State of the City

Friday, February 13, 2009

New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, on how the city will weather the recession.


Christine Quinn

Comments [30]

Jeniqua Collins from Manhattan

This City (and state for that matter) is a complete disaster. We have politicians who refuse to realize that the size of the city government needs to be completely overhauled. We cannot keeping taxing people out. They'll claim to tax the rich, but the tax base will come from you and me to support the waste. And as more people leave, especially the ones being taxes who are highly mobile, we will shoulder more of the burden. Including property tax, I now pay over 56% of my income to taxes thanks to NYC and NYS and I am no millionaire. I am basically being forced out of my home by the latest property tax increase alone.

Feb. 13 2009 02:44 PM
eastvillage from nyc

#25 Leo--Yeah, sarcasm is difficult to get through on these forums. I agree with your assessment that Bloomy-Quinn will liekly do little to help the citizens who need it, for whatever reason. I'm really interested to see if Quinn supports Bloomy, who I understand promised her $$ for her run in return for supporting the 3rd term push, if Bloomy runs as a Republican. We also have to hold the media responsible for not reporting on all the signs of econonomic collapse with the urgency they did when they all basically supported GWBush's Iraq war. it sure seems that Quinn is in the pocketes of some real estate folks if she now wants to buy their overpriced poorly built condos/coops. And affordable housing the way the city gauges is so ridiculously you quality only if you already qualify for food stamps.

Feb. 13 2009 11:06 AM
A Listener in Chicago

[[[23] vicky from new york February 13, 2009 - 10:33AM I am still irked by the fact that the 2009 tax rebates did not take into account Cost of Living adjustments across the country. Friends in Chicago who make $120,000 a year and have a much higher standard of living...received $1,200 - $1,600 rebate last year. My cost of living is TWICE that of Chicago...i received no rebate, and make less than them! If you make $100,000 a year in Manhattan, you can make $50,000 in Chicago and maintain the same standard of living. Why does everyone else get rebates except Manhattanites who already spend more than everyone else and get less for it?]]


Feb. 13 2009 10:57 AM
Brian Shumon from Staten Island

Are you kidding about NYC vs. DC? I am a federal worker in NYC and I am in DC often. In fact I will be there again next week. No comparison. Once you have seen a few museum exhibits, etc. DC is so BORING. In fact, I have a better time in Alexandria Va. for the restaurants. I could get a promotion in my job by moving to DC, but no way. Thanks.


Feb. 13 2009 10:55 AM
hjs from 11211

cancel the election(what's the point if incumbents always win) sell the office to prince michael.

Feb. 13 2009 10:53 AM
Leo from Queens

#23 - EastVillage - I completely agree with you. I was trying to be sarcastic (it did not work! ). You are correct. They used fear to claim that only they could guide the city through this crisis knowing that they control the media. yet they have not provided any solutions to solve some of the City's structural problems. My point too is that even if they do, they will not implement them as they are going to be campaigning. IF they were not running for reelection and really cared for the future of the City they would have had a full 15 months to implement real good ideas and make tough decisions to set the groundwork for the next administration.

Feb. 13 2009 10:50 AM


welcome home!

Feb. 13 2009 10:44 AM
eastvillage from nyc

#13 The point about the term limits is she and Bloomberg overrode two voter decisions in favor of term limits on the grounds that we were in an emergency situation that required continuity in government. Hence, they were quite confident, given historical trends, that as incumbents they would win re-election, especially given Bloomberg's ability to saturate the media. They used fear to undermine democracy, as so many have pointed. That's one reason not to trust Q.

Feb. 13 2009 10:35 AM
vicky from new york

I am still irked by the fact that the 2009 tax rebates did not take into account Cost of Living adjustments across the country. Friends in Chicago who make $120,000 a year and have a much higher standard of living...received $1,200 - $1,600 rebate last year. My cost of living is TWICE that of Chicago...i received no rebate, and make less than them! If you make $100,000 a year in Manhattan, you can make $50,000 in Chicago and maintain the same standard of living. Why does everyone else get rebates except Manhattanites who already spend more than everyone else and get less for it?

