By Robert Press
BRONX, NEW YORK, August 5- This past Thursday City Councilman G. Oliver Koppell and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (a candidate for mayor in 2013) held a luncheon at a local North Riverdale restaurant to hear from the local small business owners about how New York City and the Council are doing to help small businesses operate and grow.
Councilman Koppell opened the luncheon by saying that the City Council is not anti business. Current Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz (a possible candidate in 2013 for Koppell's term limited seat) was on hand, and said, “It seems that this is an area where new business wants to be,” and added, “you can see that in the two new shopping centers that are being built here.” Speaker Quinn thanked both elected officials, the roomful of business owners in attendance, and Mr. Andrew Sandler of Councilman Koppell's staff for arraigning the luncheon.
The Speaker was brief in her statement, and then opened the floor up to questions from the business owners. There were many questions asked that Speaker Quinn, Councilman Koppell, or Assemblyman Dinowitz tried to answer. Questions ranged from double parking, having a centralized database, the local repaving job done by the DOT, street vendors, break ins, and the local cityscape to name a few.
In answering the questions Speaker Quinn (looking very comfortable) said that she was not going to B.S. the audience. She agreed that the city needs to centralize its database which she is trying to do, but that it can not be done in all areas due to certain laws and regulations. Councilman Koppell said that the DOT has done a miserable job in its local repaving. Quinn in answering the street vendor question said that there was a task force that was created for Manhattan street vendors which may need to come to the area. Quinn said that the DOT can come to a location to survey on how to improve the local cityscape. The final question was about credit card companies charging fees on purchases, and also charging those fees on the taxes that are being collected. There was a little confusion on just who regulates that with Speaker Quinn saying that it was a matter for the federal government which regulates the credit card companies, and that she would check further into it. You can go to my blog at www.100percentbronx.blogspot.com for more and to see photos of the luncheon.
On the subject of the local street milling and repaving you can go to my blog to see how one street was left as the repaving was done, or should we say pushed back a day or more. It took one month from milling to the finishing of the repaving with less than 24 hour notice at times to move cars. We give the DOT a failing grade on this project as while the repaving is very good in most areas there are still places that will have to be redone. However, the way the city is going it is only a reflection of the entire Bloomberg administration slow and uncaring, something different we saw from Speaker Quinn (or was it just good campaigning).
If you have any comments about this column or would like to have an event listed or covered in this column or on my blog you can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 718-644-4199 Mr. Robert Press.