Mayor Noam Bramson at the last City Council meeting claimed a Councilman, who presented a plan to help downtown businesses, looked “foolish.” Lack of downtown parking was also discussed. Mayor Bramson previously voted for one space per apartment so was he “foolish” when he asked and was told the downtown apartment parking lots are full?
Further will Mayor Bramson look “foolish” when he answers questions about his state of the city address? Why did the Mayor say he felt one strategy to gain 7% in tax revenue in the budget would be increasing the utility tax to 3%? This is regressive because it shifts more of the burden to people in apartments? It is not tax deductible. Bramson wants “increased density” in downtown. Why is “increased density” desirable? Aren’t the businesses in downtown being hurt by congestion, traffic and parking problems? “Smart Growth” in Bramson’s view includes the proposed largest project in downtown, Le Count Square. How much more traffic and congestion can this already overburdened area sustain?
In Bramson’s state of the city address he advocates “risk takers deserve our support now more than ever,” and then asks residents to support our artists, restaurants and retail businesses. But the real risk takers are the taxpayers of New Rochelle because developers in downtown have been given large tax breaks.
To avoid looking “foolish” Mayor Bramson should start listening to the taxpayers and their elected officials.
[Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared as a Letter to the Editor in the Journal News on April 12, 2009]