealed years of lies about NYCHA’s failures to provide habitable apartments to its 400,000 residents, according to the NY Daily News.
The agreement reached in June included imposing a strong federal Monitor and requiring the City, among other things, to provide $1.2 billion of additional capital funding to NYCHA over the next five years, and $200 million every year thereafter until the problems facing the authority were fixed and no longer needed oversight.
While Pauley rejected the agreement as written, he did not preclude an amended version. He ordered all sides to file a joint status report with the court by Dec. 14 explaining how they wish to go forward and updating the court on whether NYCHA is now in compliance with the decree.
“The consent decree, at least, finally showed leadership being held accountable and provided a path toward improvements. At the same time, I do agree with the judge that the systemic failures which put struggling NYCHA tenants in this position paint a picture of a catastrophe that cannot be solved without long-term commitment to both broad and granular reform, as well as a massive investment,” said Williams.
“Irrespective of the status of the consent decree, the Mayor and Governor should immediately release the funding that they promised to NYCHA residents in need. Those tenants should be a priority, not an afterthought, and it shouldn’t take court action to mandate that they receive attention and aid,” added Williams.
Schumer, Clarke Applauds Amazon HQ2 Queens Announcement
U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (D-Crown Heights, Flatbush, East Flatbush, Park Slope, Midwood, Sheepshead Bay, Brownsville) applauded this week’s announcement that will make Long Island City in Queens Amazon’s second headquarters (HQ2).
Under the deal to move to LIC, Amazon will invest about $2.5 billion and receive about $2.5 billion in direct and as-of-right city and state subsidies, in which the company will use to develop 4 million square feet in Long Island City and bring more than 25,000 full-time high paying jobs.
The subsidies include Amazon receiving performance-based direct incentives of $1.525 billion based on the company creating 25,000 jobs, including a refundable tax credit through the state’s Excelsior Program of up to $1.2 billion calculated as a percentage of the salaries Amazon expects to pay employees over the next 10 years. Additionally, the Empire State Development will give Amazon a cash grant of $325 million based on the square footage of buildings occupied in the next 10 years.
Additionally, the community will benefit from the city providing funding through a Payment In Lieu Of Tax (PILOT) program based on Amazon’s property taxes on a portion of the development site to fund community infrastructure improvements developed through input from residents during the planning process. The billion dollar company has agreed to donate space on its campus for a tech startup incubator and for use by artists and industrial businesses, and will donate a site for a new primary or intermediary public school. The company will also invest in infrastructure improvements and new green spaces.
“This is a great opportunity to help New Yorkers at every income level, but we must make sure there are commensurate infrastructure and housing improvements to the neighborhoods to which Amazon is moving, and make sure community residents are hired when Amazon lands. I commend New York City and State for working together to get this positive result, and I look forward to working with Mayor de Blasio, Governor Cuomo and Amazon to tackle these challenges,” said Schumer.
“Amazon’s decision to locate a headquarters in New York City is a testament to the strength of our technology sector. As the most diverse large city in America, I am hopeful that this investment will help promote racial, ethnic, and gender diversity within the technology sector. I am also encouraged that this decision is accompanied by investments in NYCHA and public infrastructure. More work needs to be done to ensure that all New Yorkers reap the benefits of our economy and I am hopeful that this is the first critical step towards that goal,” said Clarke.