New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Rich Calder

New York Daily News P.C. Richard & Son says City Hall should be in the hot seat for their ‘Get Cool NYC’ program by Rich Calder

P.C. Richard & Son says City Hall should be in the hot seat for their ‘Get Cool NYC’ program

City officials claim P.C. Richard & Son failed to live up to its longtime slogan, “Richard IS Reliable,” by abruptly reneging on a nearly $10 million “emergency” contract in June to both supply and install 30,000 air conditioners in homes of low-income New Yorkers at least 60 years old by late July.

“P.C. Richard advertises itself as being reliable, but New York City couldn’t rely on them in our time of need,” quipped Ben Kallos, Manhattan NYC Councilman who chairs the Committee on Contracts.

However, company officials told the Daily News the deal went sour after just two weeks once P.C. Richard realized it could only install about 125 a day because most of the information city agencies provided for scheduling work was wrong and led to big delays. They claim the misinformation included providing the chain with faulty addresses and phone numbers for residents getting the units as well as assigning air conditioner models to homes that were not compatible.

New York Post NYC Council holds first online meeting 5 weeks after coronavirus shutdown by Rich Calder

NYC Council holds first online meeting 5 weeks after coronavirus shutdown

The City Council met remotely Wednesday for the first time in its 82-year history — ending its five-week shutdown in response to the coronavirus.

The meeting, aired live on the Council’s website, was attended by 50 members — including seven who said they had recovered from the disease over the past month.

“The entire city has had to adjust daily to this ever-changing crisis in ways we never imagined,” said Council Speaker Corey Johnson — speaking from his boyfriend’s house in Brooklyn.

“Certainly, our predecessors 82 years ago never imagined a remote stated meeting.

“The Council is proud to practice social distancing while continuing to pass legislation to improve the lives of New Yorkers. We’re looking forward in the weeks to come to holding remote stated meetings and introducing bills that are critical to coping with this crisis and its aftermath.”

At all times, the video feed included 25 council members or lawyers, who would rotate in and out of boxed screens as they were called for vote or speak.

Some like Justin Brannan (D-Brooklyn) sat in from his Bay Ridge district office, while others like Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) voted from home, occasionally petting his cat nearby. Councilman Chaim Deutch (D-Brooklyn) appeared to be the only legislator outdoors during the meeting, at one point even sporting a protective mask.

New York Post Councilman: NASCAR is more transparent than New York politicians by Rich Calder

Councilman: NASCAR is more transparent than New York politicians

A Manhattan lawmaker says NASCAR provides more information about its sponsors than politicians do about their contributors, so he’s introducing legislation that would require pie charts showing where each candidate in a city race gets their money.

Councilman Ben Kallos said his bill would yield the “most transparent” information ever for voters in New York City.

The information would be easily readable in pie chart form and delineate special interest contributions, including contributions from real estate developers and lobbyists. The data would be made available by the city’s Campaign Finance Board, both online and in official voter guides mailed before elections to all voters.

New York Post New bill would ban soda as default drink in kids’ meals by Rich Calder

New bill would ban soda as default drink in kids’ meals

Kids who enjoy soda with their happy meals might not be too sweet about a new bill approved by the City Council on Thursday.

The legislation drafted by Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) makes water, milk and 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice the “default beverage option” in all kids’ meals served at restaurants.

Kallos said his bill’s goal is to tackle childhood obesity.

“Healthy drinks with kid’s meals will be the new normal in New York City no matter where our kids are eating,” he said.

The new law is not an outright ban. Parents could still request soda or other sugary beverages when placing their order.

It would apply to all restaurants that serve kids’ meals.

Unlike former Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s failed attempt to ban sales of large sodas at food outlets and movie theaters, the bill has the support of the American Beverage Association.

New York Post De Blasio isn’t sold on proposed sugar law for chain restaurants by Rich Calder

De Blasio isn’t sold on proposed sugar law for chain restaurants

The de Blasio administration is sour on legislation that would require chain restaurants to list products with added sugar because it could be difficult to enforce, a city official said Monday.

New York Post Bill would require NYC developers to disclose relationships with politicians by Rich Calder

Bill would require NYC developers to disclose relationships with politicians

Developers who want to do business with the city would be required to publicly disclose previous relationships with government officials under a bill being introduced Wednesday at the City Council.

“Well-connected developers should not be getting sweetheart deals on the taxpayers’ dime,” said Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan), the bill’s sponsor.

Under the bill, the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development would be required to give the Council the “compliance package” submitted by prospective developers for mandatory background checks.

New York Post City Council wants to ban soda from fast-food kids’ meals by Rich Calder

City Council wants to ban soda from fast-food kids’ meals

The proposed legislation – sponsored by Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) — isn’t an outright ban since it allows parents to request soda or other sugary beverages when placing their order.

“We want our kids to have access to healthy choices, and the default beverage options under this bill supports that goal,” said Johnson.

New York Post NYC’s free public Wi-Fi kiosks aren’t making much money by Rich Calder

NYC’s free public Wi-Fi kiosks aren’t making much money

City Councilman Ben Kallos (D – Manhattan), a software developer who previously raised concerns about some of the existing kiosks not working properly, was flabbergasted after learning about the amended contract.

“If [CityBridge] is not going to have to make millions of dollars of its payments for a decade, then they should build all the kiosks now,” he said. “They shouldn’t be getting an extra two years.”

New York Post It’s getting expensive to ship NYC’s garbage to landfills by Rich Calder

It’s getting expensive to ship NYC’s garbage to landfills

“Over the next few years, however, as the remaining stations begin to operate, the city’s per-ton waste export costs will likely continue to be higher than the existing short-term contracts they replace.”

The IBO findings distressed one city official.

“New York City is just throwing money in the trash by building marine transfer stations,” said City Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan).

But Sanitation Department spokesman Vito Turso said the waste transfer stations and other city investments in rail and barge-based waste export “take trucks off the road, improving air quality and slashing greenhouse gas emissions.”

New York Post Board of Elections seeks $1.3M for cybersecurity measures by Rich Calder

Board of Elections seeks $1.3M for cybersecurity measures

His request comes after US intelligence and law enforcement agencies released a January report in the final days of the Obama administration that found the Russian government employed cyberattacks to undermine Hillary Clinton and boost Donald Trump.

Considering the request for additional funding, Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan), the committee chair, asked Ryan why he isn’t taking up de Blasio on an offer for an extra $20 million provided the agency agrees to a series of reforms, including establishing a blue-ribbon panel to identify failures.

Ryan cited “philosophical” differences with the administration for not taking the money.