Board Directs Senate Canidate Fernando Tirado to Take Leave of Absence

Last night, during its final meeting before the summer hiatus, Community Board 7 held a closed-door executive session and voted overwhelmingly to direct District Manager Fernando Tirado to take a leave of absence while he runs for senate in the 33rd District.Tirado announced his candidacy in late May to the surprise of many of the board’s 30-plus volunteer members. Several board members expressed reservations about whether the board’s work as a non-partisan government agency might be compromised in some way by Tirado’s run for office. They asked Tirado to come up with a plan, in writing, for juggling both roles.Then, last night, the board sat down to discuss the matter and ultimately voted in favor of a measure that directed Tirado to take a leave effective tomorrow. The board also reserved the right to re-evaluate the situation periodically. Board member Ozzie Brown said 22 people voted for the measure, six voted against it, and three abstained.

Go Green Business Expo at the Botanical Gardens

Nearly 75 Bronx businesses gathered today at the Bronx Chamber of Commerce Go Green Business Expo at the New York Botanical Gardens. With the purpose of promoting, networking and having neighboring businesses join together, many companies had tables set up offering information on their business and what they offer.Opening statements were held by an energetic Larry Caro, President & CEO of the Bronx chamber, followed by words from the chairman, Joe Kelleher.”The whole incentive is to get businesses to do business with each other and show that the Bronx is still in business,” said Caro.In addition to the abundant amount of Bronx businesses present, NYC public advocate, Bill de Blasio addressed the attendees, as well as Greenpeace founder, Dr. Patrick Morton and the President of the Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation (BOEDC), Marlene Cintron. All expressed how honored they felt to be at the event.

Worries About E-Voting Persist As Primary Looms

Throughout New York State, county legislatures and election authorities have raised serious concerns about state and federal laws requiring them to replace lever machines with electronic systems before the September primaries. The advocacy group Election Transparency Coalition has a map showing over 20 counties that have passed resolutions or sent letters to the State Board of Elections opposing the transition. The election commissioners of Nassau County have filed a lawsuit to stop the transition to computerized machines on the grounds that the new machines are untested, faulty, owned by a corporate giant and prone to fraud. In New York City, however, the major concern is that changing the machines properly is going to be too expensive for the Board of Elections to afford amid budget cuts. George Gonzalez, the deputy executive director of the New York City Board of Elections, last month told a state Assembly committee that state and federal legislation is forcing the city to switch voting machines without providing “adequate financial and human resources” to implement the change.

Government Integrity Is Charter Panel's Focus

Mayor Bloomberg, at left, speaks in front of a giant Mayor Bloomberg, at right, during the 2009 campaign. Some public testimony to the Charter Revision Commission held that the mayor’s influence looms too large of the Conflict of Interest Board and other entities. Photo by: Jarrett Murphy

The charter commission hears from experts as it considers whether the city’s ethics monitors are sufficiently independent. By: Jarrett Murphy

During its first round of public hearings, the city’s Charter Revision Commission heard more than one speaker suggest that it was inappropriate for the city’s Conflicts of Interest Board—which largely regulates the mayor and his appointees—to be composed entirely of mayoral appointees. On Wednesday evening, the commission will take up that concern, and hear from experts.