We need more friendly terms in New York City's Parking Violations Department. The letter that is sent to person who has missed a reply to a parking summons is filled with BOLD letters and ThReATs of punitive fines and confiscation of the owner's vehicle. That is only the first "warning". The language is too strong. We need government that does not use its power to threaten us, but rather to HELP us.
In that consideration, the parking meters should be upgraded to one that after the time is expired, a grace clock that runs 15 minutes backwards that gives the car driver an extra 15 minutes after--say, one paid hour-- to get back to his vehicle. Then the meter maid can fine if that grace clock runs out. That is fair. No more fights (and hateful feelings) between motorists and meter maids.
A PROGRAM OF PUBLIC SAFETY INITIATIVES
For more than two decades now, the state’s priorities in local assistance to law enforcement have been overwhelmingly directed toward expanding standard police and prosecution functions and jail and prison capacity. The Pataki administration’s signature law enforcement program, Operation IMPACT, is emblematic of this priority. There has been precious little in the way of official resources devoted to encouraging innovation in neighborhood preservation crime prevention, community-based justice, alternative dispositions of offenders’ cases and prisoner re-entry, notwithstanding the fact that it can clearly be demonstrated that these alternative strategies are outstandingly cost-effective. There is, however, an existing, but dormant, statutory framework to encourage these strategies.
As a rule writer for the Department of Environmental Conservation, I am required to submit copies of federal documents with each rulemaking which cites a federal regulation to the Department of State. In most cases, this requires duplicate copies of 40 CFR books, each 3 to 4 inches thick. This was started years ago because the public could not obtain these books and the Department of State needed a respository for public access. This is no longer the case. These books are on-line. Also, our agency spends considerable money to purchase these books and then have the books sit in some warehouse for eternity. This must stop.
As a high school math teacher, I feel that I am teaching with handcuffs strapped to my wrists. I personally do not agree with the “teaching to the test” theory. I am restricted to teaching particular content just to pass a test. I feel that if the handcuffs can be removed, then I can teach to my full potential. In other words, I can be a better teacher if the ridiculous gauntlet of standardized tests can be removed. If math students truly understand the material, instead of memorizing it in order to pass a test, students will not only be able to pass any test put in front of them, but they will also carry that knowledge with them after the end of the year. In order to do this, math curriculum and teaching methods need to evaluated and reformed at the K-12 and undergraduate college levels.
I read the submissions to this site. Some of them are things I was going to propose, some I agree with, and some I don't. I have been a State employee for almost 24 years. My job now is an internal auditor so I see a lot of waste and abuse in state governnment. I have seen a lot throughout my career in whatever position I have had.
One of the first orders of business you need to address is the lack of accountability of executive management and mid-level managers in the Executive Branch. Under the current administration things have really gone to hell. You need to bring people in who are going to be accountable and you need to make them accountable. Along with that, I have seen many, many state programs that keep getting funded year after year without regard to how well they work. There is no monitoring and evaluating of many programs the state has. I propose that one of the first things you need to do is a top to bottom evaluation of all of the state's programs. You need to evaluate them on accomplishment of objectives (if they even have any), and efficiency of how they are run.
The 'New York Guard' is an underused resource in the Division of Military and Naval Affairs ('DMNA'). It can be used as an inexpensive 'force multiplier' for the domestic missions of the NY Army and Air National Guards.
The New York Guard should be deployed in domestic actions along with the National Guards.
One of the four 'legs' of DMNA (along with the Army and Air National Guards, and Naval Militia), the NY Guard is an all-volunteer force of about 1,100 soldiers and officers, founded in 1917.
The NY Guard was called to active duty in the 9/11 crisis and has aided civil authorities deal with natural disasters, e.g., ice storms, and major events, e.g., the Republican National Convention, and other missions, e.g., recent a search and rescue effort in the Adirondack preserve.
Re-evaluate every job being performed by a New York State employee to ascertain if it could be reassigned to a lower pay-grade employee.
