New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Sally Goldenberg

Politico [L]eadership frustrated city officials, developers (Excerpt) by Joe Anuta, Janaki Chadha, Sally Goldenberg

[L]eadership frustrated city officials, developers (Excerpt)

During his tenure, the Manhattan lawmaker approached routine, sparsely attended land use hearings somewhat like courtroom dramas — grilling housing agency officials and other applicants for details on financing, affordability levels and benefits awarded to workers on a given site and chastising them when they couldn’t provide answers...

Politico Land use fight continues over proposed Upper East Side tower by Sally Goldenberg

Land use fight continues over proposed Upper East Side tower

As City Councilman Ben Kallos greeted constituents during an Easter egg hunt in Sutton Place Park two years ago, a resident approached him to discuss a less benign matter: Word had spread that a developer intended to build a luxury skyscraper on nearby East 58th Street.

He handed Kallos a nine-page packet of marketing materials prepared by Cushman & Wakefield.

"The Sutton Place Development is an ultra-luxury, as of right, ground up opportunity which will reach over 900 feet tall," the brochure boasted. It predicted the tower would be "an obvious choice for local and foreign buyers."

The councilman immediately notified the neighborhood paper, attended co-op board meetings and informed the local community board, which passed a resolution raising concerns about the plan.

And so began an unusual land use dispute that has outlived the previous developer, spanned two city planning commissioners and pitted a well-funded community group, East River Fifties Alliance, against the new developer and Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration.

Capital New York Mayor taps head of tax commission by Sally Goldenberg

Mayor taps head of tax commission

City Councilman Ben Kallos, who chairs the government operations committee, has repeatedly raised the issue of the vacancies at public hearings.

"I have identified years-long vacancies for half of the commissioners at the Tax Commission at multiple preliminary budget hearings and I have sought and extended a call for applicants at these public hearings," Kallos told Capital in an email.

Capital New York Council raises questions about transparency in budget by Sally Goldenberg

Council raises questions about transparency in budget

Other members presented specific concerns: Jumaane Williams was troubled by funding levels for the NYPD, Jimmy van Bramer complained of insufficient money allocated for libraries—which Fuleihan indicated would be altered in the revised capital budget—and Ben Kallos questioned the growth and overall cost of the city's debt.

Capital New York Campaign Finance Board wants earlier payments to candidates by Sally Goldenberg

Campaign Finance Board wants earlier payments to candidates

The New York City Campaign Finance Board will ask the City Council on Monday for sweeping changes to the rules governing the city's system of publicly financing candidates.

Chief among the proposed reforms is permission for the board to accelerate payments of matching funds to qualifying candidates. Specifically, the board is recommending a single payment in June, no earlier than four business days after the June 10 deadline for candidates to join the matching funds program.

Currently, candidates must be on the ballot in order to receive the 6-to-1 match from the board. Because the law prohibits payouts until challenges to petitions are settled and ballots are determined, those running for office cannot get matching funds until five weeks before the primary.

Capital New York City owed $1.5B in uncollected judgments by Sally Goldenberg

City owed $1.5B in uncollected judgments

Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras, who chairs the finance committee and requested the data during a budget hearing earlier this year, said she will introduce legislation in October with Councilman Ben Kallos that would require E.C.B. to report quarterly to the Council on fines that are issued by city agencies and adjudicated by the E.C.B. The information would also have to be made available to the public.

"As we have learned through nearly 100 hours spent in budget hearings, transparency is of the utmost importance when it comes to the oversight of our city's dollars," Ferreras said in a statement. "Clearly, these fines date far past our current administration. It should not take hearings and several weeks of inter-agency communication to retrieve this information; it should be readily available."