Community Board Five Response to the Mayor’s 2019 Preliminary Budget
Community Board Five is aware of the city’s current fiscal challenges and the need to support the investments and expenses that are most vital to our city.
Several months ago, our board submitted capital and expense budget priorities to your office for consideration in the FY 2019 Preliminary Budget. While agency responses do not satisfy many of our requests, we are thankful for the serious consideration that our requests received. As a New York City-chartered organization with some of the keenest insights into local conditions, we look forward to continuing our work with the administration as it prioritizes funding for the next fiscal year.
Our district faces a plethora of challenges that require money and action, such as extreme above- and below-grade congestion, which creates health and safety problems for pedestrians, drivers and residents. At the same time, the city must continue to maintain important programs and services that our district’s residents, particularly those that our elderly, school-aged or homeless, need. We believe that Manhattan Community District Five's success is critical to the entirety of New York City. Our budget priorities strive to ensure that the needs of all within the community are addressed.
Department of Homeless Services
305201902E – We are thankful that DHS agrees with this request and would like to understand how the RFP/local level decision impacts where to site and expand shelters and services.
305201918E – CB5 appreciates that the agency agrees with the request and encourages the Agency to fund rental assistance and vouchers so that more individuals and families may move from shelters into permanent housing.
Homelessness continues to impact CB5 significantly. Several program providers operate facilities in or near our district, and the tourist and commercial nature of our district means that CB5 is a frequent destination for homeless people. As the homeless population has increased during the last several years, the issue has become more visible. Our research indicates that many homeless people choose to remain on the streets rather than access available resources for lodging, security, employment services, and most importantly, mental health and/or substance abuse services. That significant numbers of homeless people prefer living on the street over offered accommodations speaks volumes. Anecdotally, it seems that many people feel safer on the street than in shelters and that general living conditions in shelters are unacceptable. Therefore, we encourage DHS to direct resources to address the issues we raised in our budget requests, including safety, program quality, and program capacity. We thank the agency for the efforts it has made on security improvements, but we believe the financial resource allocation is inadequate.
Department Of Transportation
305201923E – The board thanks DOT for agreeing that further study of traffic and pedestrian safety at the 59th street and 6th avenue intersection is needed. We encouraged by such action.
305201912E – We appreciate this support but would like to understand what resources might be available beyond the Safety Education Division and, specifically, the Street Ambassadors who educate and distribute safety material to cyclists. DOT also mentioned public awareness campaigns to educate cyclists, motorists, and pedestrians about sharing the roadway. The committee would appreciate more information about such campaigns.
305201914C – We appreciate that the agency is in agreement and pledges to accommodate the board’s request. We noted that the response includes mention of current work with businesses in CB4 to install corrals. We would appreciate information about businesses in CB5 if such work is planned or in progress. The response also notes that racks may be requested via form on nyc.gov.dot. The downloadable form is available at the following link: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/cityrackapp.pdf
CB5 is a hub for pedestrians, vehicles, and public transit. We identified several specific intersections that are especially congested and suffer from issues that can be addressed. We believe that the intersections we suggested are among the most critical for DOT to address, and we encourage the agency to direct resources to evaluate our suggestions and relieve the congestion and safety issues. Additionally, we acknowledge that street repair is an ongoing and as-needed priority for DOT, but we encourage the agency to direct resources to the most trafficked thoroughfares in NYC, and particularly those in our district. Finally, we encourage DOT to direct resources to continue developing new pedestrian plazas and improving existing ones.
305201913C & 305201915C – As suggested, we will be in touch with the Transit Authority regarding progress on these requests.
Department of Education
305201906E – We thank DOE for its response and strongly encourage the agency to not only fund staff trainings but to ensure that social workers and mental health professionals work directly with students to address their mental health needs. We request that the agency provide increased and sustained funding for professional mental health services for students in NYC schools. Further, we request that the agency provide training for teaching staff to recognize students in need of counseling and mental health services and refer them to in-school services. We request that the agency expand school-based clinics and support programs by decreasing the mental health consultant-to-student ratio across the districts. Finally, we request that the agency promote the availability of services to administrators and teachers and provide training in program development.
305201905C – We appreciate that DOE supports this request but would like the agency to clarify what it means to accommodate "in part" our request that classrooms meet the state standard for class size/ensure compliance with the Contract for Excellence.
305201907C – We thank the agency for supporting this initiative and hope that while addressing this issue the agency will be mindful of recommendations regarding fund tracking and compliance with minimum bandwidth provisions.
305201904C - While CB5 is grateful that this request will be funded in part, we strongly encourage DOE to fully fund the request; doing so would ensure that the agency meets the state standard on class size and complies with the Contract for Excellence.
305201906C - CB5 appreciates that more detail is needed.
We appreciate DOE's stance on school planning, and the development of elementary and middle schools based on seat need. We encourage prioritization of CB5, as the development of housing in our district is among the fastest in NYC, as is the growth of families. Further, we believe the legacy tools for assessing need penalize our district more than most, and we encourage DOE to recognize these shortcomings as it assesses projects. We are also appreciative of current funding for nutrition programs, but we believe additional resources would yield more tangible benefits. Finally, we recognize the challenges of providing appropriate support services in schools including social, health, etc., but we believe these efforts are materially underfunded, and encourage the DOE to provide resources to principals who can adequately address the needs.
