Today’s Headlines

  • Captain Kight said that there was no clear solution to the underlying problem: the city must provide parking for officers

    I don’t think that assumption should go unquestioned. I’d like to see her a detailed study: do all the officers in the precinct drive to work, or only some? What are the reasons given that they “have to” drive, and do they all hold water?

  • It’s wrong for officers to park on the street and inconvenience taxpayers. It doesn’t matter that officers perform a valuable and dangerous service. We don’t let people break the law because it’s convenient. When was the last time you got a speeding ticket thrown out because you just HAD to get somewhere? If the NYPD needs parking they can get it on the street like everyone else. Why don’t they just commandeer an entire block of parking spots and have DOT put up special signs? I think the real problem here is that cops think cyclists are dirty hippies whose concerns deserve to be swept aside. Prove me wrong NYPD.

  • So they are cracking down on sidewalk bicycling, but Captain Knight excuses cars on the sidewalk? Police logic is not like our Earth logic.

  • same issue with FDNY (sidewalk parking, etc)
    seems like they feel its a birthright
    i think its disgusting

  • I know it’s not specifically related to any of the headlines today, but I’m officially confused about the new taxi surcharge that’s been proposed. Is the charge to be assessed to the cab drivers, or to the passengers? Why are the cab drivers up in arms? Why is there a notion that the charge would be difficult to collect, when (it seems to me) it could just be added in with the rest of the fare?

  • i guess any additional fees would cut down on people taking cabs, so their business would suffer

  • Boris

    NYT: “Meanwhile, the Senate’s reform provisions — ostensibly aimed at making the M.T.A. more transparent — look instead like a classic Albany power grab. They would give the Legislature power to appoint some members of the authority’s board and veto powers over capital projects — a dangerous recipe for political meddling.”

    The State doesn’t fund any MTA capital projects- how can it have veto power over them?

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    Actually Boris that piece is one of larger canards in the flock. The Assembly and the Senate already have a veto in the form of the Capital Plan Review Board. Rather than any true “reform” this is merely one more demonstration of the poorly formed legislation the Democratic majority had the stones to put forward here.

  • Larry Littlefield

    If I lived in the (suburban) locations where NYC police officers typically live, and worked in the (widely dispersed) locations where NYC police officers work, I’d drive to work too.

    What follows from that, of course, is a matter of opinion.

    What is a matter of fact is that the state legislature recently passed legislation allowing those residing in the suburbs to take NYC sanitation jobs over NYC’s objection, and allowing DC37 workers (the city’s biggest union) to live in the suburbs with the city’s consent. Police, fire, transit, and teachers (among others) from outside the city have long been allowed to take NYC government jobs, by state law.

    There are apparently no objections to suburban locations being allowed to bar NYC residents from their well paid public jobs. Perhaps if city residents rather than local residents were taking those jobs, their number wouldn’t be soaring.

  • Oscarfrye, I see what you mean about making people take cabs less, but I’m still not clear how there’s any difficulty in collection involved.

  • It’s because the taxi business keeps books the way the public believes the MTA does. I try to avoid both being hit by and taking taxis, but I hear the pressure to pay cab fares in cash—in spite of the ready availability and because of the ready accountability of credit card terminals in cabs—has gotten ridiculous.

  • Of course they want customers to pay in cash–all businesses have to pay a fee to the credit card companies in order to accept credit cards. It’s the same reason most businesses require a minimum purchase before they’ll let you charge it. Forcing them to accept credit cards was great for us but it’s a pay cut for them.

    Josh,

    The difficulty in collecting this $1 is–as I understand it–due to the fact that there is no infrastructure in place to keep track of fees that have to be turned over to the govt.

  • Ian Turner

    It’s not about the credit card processing fees, it’s about the income tax. Money paid by the processing company will be reported on form 1099, and from there become subject to income and self-employment taxes totalling 15-40%. Like waiters, it’s much easier for taxi drivers to deny the money that comes in by cash.

  • Yes, taxes are the dark matter of taxi cab conniptions over credit cards, which are vastly disproportionate in emotional energy to the actual credit card fees. I understand that the fees themselves suck, and I kind of respect that New York is the only place in the country where you get resistance from a merchant for using a credit card for less than $10. We ought to have a frictionless system of digital payment using smartcards, like civilized countries. But it is the way it is, and no one should have to get attitude or even be kicked out of a cab (these are the rumors) for using the only non-cash option available. Tax evasion is not cool, I don’t care who is doing it or how much they’re paid. We have a progressive tax system and if people that are low on the scale would be a little more politically engaged and less criminally engaged it could be much more to their advantage.

    But bridge tolls are the pertinent solution. Charge it to ezpass and ring it up on the meter, the money goes right from the passenger to our funding-starved public transportation. We can fight to save our criminalized immigrant underclass some other day.

