By Neil A. Carousso
It’s Election Day, but you may not be aware.
Voting turnout in the 2013 New York City election was a record low 23 percent. A mere 14 percent of voters showed up for the September primary.
Compound this with Comptroller Scott M. Stringer’s recent audit showing problems at 90 percent of 156 polling sites examined.
“What we found was just outrageous,” Comptroller Stringer said, citing, “People turned away at the polls, poll workers not realizing how they can get people to vote, ballots were voided.”
Throughout New York State, only about 15 races of 213 legislative seats are competitive in any given year. Comptroller Stringer aims to increase voter participation.
Republicans do not hold any seats in Manhattan. Besides Staten Island and parts of the State, one party holds a virtual monopoly of each district.
The polls in New York City are open until 9 PM.
Featured Image: New York Daily News Photo.
By Neil A. Carousso
The study by the city’s Independent Budget Office released this week shows the average number of delays, which they define as a train running more than five minutes behind schedule, increased substantially over the last five years.In 2012, the system averaged about 20,000 a month. In May of this year, that number increased to 67,450.
Translated into dollars, the study found that the 35,000 hours lost on delays during the morning rush in a 12-month period ending in May equates to $1.2 million a day or $307 million a year in lost productivity.
“I think it’s horrendous,” rider Richard Thomas told CBS2’s Janelle Burrell.
“They always seem to be running slow, running late,” said commuter Tom Gordon.
“Your employer doesn’t want to hear that it’s the train,” said rider Paulette Minott. “It’s the trains every day, you know?”
“I think it’s a disgrace,” said another.
The worst lines for delays were the J and Z, where delays were up 71 percent since 2012 followed by the C with delays up 69 percent and the No. 7 with 62 percent.
Lost hours have increased the least on the No. 3, up only 25 percent, the G up 26 percent and the No. 4, up 31 percent.
The report also revealed that about one-fourth of weekday train runs have gaps in service, wherein passengers wait longer for subway trains to arrive than acceptable under time frames set up by the MTA.
Riders of the G train were least likely to encounter service gaps between January 2015 and May 2017, with 83 percent of trains meeting service standards.
Next best were the D with 80 percent and the Q with 79 percent. Worst were the No. 5 with 66 percent of train runs meeting standards, followed by the No. 6 with 67 percent and the A with 70 percent.
The study has set off another round of finger pointing about who should pay for the critically needed subway repairs.
“I am a rider, and I am very well aware of the delays,” MTA Chairman Joe Lhota said, “It does cost time, and time is money, but what is important is that we put together a plan, and will work diligently to get the system back to work.”
Lhota blamed de Blasio for being part of the problem, charging his refusal to chip in half the cost of the emergency repair program was delaying subway improvements.
“It will only work if he comes to the table,” he said.
Other elected officials piled on.
“I’m hoping that the city of New York will chip in,” Sen. martin Golden (R-Brooklyn) said.
“Stop the politicking and begin to do the work on behalf of our people,” Assemblyman Feliz Ortiz (D-Brooklyn) added.
A de Blasio spokesman repeated the mayor’s demand that the state pay the city’s share do the repair bill because in the past it’s used MTA funds for its own purposes.
“Cit taxpayers won’t stand for endlessly funding the MTA while the state refuses to return the nearly half-billion dollars it stole from it,” spokesman Austin Finan said.
Without the city’s money, the MTA will only be able to make half the repairs. What stays and what goes are to be revealed at the MTA’s next board meeting.
Nick Sifuentes with the Subway Rider’s Alliance says it’s especially troubling for those at the lower rung of the economic ladder.
“They’re an hour late to work, they’re not gonna get that $10 back or what have you. And for some people, that’s like, you know, rent or lunch or what have you. Those are like, real economic consequences,” he told WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.
In response to the report, the MTA released a statement saying it was focusing on easing delays.
“The subway and our unparalleled 24-hour-a-day mass transit network are the engines that power a city economy that continues to grow and outpace the nation. Chairman Lhota’s Subway Action Plan is stabilizing the subway by targeting the biggest drivers of delays across the system – and that is exactly why we need City Hall and Mayor de Blasio to commit to paying its 50 percent share to fully implement the Plan,” MTA spokesman John J. McCarthy said in a statement.
