103019 NY NY Changing New York’s constitution
New York City is a big place. It has its own constitution. Other places have bylaws. New York City changes its constitution more often than the United States changes the US Constitution. New York City voters are considering these changes now and voting will be complete on election day.
Nineteen proposed changes to the Constitution are consolidated into five ballot questions. I will vote for all of them.
Ballot Question 1: Election changes
Adopt ranked voting for primaries and specials. (Voters rank their choices. Votes for lowest vote recipients are redistributed until there is a majority for one candidate. Eliminates run offs.)
Extend the time period between the existence of a vacancy and when a special election occurs
Reset timing for signature collection so that it occurs after city council districts have been redrawn after a census.
Ballot Question 1: Police Civilian Complaint Review Board
Increase the Board from 13 to 15, with new appointees, one appointed by the Public Advocaste, the other jointly by the Mayor and the City Council President.
Create a formula to ensure the Board has a sufficient budget.
Require a written explanation if the Police Commissioner does not follow the Board’s recommendation
All the Board to review the truthfulness of any statement made in an investigation.
Allow the Board to delegate powers to its Executive Director.
Ballot Question 3: Ethics and Government
Prohibit city elected officials from appearing as a lobbyist before an agency for two years instead of one.
Change the members of the Conflicts Board so that of two members appointed by the Mayor, one will be appointed by the Comptroller and one by the Public Advocate
Require that the Director of the Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprise Program report to the Mayor instead of the Deputy Mayor.
Require that the Mayor’s appointment of the City’s Corporation Counsel be approved by the City Council.
Ballot Question 4: City Budget
Subject to a revision in the state law, allow the creation of a “rainy day fund.”
Create a formula to set a minimum budget for the Public Advocate and the Borough Presidents.
Require the Mayor’s non property tax revenue estimate to be submitted six weeks earlier than is currently required
Require the Mayor to submit changes in the City’s financial plan to the City Council within 30 days of any change.
Ballot Question 5: Land Use
Review-mandated projects be required to submit plans to Community Boards at least 30 days prior to submission certification, allowing Community Boards to propose changes prior to certification.
Increase Community Board time for review-mandated projects from 60 to 90 days.