Audio: UWS Council Race Frames Citywide Issues

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Peter Burka

The Upper West Side.

Schools and race. Development and neighborhoods. They’re topics that we are going to hear a lot about if Mayor de Blasio wins a second term on November 7. The city’s response to school desegregation has been pretty broadly dismissed as inadequate. And the mayor’s support for a denser (meaning more developed) New York has stirred resistance in neighborhoods from East Harlem to Long Island City.

Both have been big issues in the Upper West Side Council primary race pitting challengers Mel Wymore and Cary Goodman against incumbent Helen Rosenthal, who seeks a second term. Wymore, who placed second to Rosenthal in the 2013 primary, is the better known and better funded candidate. (There are also challengers from other parties who’ll face the primary winner in the general election.)

Rosenthal says the challenge to her is largely fueled by resentment over her role in backing a plan to redraw zones to address crowding and racial skew at three local schools.

For his part, Wymore claims Rosenthal has been slow to react to out-of-scale luxury development projects in the district. When it’s pointed out that many of those projects were “as of right” (i.e., permitted under existing zoning with no formal role for Council input), Wymore argues that Rosenthal should have fought to change the system to allow broader public review.

District 6 is one of the races that WNYC, Gotham Gazette and City Limits (who also partnered on this handy voters’ guide) are covering as the September 12 primary approaches. As I note in the audio below, whatever one thinks of Wymore’s proposal to address it, the question of how to deal with as-of-right but out-of-scale development is one that has come up around the city.

4 thoughts on “Audio: UWS Council Race Frames Citywide Issues

  1. #HelenRosenthal is LYING as she often does on the #UWS. She takes credit for so many things that were brought to the UWS by #Wymore, #LindaRosenthal or #GaleBrewer. The media has allowed her to frame the atmosphere around her challenge without asking the community. People don’t like her here because she is unresponsive, vindictive, disconnected, self-serving and just un-effective as a city representative. She says she brought a new school to the district when it wasn’t. She says she attended every meeting around the re-zoning issue and that is a LIE, Rodents are running rampant here as she claims that she has been doing everything she can. Another LIE as it turns out that she didn’t get a dime in money allocated to rat control. Hopefully the voters here will not fall victim to the misleading media and get rid of her in a week.

  2. Re: Chris Wild’s comment charging Rosenthal with a UWS rat infestation….”Rodents are running rampant here as she claims that she has been doing everything she can”

    Scaring residence with a made up rat invasions – and blaming Rosenthal – should be very frightening to any consciencable person – ANYWHERE.

    Using rat imagery to frighten the population was scare tactic employed in 1930’s Germany and should have no place in this campaign. And it is absolutely untrue that Rosenthal has not addressed rodent control. Rosenthal has allocated $80,000 toward rat control in Riverside Park by providing Big Belly receptacles that will limit the food source.

    Mel Wymore and his Campaign Manager Daniel Gleick should be ashamed of themselves for pushing this horrifying charge and they should immediately apologize to Rosenthal and the UWS Community.

  3. This sure sounds like a #HelenRosenthal campaign worker to me! I live on the Upper West Side as well and can say that Ms. Rosenthal is terrible. Her campaigners, like the one seen here, have tried to paint themselves as holier than thou and beyond reproach in every issue bringing down my nabe.

    Let’s take rats out of it!

    More than a hundred small businesses have shut down; I see more and more buildings going up with only one contribution to the community; dirt and crap are everywhere; She and her derelict crew don’t answer phones when called; I saw her act like a bully at Jimmy Breslin’s funeral, screaming and yelling at Mel Wymore; again giving him a shove at his own press event on Amsterdam avenue; my personal favorite – telling her constituents who opposed the school re-zoning plan ” to make as much noise as you can” and THEN calling those same people racists for following HER advice. That’s a two-faced microcosm of her term here.

    The media has been abysmal is their coverage of Rosenthal, no doubt because of her connection to the un-indictable, Deflon DeBlasio. They missed all of this and so much more I have no space to list.

    I agree with Wild that #HelenRosenthal is a liar. Take the rat invasion out of the discussion and you still have one rat left. She has to go to save the neighborhood!

  4. Helen Rosenthal is the one who brought race into the school debate. She herself called PS 191 “a terrible schoo”l and that she would “never send her kids there”. She sent her own kids to private school but sanctimoniously claimed to be an expert on public school diversity. I saw black people speak out against that plan. Are they racists too! I now here that he supported Rudy Giuliani over Hillary! This while crying foul and that there are not enough women in city government!

    Helen Rosenthal should be ashamed of herself. I would sooner vote for Bugs Bunny!

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