Upper West Siders who missed the Charter Review Commission’s first round Manhattan meeting may get another chance to voice their opinions on how New York City’s municipal government should change.
After the meeting, which fell during the Easter and Passover break, was sparsely attended, Council Member Gale Brewer called on the commission to host a second gathering. The meeting happened on the last day of Passover, April 6, a holy day of rest for observant Jews.
“For some folks, it was a holiday,” Brewer said.
Another reason for the small crowd was the lack of advance notice. A few dozen people showed up, Brewer said, much different from a packed February panel discussion at Baruch College.
“I don’t want people to think there’s a lack of interest in the charter,” Brewer said.
The commission’s Upper West Side representative, Hope Cohen, blamed the short four- to five-day advance notice on staffing problems.
“For the first couple of weeks, the commission was limping along without any staff,” Cohen said. “It would be a good idea to give Manhattan another chance.”
But an extra meeting may prompt outer borough residents to complain that Manhattan, perceived as always being the center of attention, is already overrepresented (the commission has more representatives from Manhattan than any other borough, including the chair, CUNY chancellor Matthew Goldstein).
Additional five-borough meetings are scheduled throughout the summer, and the commission is trying to reach out through the Internet, including social networks.
“I would like to see another Manhattan hearing in this round,” Cohen said, “but I don’t think it’s the worst thing in the world if it doesn’t happen.”
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