Difference between revisions of "New York, New York"

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Line 2: Line 2:
|Image =File:Seal of New York.png
|Image =Seal of New York.png
|City =New York
|City =New York
|State =New York
|State =New York

Revision as of 18:33, 24 April 2014

New York, New York
Seal of New York.png
General information
Bill de Blasio.png
Mayor:Bill de Blasio
Last mayoral election:2013
Next mayoral election:2017
Last city council election:2013
Next city council election:2017
City council seats:51
2014-2015 FY Budget:$73,000,000,000
City website
Composition data
Population in 2013:8,337,000
Gender:51.5% Female
Race:White 71.2%
White Not-Hispanic 57.6%
African American 17.5%
Asian 8.0%
Native American 1.0%
Pacific Islander 0.1%
Two or More 2.2%
Ethnicity:Hispanic 18.2%
Median household income:$57,683
High school graduation rate:84.9%
College graduation rate:32.8%
Related New York offices
New York Congressional DelegationNew York State LegislatureNew York state executive offices
New York is a city in New York and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. Based on 2012 statistical data, New York is the largest city in the United States.[1] New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and entertainment. The home of the United Nations Headquarters, New York is an important center for international affairs and is widely deemed the cultural capital of the world. The city is also referred to as New York City or the City of New York to distinguish it from the state of New York, of which it is a part.

Located on a large natural harbor on the Atlantic coast of the Northeastern United States, New York City consists of five boroughs: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island.

Office of the Mayor

Bill de Blasio is the current Mayor of New York.[2] de Blasio served on the District 15 School Board, New York City Council and as New York City Public Advocate.[3]

Former mayors

The mayor prior to de Blasio was Michael Bloomberg. He was elected to his first term in November, 2001. Upon entering office, Mayor Bloomberg took control of the city's school system, removing power from the school district.[4] Mayor Bloomberg won an unprecedented third term in November, 2009, after the City Council eliminated term limits that would have limited his time in office to two, four-year terms.[5] Bloomberg was estimated by Forbes Magazine to possess a net worth of $17.5 billion.[6][7]

City Council

New York City's legislative body is the City Council, made up of 51 members from 51 council districts in the five boroughs. The Council's duties include monitoring the operation and performance of city agencies and making land use decisions. It has sole responsibility for approving the city's budget, legislates on a wide range of other subjects. The Council is an equal partner with the Mayor in the governing of New York City. Most council work is achieved in committees. Proposed legislation is first considered in committee. Each council member serves on at least three committees, and assignments are made by the Committee on Rules, Privileges and Elections and voted on by the entire Council.[8]

A full list of City Council members can be found here.

A Council Speaker is elected by the entire body, and the position of Minority Leader is chosen by the members of the next largest party.[8] The current speaker is Melissa Mark-Viverito.

There are 37 council committees: Aging, Civil Rights, Civil Service & Labor, Community Development, Consumer Affairs, Contracts, Cultural Affairs, Economic Development, Education, Environmental Protection, Finance, Fire & Criminal Justice, General Welfare, Government Operations, Health, Higher Education, Housing & Buildings, Immigration, Juvenile Justice, Land Use, Mental Health, Parks, Oversight & Investigations, Public Housing, Public Safety, Recovery and Resiliency, Rules, Privileges, and Elections, Sanitation, Small Business, Standards & Ethics, State & Federal Legislation, Technology, Transportation, Veterans, Waterfronts, Women's Issues, Youth Services. Each council member serves on at least three committees. Committees are required to meet at least once per month.[9]


The budget for fiscal year 2014 totals $73 billion, and includes the restoration of funds for many schools, libraries, and social programs. Council members voted 49-1 to approve the budget, which was negotiated between Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Speaker Christine Quinn after nearly $60 million in concessions from teacher unions. The budget taps a $3.6 billion surplus from the previous fiscal year as well as $700 million from a retiree health benefit trust. Expenditures are 4.6% higher than the previous year's budget. Deficits for the years 2013 and 2014 are still expected to remain around $5 billion. It included no new taxes.[10]

The City's budget process operates by Fiscal Years running from July 1 to June 30 of the next year. The City Charter gives responsibility for drafting an expense and capital budget to the Mayor. These budgets must then be submitted to the City Council for review and approval. City budgets are made up of several parts. The expense budget lays out proposed operating appropriations, as well as debt service. The capital budget sets proposed appropriations for four years of capital projects. A revenue budget must lay out estimated city revenues. The city is required to maintain a balanced budget according State law accounting practices.[11]

Public employees

Elected officials

Public Advocate

New York City residents elect a public advocate to serve as a watchdog of the city. The Public Advocate is an ex-oficio member of all City Council committees, with the power to introduce legislation. The current Public Advocate is Bill De Blasio.[12]

City Comptroller

The City Comptroller serves as the city's Chief Financial Officer. The Comptroller acts as an advisor to other elements of the City government, manages the assets of the city's pension funds, audit agencies, performs budget analysis, and registers proposed contracts. The current Comptroller is John C. Liu, who took office in 2010.[13]

Administrative officials

A list of key members of the Bloomberg administration can be found here. A full list of city agencies can be found here.