The study was conducted before Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for the aging system back in July. It’s a $836 million plan that officials say will address track and power problems and subway car breakdowns, among other issues.
Some of the subway repair work is already underway, but many riders say they have yet to see how the improvements are benefiting their subway lines.
“I haven’t seen no changes as of yet,” said Thomas. “Hopefully they can get it in order where we can commute without delays.”
The budget office said it conducted the study at the request of Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams.
By Neil A. Carousso
In two separate sit-down interviews, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer (D) and his Republican challenger Rev. Michel Faulkner discussed their ideas for improving the City’s transit delays, how to work with the Trump Administration and prevent the loss of federal funding for the New York Police Department, among other issues.Rev. Faulkner is a retired NFL Player who worked on former Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s community policing task force. Now, Rev. Faulkner is running opposite Incumbent Comptroller Stringer.
New Yorkers vote for City comptroller on the ballot on Tuesday. The polls in the Big Apple close at 9 PM local time.
Featured Image: Comptroller Scott M. Stringer and Rev. Michel Faulkner debate on Spectrum News NY1 in October.
By Neil A. Carousso
Drug overdose deaths, once rare, are now the leading cause of accidental death in the United States, surpassing peak annual deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents and HIV infection. It kills 100 people a day.
Bo Dietl, Independent New York City Mayoral Candidate and retired New York Police Department detective told this reporter one step is to remove so-called sanctuary city status to stem the supply of opioids coming in via illegal immigrant smuggling. An imperative, Dietl said, is to solve the demand for opioids.
“We got to hit this 3 ways: Enforcement, we got to send these son of a guns to jail for the rest of their lives,” Dietl said of drug dealing. ” “Number 2 is education. Number 3 is treatment.”
Over the last two decades, as prescriptions for opioids began to soar, rates of addictions and overdose deaths increased in parallel.
President Donald J. Trump declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency on October 26.
“Bank on Bo:” Bo Dietl Opens Up about NYC Mayoral Race, His Friendship with President Trump and More in Rare Substantive Video Interview
By Neil A. Carousso
Bo Dietl is the independent candidate running for Mayor of the City of New York. He is a life-long New Yorker who literally shed his blood, sweat and tears in the Big Apple as a New York Police Department officer and detective. He is a self-made entrepreneur and millionaire who never went to college because he had to work to support his family. He was an iron worker on the World Trade Center, and now, a private investigator hired by high-profile celebrities and executives.
Dietl is challenging Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) and New York State Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R). He is a registered Democrat who supported his friend, President Donald Trump and donated $50,000 to his campaign, but is disappointed that Mr. Trump has been stalled in accomplishing his “America First” agenda.
“I hope they say to themselves wow this guy is somebody I want to lead this City. This guy will help my kids. This guy will help me get affordable housing,” said Dietl of why New York residents should vote for him.
Dietl tells it the way he sees it with 15-years of law enforcement experience with the country’s largest police force, but oftentimes his “heart,” his “compassion” and his love of New York City and his genuine passion to improve its security, education and the homeless problem is lost in the campaign fighting.
“You got to remember my last case was the Palm Sunday Massacre. Ten Puerto Ricans, eight of them were children under the age of 12 years old, all shot in the head. [I have] vivid memories of those kids being shot in the head and I cried,” Dietl said with passion, adding, “That’s what I want to prevent and I want to help the people of New York. That’s who’s running for mayor: A caring guy against some egotistical, thieving, corrupt pay-for-play guy who wants to get re-elected. That’s your choice.”
Dietl calls Mayor de Blasio a “nincompoop” throughout this interview and rejects the polls, including the latest NY1/Baruch College poll, which puts de Blasio at 49 percent, Malliotakis at 16 percent and Dietl at 3 percent. He says the only poll that matters is the results of Tuesday’s election.
Watch this reporter’s full 44 minute interview with Mr. Dietl, which is substantive on the key issues pertinent to the New York City election and provides an in-depth profile of the “Bo Man.”