Saturday, July 29, 2017


This post is dedicated to the guy who wants two observations and a parking permit for everyone. We got the parking permits but this piece from this week's Queens Chronicle shows just how uneven the enforcement on abusing parking permits is for city employees.

From the Chronicle article:

As part of an ongoing series, the Chronicle visited Borough Hall four times this month between July 7 and July 20, and each time found:

• illegally parked vehicles with city-issued placards;
• vehicles in spaces requiring placards where drivers put items such as baseball caps or reflective safety vests with city department logos on the dash instead; and
• cards with the logo of the NYPD or other law enforcement agencies.

As with vehicles observed and photographed by the Chronicle between last September and this past May, none had tickets on their windshields if there was something on the dashboard indicating that the driver was a city employee.

As in the Chronicle’s previous investigation, vehicles were blocking fire hydrants, crosswalks and pedestrian curb cuts.

City Hall's reaction to the open flouting of the law by city employees:

The Mayor’s Office did not respond to a request for comment prior to the Chronicle’s deadline on Wednesday, but parking placards have been an issue since this past spring, when he announced that 50,000 would be issued for teachers in time for the coming school year.

The Chronicle reporter has it 100% correct. Everybody looks the other way  if a police officer or court officer or most anybody else with some kind of city title parks anywhere they please; but tell teachers they can park exclusively near their schools, and it's suddenly a major issue. Mayor Bill de Blasio said he intended to hire more traffic agents in May after the teachers got the extra permits.

This is a real concern. If teachers are seen to be getting anything, we are thoroughly demonized in the press while everyone sees it as normal when other city workers get perks. The city doesn't even respond. If that were teachers parking in crosswalks or near fire hydrants by a school, you can bet the Mayor and Chancellor would have responded immediately and the teachers would have been singled out and condemned. You won't see that happening with other city employees.

It will only stop if we organize again like a real union.


Anonymous said...

I'm an ATR and have not received a parking permit. Lots of tickets though.

Anonymous said...

I havent gotten mine either

James Eterno said...

Nor me. Just saying we can all have permits creates a problem.

Anonymous said...

Ummm. What exactly was this saying? NYC DOE permits are only good to be used by DOE employees in designated spots in front of schools. The permits are not useable to park in front of fire hydrants or in crosswalks.

Anonymous said...

"Singled out and condemned." What on earth are you saying -- that teachers could park in crosswalks and near hydrants if the Union was stronger? This is just the kind of ridiculous statement that will weaken us; yes, we must obey rules for safety of all citizens. Others should be ticketed when they too break laws and disregard safety rules. The problem is not that we can't break the laws without getting ticketed, it is that other city employees do so without being ticketed. If that is a desirable sign to you of a stronger Union, than confusion abounds.

Anonymous said...

But we cant afford the retro, but the cupboard is bare, but the TDA has to get smaller, but we can only give you 1% a year, do you want to bankrupt the city? The city Department of Education has awarded contracts worth up to $101 million to the NYC Leadership Academy — but didn’t keep track of where the money went, a bombshell audit by City Comptroller Scott Stringer charges.

The Long Island City-based non-profit has collected $45.6 million from the contracts to coach “aspiring principals” and teachers. But the DOE failed to produce records to prove the $183-an-hour coaches did what they were paid for.
“If the DOE can’t be sure whether or when the professional coaching even happened, how do we know it was effective?” Stringer asks in a scathing report obtained by The Post.

The contracts also require progress reports and meetings to monitor the vendor’s performance, but the auditors found none — raising the specter of “waste, fraud and abuse,” the report says.

“These failings point to a broken procurement system that allows the DOE to spend freely, devoid of oversight,” Stringer concludes. “Our principals deserve better than this.”

The DOE entered into three contracts with the academy since 2008, the first two under then-Mayor Bloomberg. The third, for payments up to $45 million from July 2014 to June 2019, was inked under Mayor de Blasio by Chancellor Carmen Farina’s chief operating officer. About $34.8 million available remains unspent.

Last month, de Blasio declared a “NYC Leadership Academy Day,” and declared the outfit “an important partner” in running city schools. FariƱa praised the academy “for its tremendous work to prepare and support great school leaders.”

But the academy, founded in 2003, has also become notorious for graduating inept — and sometimes corrupt — principals with little teaching experience. Its “leadership coaches,” mostly retired principals, have also been hired in the mayor’s three-year-old Renewal program for struggling schools, which has shown meager academic gains.

The comptroller’s auditors reviewed $559,667 in DOE payments to the academy, including $394,007 for “leadership coaching.”

“Disregarding the safeguards in its own contracts and procurement rules,” the comptroller said, the DOE spent $385,612, or 98 percent of the coaching payments, without the required documentation.

No sign-in sheets were produced at the time showing the dates and hours each coach worked. The academy simply billed for a total number of hours, the audit found.
The absence of records made it virtually impossible to find fake bills or bill-padding, said Stringer spokesman Devon Puglia.

But he added: “Based on what we know from this and other audits of the DOE, we can say that the risk of improper payments is very real.”

More alarming, the DOE “did not request or receive any progress reports,” which the contracts require quarterly. Nor did DOE officials meet monthly with academy officials — another layer of oversight the contract requires. The DOE listed phone calls and other “check-ins,” but had no memos or reports on what was discussed.

The academy’s president and CEO Irma Zardoya, a former Bronx superintendent, collected $260,000 in pay and benefits in 2015-16, according to the group’s latest tax filings. She did not return a message.

The DOE said it’s reviewing the audit. “We’ll continue our work to improve and reinforce the procedures we have in place that serve students, schools, and taxpayers,” said spokesman Will Mantell.

But officials said the DOE stopped using most of NYCLA services in June.

Anonymous said...

Principals who received training at the leadership academy:
Marcella Sills

PS 106, Far Rockaway

Frequently played hooky while students lacked basics such as textbooks, and watched movies instead of getting gym and art. Dubbed “The School of No.”

Fired after findings of “extreme misconduct” and fraud.

Namita Dwarka

William Cullen Bryant HS, Astoria

Teachers charged she sanctioned grade-fixing, credit schemes, Regents exam cheating, and retaliated against whistleblowers.

Remains principal.

Howard Kwait

John Bowne HS, Flushing

City paid $500,000 to settle multiple sex-harassment suits; assistant principal accused him of grade-fixing.

Remains principal.

James Eterno said...

The point of the story was to say parking permits were never a problem until teachers are being given them back en masse. Teachers have to be cracked down on but everyone else gets a pass. I'm not looking for anything but equal treatment for teachers. I agree 5:54 the rules should apply to all of us. We should all be ticketed if we park illegally. The reality is the rules don't apply equally and I am sick of teachers being singled out.It's symbolic for sure.

Where is the Scott Stringer audit story on the money being wasted on the Leadership Academy from?

I'll look for link when I have time but can you help me out?

Anonymous said...

Ny post

Anonymous said...

I don't of any ATRs that have received parking permits. Can someone please explain how to get one before I go to the rotation, which I'm sure is going to go back into effect in October?

Anonymous said...

Point is, we know the doe sucks. The UFT was right there with them, feeding us a line of bullshit, about how we needed to do the city all these financial favors. It turns out there are billions in surplus and billions more being flushed down the toilet.

Anonymous said...

Only teachers are to be held accountable. Unqualified principals are being cranked out soon to be joined by charter (un) certified teachers. There are plenty of unqualified politicians in DC should a shortage develop in NYC. May all swamps be drained.

Abigail Shure