Author Archive

Process Servers Feeling the Heat of City Crackdown

Written by Kristen Meriwether on . Posted in News

For 29 years Maureen Mintzer and her husband have owned a small process serving agency in New York City. This month she must renew her license, a ritual she has performed every two years for almost three decades. But this year there is a little hesitation. It is not that Mintzer has grown tired of a business where chasing down citizens to serve them court documents is a normal occurrence. The problem is that the paperwork has become a killer.… [More]

Council Member Item Reform Easier Said Than Done

Written by Kristen Meriwether on . Posted in Blog, Budget/Taxes, Daily, Features, Government Operations, Latest, News, Social Services

For years, Council members have cried foul at the discretionary funding process. They argued the funding was used as a reward by the Speaker, leaving those that disagree without adequate money for their district.   “When Council members are afraid to vote their conscience or advocate for their constituents because they fear the funding to their district will be cut, the rules in the Council are not working,” said Councilman Brad Lander at City Hall on Monday. With a new… [More]

NYPD Promises More Transparency on TrafficStat

Written by Kristen Meriwether on . Posted in Features, Government Operations, Latest, News, News & Features, Technology, Transportation

As part of his continued push to increase transparency in the New York Police Department, Commissioner Bill Bratton announced on Tuesday that the department will open up TrafficStat to more city agencies. The reforms are aimed at meeting Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Vision Zero goal of zero traffic fatalities. TrafficStat was created in 1998 using the same model as CompStat, which tracks a wide range of crime statistics, including murder rates, shootings and rapes in a particular precinct, all of… [More]

Council Members Hail Promised End to “Budget Dance”

Written by Kristen Meriwether on . Posted in News

During his first preliminary budget announcement at City Hall on Wednesday, Mayor Bill de Blasio promised to put an end to the annual “budget dance.” The process had been a staple at City Hall for the last several years: former Mayor Michael Bloomberg would propose budget cuts, advocates would rally on the steps of City Hall, and soon enough the New York City Council would direct a chunk of its discretionary money to restore the funds. The restorations, however, were… [More]

Bratton Commits To Making NYPD Data More Accessible

Written by Kristen Meriwether on . Posted in News

Advocates and members of the tech community have often butted heads with the New York City Police Department over their closed data practices. But it appears that newly appointed NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton is committed to break down at least some of those barriers. During a speech at a Citizens Crime Commission breakfast in Midtown on Friday morning, Bratton highlighted the need for data transparency. That perspective is a marked shift in policy from how the NYPD operated under former… [More]

New York City’s Data is Open—But Not Always Accessible

Written by Kristen Meriwether on . Posted in Government Operations, Latest, News, Technology

It appeared the fight for government data was won on Feb. 29, 2012 when then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed the historic Open Data Policy into effect. But nearly two years later, the battle still rages on. The Open Data law was groundbreaking, forcing a flood of data that was once locked in city databases on to a government-sponsored portal that is free for anyone to access online. But as advocacy groups and city officials begin to use the data, it is… [More]

Patrolmen’s Union Not Giving Up Fight Despite Stop-And-Frisk Ruling

Written by Kristen Meriwether on . Posted in Blog, Daily, Features, Latest, News, Public Safety

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday the city will move to drop the appeal in the historic stop-and-frisk case. The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, which has fought changes in stop-and-frisk, said it will continue to explore legal avenues to protect their members from the remedies suggested in the court ruling. “We continue to have serious concerns about how these remedies will impact our members and the ability to do their jobs,”said PBA Patrick Lynch. “Our goal is to continue to… [More]

THE $10 BILLION QUESTION

Written by Kristen Meriwether on . Posted in Health Care, Spotlight

Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive budget address included an impassioned plea to Washington: Approve New York State’s Medicaid waiver, which has been sitting in D.C. for nearly 18 months, or risk the closure of at least three Brooklyn hospitals—and possibly more statewide. “We have been propping up the system, frankly, for about 18 months while we have been waiting for the waiver, but we need HHS to act on the waiver now,” Cuomo said during the Jan. 21 address. “It is… [More]

New York City Agency Voiced Past Concerns about Paid Sick Leave

Written by Kristen Meriwether on . Posted in Blog, Daily, Features, Government Operations, Health Care, Latest, News

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, along with Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, announced a proposal for expansion of the paid sick leave bill on Friday. Both expect the bill to breeze through committee hearings and be passed into law before April 1. The proposed bill would require five paid sick days per year for businesses with five or more employees. Similar to the watered-down version of the paid sick leave legislation that passed the Council in March of 2013, this bill… [More]

Slim Capital Budget Leaves de Blasio With Few Options

Written by Kristen Meriwether on . Posted in Blog, Budget/Taxes, Daily, Economic Development, Features, Government Operations, Latest, News

Mayor Bill de Blasio will have a year to submit his capital budget plan, which will set a road map for new infrastructure projects during his term. That plan, however, will not come without challenges, some of which were discussed at an infrastructure panel hosted by the General Contractors Association of New York at Fordham University on Monday. De Blasio spent much of the last year touting the need for a tax on the wealthy to pay for pre-kindergarten and… [More]