Experts Wanted! Bloomberg Panel Seeks Sage Advice

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Unsure whether the mayor’s push to overturn term limits in 2008 was right or wrong? Mark May 25th on your calendar. Hesitant to scrap party primaries? The answer might be at Lehman College.

The New York City Charter Revision Commission is about to start a second round of hearings that will narrow the list of changes the panel will consider. The 15-member commission could propose changes for voter approval this November or wait until 2011.

The schedule of hearings released Thursday follows a script that the commission approved earlier this week to allow the panel to hear expert testimony on five key areas of interest–term limits, voter participation, governing structure, land use and public integrity.

What’s not yet known is which experts will get the commission’s ear.

“The list of experts will be forthcoming; it’s still in formation,” commission spokesman Matt Gorton wrote in an email reply to questions. “[Commission] staff, in consultation with the commissioners, are lining up the experts.”

Given criticism that the commission has received to date for its speedy schedule of hearings, the choice of who to hear from could be a delicate one. The public, however, will have a chance to testify at each of the five hearings, which will occur across the five boroughs and be webcast.

The commission met on Monday, May 10 with leaders of past charter revision efforts. The issue hearings begin the following week:

  • Term limits: 6 p.m., Tuesday, May 25. Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon Street.
  • Voter participation: 6 p.m., Wednesday, June 2. Lehman College, Music Building, Faculty Dining Room, 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, The Bronx.

  • Government structure: 6 p.m., Thursday, June 10. Staten Island Technical High School, 485 Clawson Street.
  • Public integrity: 6 p.m., Wednesday, June 16. City College, 160 Convent Ave, Manhattan.
  • Land use: 6 p.m., Thursday, June 24. Flushing Branch, Queens Borough Public Library, 41-17 Main Street, Flushing.