Feb. 13 2009 10:33 AM
jj from nyc

Paying $8K in taxes does not mean that you are "doing very well."

Feb. 13 2009 10:31 AM
Leo from Queens

What is really bitter about listening to Ms. Quinn is that she and the mayor claimed that they had to do away with term limits because they were the only ones qualified to guide the City through this crisis. The funny thing is that they had a full 15 months (End of 2008 and all of 2009) to do the right thing for the City for the long term and pass on control to new people with new ideas.

All I hear is more of the same and some pandering for things she refused to do for the past 8 years. Aside from fleecing the middle and working class, do Ms. Quinn and Mr. Bloomberg have any ideas? Will they change our fiscal policy so that the City does not depend on the 'bonuses' from the thiefs on Wall St. in coming up with its budget?
There are HUNDREDS of cities in this country that have a sound fiscal policy. How come others can do it?

Feb. 13 2009 10:28 AM
A Listener in Chicago

10:25AM, what she's talking about is not cutting government SPENDING, she's talking about cutting government WASTE and BLOAT.

Feb. 13 2009 10:26 AM
Eric from Park Slope

The city is happy to back the use of eminent domain to benefit private developers -- Atlantic Yards, Columbia U., Willets Point -- so why not use eminent domain to seize those unfinished condos for low- and middle-income housing. The lack of affordable housing is a crisis -- why not use eminent domain for good instead of bad for once?

Feb. 13 2009 10:25 AM

Speaker Quinn, I have an issue with NYC housing I dont know if your are aware of the fact that people that fill out housing applications are being dropped fron the rolls after three years and are not being informed that after three years of being on the list if you are not called during this time. They want you to fill out another application if you dont, and are not aware you have been on the list for three years. you are being dropped off the list.

Feb. 13 2009 10:23 AM

Re: Luxury housing conversion proposal:

Every luxury high rise that went up, every jacuzzi getting sold at Home Depot, over the last decade I muttered under my breath, "go for it, big spender, one of you suckers is building my future dream home." Ideally the free market would take care of this. The problem is that in general developers will go in and strip out that copper, resell those marble countertops and just move to Florida, with the retarded investment bankers. The plus of the Gumment getting involved is to keep the units intact.

Feb. 13 2009 10:23 AM
David from Manhattan

Ask Ms. Quinn about HER subsidized housing. When Is she going to give up her rent stabilized apartment?

Also, her idea to buy condos from developers is the dumbest idea I have ever heard in my life. I can't believe we are even entertaining the possibility.

Feb. 13 2009 10:21 AM
hjs from 11211

the police arrest system works so inefficiently, one recent shoplifting arrest for $20 in make-up lead to 12 hours of overtime do the paperwork etc.

Feb. 13 2009 10:20 AM
Leo from Queens

#4 EastVillage - If you don't like her support for doing away with term limits you will have a chance to vote her and the other weasels out in November. THis has been Ms Quinn and Mr. Bloombergs talking point in defense of subverting the wishes of the electorate.

She does not mention that in most cases most of the City council runs unopposed and that any challenger will not get a fair hearing in NYC's media as the owners are buddies with Bloomberg

Feb. 13 2009 10:20 AM
Lou S from central NJ

Posing the issue as "a public school principal"
vs Madoff is like posing an issue on welfare as between some notorious welfare cheater vs a "hard working seretary".

Feb. 13 2009 10:18 AM
lulu from manhattan

In Nov 2006 under Quinn's leadership the council gave itself a 25% raise to over $100,000. This is unconscionable, especially when police officers salaries in the city start at just above $40,000, so many others are struggling now. Will the city council give back any of that raise?