  • Larry: “What is a matter of fact is that the state legislature recently passed legislation allowing those residing in the suburbs to take NYC sanitation jobs over NYC’s objection, and allowing DC37 workers (the city’s biggest union) to live in the suburbs with the city’s consent. Police, fire, transit, and teachers (among others) from outside the city have long been allowed to take NYC government jobs, by state law. There are apparently no objections to suburban locations being allowed to bar NYC residents from their well paid public jobs…”

    I’ve always thought that the lack of a residency requirement for any city job is an outrage. And we wonder why our cops illegally park their cars like suburban boors! We’re startled when they blame the victim in car-on-ped violence.

    Why no press coverage of the latest jobs grab in sanitation and DC37? Why isn’t this issue on the lips of every elected official in the city? Why shouldn’t this become the single most discussed issue in the next mayoral campaign? And finally, where the hell did the state get the power to dictate residency rules for city employment? Somebody please explain this to me.

    Inter-regional rivalry has always been with us but now it’s literally become a war for dwindling resources. I want my electeds to get out from behind their placards and start fighting for the survival of our city.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “I’ve always thought that the lack of a residency requirement for any city job is an outrage.”

    That can be argued either way. What is hard to defend are state laws that allow residents of the suburbs to take government jobs in NYC, while allowing suburban jurisdictions to exclude city residents from comparable positions. The message — these jobs are plums, not work, and city residents don’t get plums.

    “Why no press coverage of the latest jobs grab in sanitation and DC37?”

    The coverage was extensive.

    Bloomberg objected to the Sanitation deal, and the press covered both his objection and the legislature’s passage.

    The Mayor subsequently cut a deal with DC37 to allow them to live elsewhere, but the Council held it up for years before passing an ordinance that allowed DC37 members to move outside the city, but required that they be city residents when hired. It’s one of the more progressive stances they’ve taken IMO, but they ultimately caved. DC37 was really going after them.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “And finally, where the hell did the state get the power to dictate residency rules for city employment? Somebody please explain this to me.”

    From NYC. In the late 1950s and 1960s, the sort of folks who controlled city government were moving out. Then-Mayor Wagner cut a deal to allow the middle class city workers — cops, teachers, firefighters, transit workers –to leave, passing home rule legislation asking the state to make it illegal for the city (but no other locality) to have a residency requirement. I forget the name of the law. This kept those professions White while the city increasingly was not.

    Wagener, who also invented deferred maintenance, also got a lower raise to balance one budget as part of the deal. The suburbs didn’t want the other unions at the time, I’d guess.

    That group subsequently abandoned the city in droves.

    After the city was broke, Koch got an ordinance that required any city worker to pay the city income tax no matter where they lived, as part of their condition for employment. But teachers were and are exempt, because they weren’t (and aren’t) considered city employees. I’m not sure about NYCTransit workers. The cops and firefighters are always fighting for a state law to take that away.

  • Thanks Larry, always an education.

  • Niccolo Machiavelli

    Land of the Blind rule for Larry’s stuff on this issue. Truth is that the relatively low wage mass of DC 37 members can’t afford to live in the city, that was the driving element of their deal. Same with the cops. When you start at $35,000 where, exactly, are you supposed to live in the city. With your parents apparently. I agree that the suburbs are economic and political parasites on the city but dooming their members to live in neighborhoods most of you wouldn’t ride your bikes through was easy to overcome in collective bargaining.

  • Larry Littlefield

    “I agree that the suburbs are economic and political parasites on the city but dooming their members to live in neighborhoods most of you wouldn’t ride your bikes through was easy to overcome in collective bargaining.”

    As I said, whether or not city employees should be required to live in the city is debatable. The question is, how are suburban muncipalities permitted to bar city residents for their ever-expanding number of government jobs at the same time?

    And there is a price to having city employees live outside the city. One of the issue NYC faced in the 1990s was teacher turnover — good teachers moving to jobs in the suburbs as soon as they knew what they were doing, leaving the city with a revolving door of incompetent new recruits.

    Well I know lots of teachers, and none of them moved to the suburbs. Why? Because it would make their commute shorter instead of longer.

    So what happens when the blizzard hits and all the sanitation workers live 50 miles away. Will they demand to go on duty before the snow falls and hang out for 15 hours on the clock, otherwise they won’t be able to get here? My response to that is that the city should stop paying overtime to plow side streets. Pay local kids to shovel them instead, even if it is more money.

  • Larry Littlefield

    BTW, I can’t think of any city neighborhoods I wouldn’t ride a bike through, at least during the day. I’ve been all over the city. There are some I wouldn’t park my car in, however.