In today's NY Post, Michael Goodwin comments on the mayor's failed taxi medallion plan-and the consequence that it has for the city's budget shortfall. Goodwin lays the partial blame for this on Speaker Quinn-who turned down the mayor's concept forcing him to go to Albany for approval. This was ruled illegal-as the WSJ reports:
"New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday the city may be forced to lay off workers after a judge ruled that a plan to expand taxi service outside Manhattan is unconstitutional, a decision that could leave the city with a $1.46 billion hole in its budget.
Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Arthur Engoron ruled Friday that the plan violates the state constitution's "home rule" provisions, which protect cities from undue interference by state legislators. The taxi plan was enacted by the state Legislature after a failed attempt to get it through the City Council."
The Mighty Quinn, however, included the revenue from the Bloomberg plan in her approval of the last city budget-and sat by quietly while the mayor made his Albany end run. The lawyer who succeeded in quashing this effort was Randy Mastro-and Mastro had plenty to say about the Quinn double dealing. As he told Goodwin:
"Randy Mastro, a lead lawyer in the case that upended the plan to sell more taxi medallions, says city officials have only themselves to blame for the budget hole that’s spurring talk of layoffs. Mayor Bloomberg went to Albany for approval after the City Council turned down the plan because that’s “where his campaign-contribution dollars have bought him many friends,” Mastro charges.
The lawyer also faults City Council Speaker Christine Quinn for adopting a budget that included nearly $1 billion in revenue from the medallion sale, even as the council doomed the money with its rejection of the plan. “And where is Chris Quinn on this assault on her chamber’s authority? She’s once again hiding in silence in Bloomberg’s shadow,” Mastro says."
Here at WPU we certainly aren't shocked by the Quinn shucking and ducking. When the mayor started to do his extreme makeover at Willets Point we asked the council to re-visit the development as it began to resemble the Bride of Frankenstein after EDC had finished gutting all of the provisions that had sold the original deal. Her silence was-and continues to be-deafening.
Christine Quinn's principles no loner are recognizable from when she began her political career as an activist and organizer. Frankly she looked a lot better back than when she actually stood for something. She still has a chance to do this here at the Iron Triangle. The city has lied and altered-gotten rid of the affordable housing and the living wage pledges to come up with a mall for the Mets-with Related as a coincidental partner in the fiasco. Come on Chris, go back to the future and stand up for what's right-send this proposal packing and force EDC to re-start the land use process.