By Robert Press
Follow The Money
In the latest corruption trial against a New York State elected official it is Follow the Money. Did former New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver receive what is being called 'Kick Backs' for client referrals. It seems that is what U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara is trying to prove to a jury. The U.S. Attorney started out by trying to prove Silver steered money for cancer research, by collecting fees for referrals to a private law firm. The U.S. Attorney then went after a real estate company that was doing business with the state also saying that Silver received referral fees. However the crushing blow to Silver may come early next week as the U.S. Attorney is expected to call Mike Whyland who served as Silver's spokesperson when Silver was the Assembly Speaker. By the way Mike Whyland now is working for the current Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.
Bronx Councilman Andy King has been fined $17,000.00 and ordered to repay $26,971.00 in matching funds by the NYC Campaign Finance Board. The CFB said that in 2013 the King campaign payed his wife $7,000.00 without filing the proper paperwork to justify the expense which was filed almost one year after the election. King also charged his campaign $3,568.70 for a Verizon phone line at his house, while he also had billed the campaign for a separate office phone line.
As we mentioned in two previous postings, why is it so important that the mayor's Mandatory Inclusionary Housing, and Zoning for Quality and Affordability City Planning Commission Text Amendments be rushed through and jammed down the throats of the people of New York City? Follow the Money, and you will find that some of New York City's largest players have joined together to help the MIH and ZQA along. So what's in it for them you may ask? If the two zoning text amendments are passed there may be no control of what your neighborhood may look like in a few years. One chapter in the book 'Follow the Money' is that owners of senior housing that was built under the HUD 202 Program which mandated a certain amount of parking requirement would be able to build on said parking lots if the MIH and ZQA text amendments get adopted. What that means is that the Hebrew Home of Riverdale would be allowed to build a major senior residence in an R1-1 zoned area which is zoned for only one family homes. Mind you this senior housing would be out of the price range of the majority of New York City residences costing as much or more than some of the luxury housing in Riverdale. The next step would be since the Hebrew Home could build in an R1-1 zone, so would the Schervier Home in Community Board 8 which is also in an R1-1 zone. By the way in anticipation of MIH and ZQA text amendments passing the Schervier Home has purchased a one family home on the adjoining lot next to its parking lot that they would then build a large scale facility, just like the Hebrew Home.
Now you know why the MIH and ZQA zoning text amendment changes are so important to certain people. There are 39 such HUD 202 senior homes citywide where this would happen providing 2,000 new senior units. That is the key word 'Senior' not affordable as CASA said at the Bronx Borough meeting on the MIH and ZQA proposals. It is not housing that is affordable to all, but a wolf in sheep's clothing, and I say that wolf is named Bill deBlasio.
In the upcoming events Department - Tuesday November 17th Community Board 6 is going to revisit their quick approval of the MIH and ZQA text amendments by the City Planning Commission. It seems that after the Bronx Borough meeting on MIH and ZQA some of their unanswered questions to CPC were answered by others, and they are going to hold another meeting to discuss the two issues, and then vote to either reaffirm or like 10 0f the 12 Bronx Community Boards vote to disapprove the MIH and ZQA text amendments. That could leave Bronx Community Board 9 as the only Bronx CB voting in favor of MIH and ZQA, and I would believe that Community Board 9 may be doing the same thing as CB 6 is doing.
Thursday November 19th is Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr,'s Puerto Rican Heritage Month Celebration at Salsa con Fuego from 12 - 3 PM. Salsa con Fuego is located at 2297 Cedar Avenue (right next to the Northbound entrance to the Major DEEgan Highway at Fordham Road).
Tuesday December 8th at 12:30 in the Bronx County Building Veterans Memorial Hall located at 851 Grand Concourse will be Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.'s Annual Chanukah Celebration and Menorah Lighting Ceremony.
If you have any political information that you want to share or have checked out, any comments about this column, or would like to have an event listed or covered in this column or on this blog you can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 718-644-4199 Mr. Robert Press. This column will be back in print in less than a month.