- Submitted by David Weinkrantz on 11.15.06
Dear Mr. Spitzer,
The same Civil Service Laws have been in existence for many decades. There are very few opportunities for people with higher degrees (Master's and specialized degrees). There is the Public Management Intern (PMI) program and a few other titles which are restricted to certain agencies. If an individual possesses a higher degree and necessary experience, they should be able to advance to the higher grade level of a title series within a shorter probationary period if eligible. Seniority plays a major part for individuals to become supervisors. I have not seen this to be very beneficial in any department. Supervisors should possess a higher degree (at least a Master's), retain all of the knowledge required to perform the jobs of staff (and be able to perform the job themselves), in addition to attending required management courses to learn how to deal with personnel and other issues. Civil Service minimum qualifications for almost all titles should be more realistic - agencies should not restrict certain titles -especially jobs which could be performed by the lay public. Titles need modernization - not everyone does a clerk's, steward's, secretary's, or research scientist's job within that title. If a scientist performs clinical work, they should be granted the title of "Clinical Laboratory Technologist". If a scientist performs research, they should be granted the title of "Research Scientist". Not only should there be salary protection, but there should be “grade protection” where an individual does not lose their grade status upon taking a traineeship. Job grades, pay scale, probationary periods, evaluation processes should all be re-evaluated and modernized. NYS is full of bitter workers because they are "stuck" in their positions watching seniors advancing, when they, themselves, are the ones doing all the work and not getting any credit for it. Please help Civil Service "get with the times"! :) Thank you very much.
I believe that New York State and its multiple agencies, departments, commissions, and authorities employ numerous secretaries to answer to minor officials of those organizations.
The secretary job lines were created before anyone ever dreamed of employee workstations. Secretaries took dictation in those days.
The world has changed but New York State government has not. Though the function of a secretary is no longer needed, it is kept as a perk to minor officials and because the job line is there it is automatically filled.
I recommend that secretary job lines be eliminated except for the agency head.
Dear Mr Spitzer,
Please recognize the concerns and controversy surrounding lyme disease. I am 31 years old and have been fighting chronic lyme for over eight years. Recently Dr. Fallen presented his medical findings regarding the effectiveness of long term treatment for chronic lyme patients, but the new cdc guidelines rebuke these findings.
Lyme disease is the second fastest growing infectious disease in this country after AIDS. I am asking you to please research this matter, and help us who are fighting for our lives.
Thank you for your time.
- Submitted by Kara
During the campaign, at a reception hosted by Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel for cultural representatives, I had the pleasure of talking to the Governor-elect and Mrs. Spitzer about the need to remind New Yorkers about the greatness of this state and its people. I urged Mr. Spitzer to incorporate the lessons of the past into his campaign speeches. I was delighted, throughout the campaign, to hear him remind us of why we were the Empire State.
The work is not done. While the Governor-elect and Lt Governor-elect craft the long overdue agenda for reform, it will be vital to continue to frame our potential with the lessons of great New Yorkers of long ago.
The entry level positions are locked up by people that have been in the jobs for years without taking test to advance. I suggest that after 3 to 5 years at the entry level employees should take promotional test to open entry level positions to new comers. State positions should support diversity and inclusion. Look at Tax & Finance, NYSERDA, especialy the Education Department who usually have the most openings, most miniorities can not even get an interview no matter how much experience they have. I believe that the administrators look at the names and addresses first to figure out who they will interview. This needs to change.
Redirect Youth Detention Resources to Community-based Alternatives to Detention
Community-based alternative-to-detention programs are much more effective than jail or prison in reducing youth crime and recidvism. New York State should create fiscal incentives for counties to invest in these alternative programs. Currently, New York State reimburses counties half the cost of running local youth detention centers for children under age 16 awaiting trial or sentencing. Last year, New York State spent nearly $60 million in local detention reimbursements, but did not provide similar reimbursements to localities to fund alternatives to jail. In NYC, the majority of detained youth are charged with non-violent offenses and could be safely supervised in community-based programs, but are sent to jail because of the lack of community-based options. The state should create a higher reimbursement to local jurisdictions to help fund community-based alternative programs and encourage local jurisdictions to locate these programs in communities with the highest rates of youth detention. Similarly, the state should create a reimbursement system to create incentives for localities to reduce placements in long-term, state-run incarceration facilities. Simialar fiscal incentive programs in other states have successfully reduced youth incarceration, while saving tax dollars and reducing youth crime and recidivism.
The lack of affordable and accessible housing is a huge barrier to economic self sufficiency for people with disabilities and limited resources.
Commit DHCR to an agressive program of:
1. mandating public housing authorities (PHA) meet HUD requirements for making accessible units available for whom they were intended
2. establishing NYS Housing Trust Fund with dedicated funds, for people with Accessibility needs, including disabled and elderly.
3. implementing "visitability" requirements for all new housing construction
4. Program of low-income housing tax credits for developers committed to affordable and accessible housing
We must build super train lines around our major cities -- New York, Buffalo, Albany, Syracuse, Rochester. Then create enterprise zones in those cities to create business opportunities that will draw in commuters who will use the rail lines.
- Submitted by Michael Boyajian on 11.10.06