By Robert Press
Who's Minding the City?
One of the biggest stories this year is how a non-profit was able to sell a once Aids clinic for around 100 Million dollars (give or take a few million or so). This was a building that was classified as a clinic from a non-profit in an area where the value was a tremendous amount as we see by the so called allowance of the sale by the city. Do we lay blame on the owner of the property given the special change in zoning, the Mayor's new ZQA plan, the Mayor himself, or the Deputy Mayor in charge of the program. Any way you look at it the city got dumped on for tens of millions of dollars, and right after the Mayor pushed, and the City Council approved the new ZQA zoning.
I only wonder if it was one of those now much higher salaried City Council members who benefited from the sale of the building, or was it one of Mayor de Blasio's rich donors. Remember Mayor de Blasio you are up for re-election next year, and the indicators are that Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. is going to be your challenger. I wonder who Stanley Schlein will be representing, as it was Bill de Blasio in 2013.
I was able to sit down with former State Senator Efrain Gonzalez Jr. to go over some old times, and what the future has in store for him. While he was convicted, former State Senator Gonzalez still maintains his innocence, and that he will vindicate his good name as he is in the process of his appeal of the case. No more can be said, but one has to wonder why this appeal seems to keep getting stalled as Senator Gonzalez tells it.
The state budget is or was finally passed, as all the bills and other materials are being printed. My favorite question to many elected state officials is - how much of the budget did you really read? There will be comments from the various Bronx elected officials as they come out with their statements on the state budget, and I hope to interview a few for a future column.
As usual check the archive section (you will have to back to March) to see the upcoming events such as the Rain Barrel Giveaway by Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj and State Senator Jeff Klein, The many upcoming Bronx Chamber of Commerce events, More on the 15th Congressional race, and both the Democratic and Republican New York State Presidential Primaries which for the first time in many many years is playing a key role in the selection process, and next week my predictions for the New York State Presidential Primary on both sides. Will New York 'Feel the Bern', or will C&K get Trumped in New York.
Lastly, Mayoral control of the public schools is up in June of this year it is not renewed by the state legislature. I would hope that after three disastrous terms of former Mayor Bloomberg, and now two more years of not working under Mayor de Blasio that the state legislature would put an end to this idea that has failed like the schools it was intended to improve. No I still say failing school even if the Mayor, Chancellor, and state legislature want to call it a struggling school. A failure is still a failure no matter what you call it, and mayoral control should be ended. There needs to be accountability where there has been none the past fourteen years.
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.