Employee salaries are posted online by The Empire Center. In 2009, the ten largest annual employee salaries in the city ranged from $311,907 to $234,269.[14]

In 2011, it was reported that one city sewer engineer was paid a total $775,000 in 2010. The payment came as a result of a wage settlement with the city, on top of his salary of $109,850 a year as well as $173,000 in overtime pay. The absence of an agreement between the city and sewer engineers since 1995 resulted in retroactive pay hikes once an agreement was made in 2009. After the pay hikes, six other Department of Environmental Protection employes received over $700,000 in pay. Thirteen made over $600,000, and 47 earned between $400,000 and $600,000.[15]


City public employees currently do not contribute to their healthcare costs. If they were to contribute 10 percent, which state workers contribute, the city would save nearly $1 billion annually.[16]


See also: New York public pensions


New York City public pension plan NYC’s earned a 1.37 percent return on investments in the last fiscal year, well below the expected return of 8 percent.[17] The failure could cost taxpayers up to $1.5 billion to cover the costs.[18]


According to a 2010 report published at Northwestern University, New York City is one of the ten municipalities with the largest amount of unfunded pension liabilities. Nationwide there is $574 billion in unfunded pension liabilities for local pension plans, and this is in addition to the $3 trillion in debt facing state-sponsored pension plans.[19] The report states that the pension plans could be out of money as early at 2025.[19]

In 2010, it was revealed that in 14 cases the city continue to pay pensions to deceased public employees, which totaled to more than $450,000 in pension fraud.[20]

(number of plans)
Liabilities, Stated Basis, June ’09 ($B) Liabilities (ABO), Treasury Rate Net Pension Assets ($B) Unfunded Liability ($B) Unfunded Liability / Revenue Unfunded Liability per Household ($)
NYC (5) 155.8 214.8 92.6 122.3 276% 38,886


NYC Lobbyist Search is an online, searchable database maintained by the city that contains information about all lobbyists registered with the City of New York and their clients.[21]

Transparency and public records

The New York City police retirement system recently denied a Freedom of Information request made by The Empire Center for the names of city retirees receiving pension payments. While all other city pension funds complied, the police fund argued that names of retired officers should be withheld for security reasons. The police fund's actions were endorsed by Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Carol Huff in a recent decision.[22]

In 2009, the city Comptroller's office set up "Clearview," a website containing access to information about City contracts. It contains information on more than 90,000 contracts, and is updated nightly.[23]

As part of a new City Council initiative to increase accountability, initiatives and programs receiving budget funding under Schedule C classification will contain an indication of the sponsoring city council member.[24]

Street signs

The city is being forced to replace all its street signed because of a new regulation by the Department of Transportation which says the city needs a new font and not to use all capital letters. The renovation will cost the city $27.3 million.[25]

Website evaluation

See also: Evaluation of New York city websites
Budget Y
600px-Yes check.png
Meetings Y
600px-Yes check.png
Elected Officials Y
600px-Yes check.png
Administrative Officials P
Permits, zoning Y
600px-Yes check.png
Audits Y
600px-Yes check.png
Contracts Y
600px-Yes check.png
Lobbying N
600px-Red x.png
Public Records Y
600px-Yes check.png
Local Taxes Y
600px-Yes check.png

School district websitesGuide.png
Transparency grading process

The good

  • Current and past budgets are available through the City Council's webpage.[26]
  • Council meeting schedules, agendas, and meetings are available.[27]
  • Contact information is available for the Mayor; names and contact information are available fir City Council members on individual webpages.[28][29]
  • Phone and fax numbers are provided for some Administrative Officials.[30]
  • Zoning and permitting information is available through the Department of City Planning.[31]
  • Current and past audits are posted.[32]
  • City contracts are posted and information regarding procurement is available.[33][34]
  • Freedom of Information Law request form is available, along with contact information for the Freedom of Information Office.[35]
  • Local tax information is available for businesses.[36]

The bad

  • Telephone numbers and email addresses are not provided for all administrative officials.
  • Information is not provided on the City's lobbying activities.

See also

External links


  1. United States Census Bureau, "American Fact Finder," accessed April 24, 2014
  2. New York City, "Office of the Mayor," accessed April 24, 2014
  3. Office of the Mayor, "Bio," accessed April 24, 2014
  4. Biography
  5. "Bloomberg Wins Third NYC Mayor Term, Beats Comptroller Thompson," Bloomberg News, November 4, 2009
  6. "America's Top 10 Richest People," Forbes Magazine, October 19, 2009
  7. New York City, "Green Book - Mayors of the City of New York," accessed April 24, 2014
  8. 8.0 8.1 About the City Council
  9. New York City Council, "Committees," accessed April 24, 2014
  10. "New York City Council Approves $66 Billion 2012 Budget Restoring Teachers," Bloomberg News, June 29, 2011
  11. Budget Process and Calendar
  12. Role of the Public Advocate
  13. Comptroller
  14. Employee Salaries, City of New York, The Empire Center
  15. "City sewer engineer paid $775k in 2010, more than any NYC employee; thousands of workers get backpay," New York Daily News, September 6, 2011
  16. New York Post, City's unhealthy loss, Nov. 9, 2010
  17. NY Post, NYC pension funds big Liu-sors, Dec. 30, 2012
  18. CNBC, Why New York City's Pension Funds Fall Short of Market Gains, Dec. 31, 2012
  19. 19.0 19.1 MacIver Institute, City of Milwaukee Pension a Ticking Time Bomb According to Northwestern Study, Oct. 12, 2010
  20. New York Daily News, Fraud suspected as dead city retirees continue to collect pension checks, Sept. 27, 2010
  21. NYC Lobbyist Search
  22. "The public has every right to know the names of pensioners it pays," The New York Daily News, October 24, 2011
  23. Clearview Overview
  24. Budget Schedule C
  25. New York Daily News, New Yorkers outraged as bureaucrats order city to change lettering on every single street sign, Sept. 30, 2010
  26. Budget
  27. Calendar
  28. Contact the Mayor
  29. City Council
  30. Key Members of the Bloomberg Administration
  31. Department of City Planning
  32. Bureau of Audit
  33. The City Record Online
  34. Clearview
  35. Freedom of Information Law (FOIL))
  36. Taxes and Payments