Housing Preservation Department
We appreciate the efforts at HPD to develop and fund long-term supportive housing, in spite of budget constraints. We encourage HPD to devote additional resources to various enforcement issues. In our experience, code enforcement has a large return on expenditure, and is well-received by constituents.
Department of Environment Protection
305201917C – Regarding storm sewer backups, we reported that the intersection of 58th St. and 5th Avenue as well as locations on Park Avenue have experienced considerable backup. We are willing to provide additional details as requested, but are unclear as to the level of detail required.
305201913E – 311 records indicate that there were 3,503 noise complaints logged in CB5 since January 1, 2017. We continue to request additional funding to enforce noise complaints more quickly and thoroughly.
New York Police Department
305201902C - We appreciate the NYPD’s response. We will follow up with the agency to understand how we can help obtain further information.
305201908C - Thank you for your funding.
305201907E - We appreciate the NYPD’s response. We will follow up with the agency to learn more about how funding can be made available.
305201908E - We appreciate the NYPD’s response. We will follow up with the agency to learn more about how funding can be made available.
305201909E - Thank you for your funding. We will follow up with the agency to learn more about the program.
305201915E - We appreciate the NYPD’s response. We will follow up with the agency to learn more about how funding can be made available.
305201909C - We appreciate FDNY’s response. We will follow up with the agency to understand how we can help obtain further information.
305201910C - We appreciate FDNY’s response. We will follow up with the agency to learn more about how funding can be made available.
305201917E - Thank you for your response and preliminary funding.
New York Public Library
We believe the NYPL’s initiatives are critical to New York City's status as a global cultural leader. As such, we would like to know how we can provide additional support to the NYPL regarding systems upgrades, hours, and other needs within the library system.
3052019011C - We thank the NYPL for accommodating our request for an ADA-compliant elevator at the 58th Street Library.
Office of Management and Budget
Thank you for continuing to support community boards. We believe the needs of community boards and the demands on staff are increasing, and we would encourage a review to increase the budget to support this vital community endeavor.
305201901E - CB5 strongly encourages that this request be funded and made a priority given the importance of this role and the fact that there has been an almost 50% decrease in funding of community board budgets when inflation is factored in.
Department of City Planning
We are willing to contact the DCP offices, but we believe our request that MIH areas be mapped is critical in developing appropriate planning in the future and we encourage DCP to undertake this project.
Department of Sanitation
305201922E – Thank you for accommodating this request. We will be in touch with DSNY to provide additional information as requested.
305201924E - Thank you for evaluating this request. We will be in touch with DSNY to provide additional information as requested.
We are encouraged by the DSNY's efforts regarding various needs in CB5. We encourage ongoing and additional support for recycling, refuse collection, green initiatives, and enforcement.
Department of Buildings
305201916E - An inquiry was made regarding the availability of reports on POPS from DOB. Communication with DOB suggested that reporting has been recently discontinued. CB5 requests that reporting be resumed and that access to past reports be made available to the board.
305201921E – Thank you for offering to liase with CB5 regarding our request to ensure staffing is adequate to enforce code violations and address antiquated Certificates of Occupancy.
Thank you for your response. We find that DOB resources for code enforcement are strained and we encourage the redirection of resources to support enforcement efforts. We remain concerned that practices for which DOB has oversight may not be receiving due attention, and we encourage additional enforcement to mitigate adverse outcomes.
Small Business Services
While we are encouraged by SBS's progress to date, we believe that SBS's efforts are critical within CB5, which has one of the largest commercial populations in NYC. We believe that legal services and skills training programs are critical and recommend additional resources be directed to these areas.
Human Resource Administration
305201910E - We appreciate that HRA responded to our requests.
We thank HRA for ongoing support in these areas and encourage the agency to direct additional resources to support the homeless population and victims of domestic violence as it sees fit.
Department of Youth and Community Development
305201905E - We appreciate that such projects are done through an RFP process and hope that more organizations will apply.
3052019025E - CB5 is happy to provide further information as requested.
We thank DYCD for ongoing support in these areas and encourage the agency to direct additional resources to support afterschool programming and youth street outreach as it sees fit.
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
305201909E - We appreciate that DOHMH agrees with this funding request and we encourage the agency to focus on this issue.
We thank DOHMH for ongoing support in these areas and encourage the agency to direct additional resources to HIV prevention and substance abuse programs, as well as programs that support homeless populations, as it sees fit.
Administration of Children Services
We thank ACS for ongoing support in this area and encourage the agency to direct additional resources to support treatment programs for juveniles with substance abuse issues as it sees fit.
Department of Parks and Recreation
3052019016C - We thank the Parks Department for funding our request in part and we look forward to learning more about the project.
Department of Cultural Affairs
3052019018C - CB5 will gather further information regarding our request for public art and tie it to a specific organization.
3052019019E - We appreciate that this request has been funded.
Landmarks Preservation Commission
305201920E – Thank you for agreeing to fund our request and your willingness to liase with CB5 regarding staffing levels at LPC. We believe there is a need for additional staff that can enforce and identify violations and address items that may merit designation. However, we want to be clear that our request should not be interpreted to lessen community board involvement in the designation process in any way.
Economic Development Corporation
305201912C – We appreciate EDC’s response and will redirect the response to DOT.
Community Board Five appreciates the opportunity to comment on the FY 2019 Preliminary Budget. We look forward to seeing the Executive Budget and hope that our input is incorporated into the final product.