Feb. 13 2009 10:17 AM
Leo from Queens


Can you ask Ms. Quinn why the CIty Council has been submissive and looking the other way as City agencies continue to shakedown regular citizens and small businessmen with fines and fees which constitute illegal taxes that drain an average family an average of $400-$500 in extra unplanned taxes? (Crimes range from riding a bike to driving your mother to the hospital to not quickly picking up the litter dropped by a litter pig as you were away working)

She claims that she will streamline the process for small businesses to operate in the City, but hasn't it been the policy of the City to make it as difficult as possible for small businesses to survive in order to provide an opening for national chains? Will the City council begin to communicate directly to the people directly affected by the regulations and laws passed by the City COuncil?

Feb. 13 2009 10:17 AM
dickfrommountkisco from mount kisco

Christine Quinn ignores the fact that moving to New JErsey from NYC results in a reduced tax. It is the height of stupidity to extrapolate an increase in a lower tax state tax rate to apply to New York. Further this takes time. I worked for a company which relocated much of its white collar work force to Florida and Texas because it costs less to live there. It took over 5 years to make the move after the decision was made. Ms. Quinn is in Lala Land.

Feb. 13 2009 10:17 AM
Hugh from Crown Heights

Regarding property taxes, I personally know people in the Hudson Valley region who pay _more_ in property taxes on houses worth around $200,000 than do people (whom I also know personally) living in Park Slope Brooklyn living in houses worth $2 or $3 million. Many of these mansions in the five boroughs have not seen a reassessment of value for tax purposes in decades because the owners take great care to avoid a reassessment through major renovation, etc.

Feb. 13 2009 10:16 AM
Charles from Bklyn

Council speaker Quinn is not believable when she talks about fairness. Under her leadership, she has pushed self serving legislation for wealthy developers, her supporters, and party loyalists. Now she comes to the public and asks us to trust her words on fairness. No offense, but along with the mayor, she is attempting to control the city for her benefit and her supporters. We need to vote the Bloomberg 29 out of office,(all those who supported the repeal of term limits), and find some new officials who not only talk about fairness, but consistently act with fairness.

Feb. 13 2009 10:16 AM
Hugh from Crown Heights

There are 70 billionaires in New York State, all but 4 or 5 of them in the five boroughs. They run the gamut from Michael Bloomberg, worth $20 billion, to Sanford Weill, worth about $1.3 billion.

Their combined worth is _over_ $160 billion! A one-time surcharge of just 10% would leave each of them a billionaire and would net the city something like $16 billion.

Feb. 13 2009 10:13 AM
Rich from Staten Island

What about re-structuring the pension plans for NYC workers? They should start contributing to health coverage? What about re-structuring NYC government - why do we have Borough Presidents and the numerous support staff. Instead of the BP salary at $160K annually, why not just a Mayoral appointee for a City Manager type position at half the salary?

Feb. 13 2009 10:13 AM
eastvillage from nyc

I was a big supporter of Quinn. But she supported all the high end building, then she supports the Bloomberg 3rd term initiative. Now she is saying "no one" could have predicted the economic collapse, centered on Wall St. That's not true at all. There were many people Nouriel Roubini for one, Paul Krugman for another. Both of whom warned for years that our fiscal policy and system was rotten. She speaks all the right policy, but she can't be trusted for the reasons mentioned.

Feb. 13 2009 10:11 AM

Quinn's pandering would be laughable if the city wasn't in such dire straits thanks to her and Bloomberg. Now they're talking about laying off teachers, cops, and firefighters while she wants to take taxpayer money to bail out the greedy developers they have been kowtowing to with tax abatements and zoning variances for the last eight years. Don't be fooled--this isn't about affordable housing, it's another giveaway to the real estate industry.

Feb. 13 2009 10:11 AM
Hugh from Crown Heights

Why would a city council member in New York City know anything about a crash in Buffalo?

Why don't you ask why Quinn saw fit to violate the basic principles of democracy by ramming down our throats a reversal of our twice-voted determination to limit terms?

Feb. 13 2009 10:09 AM
Mike from Bellport

I'd like to know how the City is going to cope when all the film business leaves NY because it doesn't have any tax incentive money. The film tax incentive brings billions of dollars to NY and is a hugely effective stimulus for the NY economy. How could Albany even consider shutting this down?

Feb. 13 2009 09:39 AM

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