Tuesday, May 23, 2006
EVERY VOICE NEEDED TO OPPOSE PERLMUTTER APPOINTMENT TO LPC
The City Council public hearing on Margery H. Perlmutter, Mayor Bloomberg's nominee to the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), is on for Wednesday, May 24, at 10:30 AM in the Council Chamber at City Hall.
Very serious concerns have been raised about Ms. Perlmutter's record and potential conflicts of interest as an active land-use attorney and registered lobbyist with Bryan Cave LLP, a law firm that routinely targets the LPC, City Planning Commission and community boards (including Manhattan Community Board 8, on which Ms. Perlmutter currently serves as co-chair of the Landmarks Committee) on behalf of developer clients.
As recently as December 8, 2005, Ms. Perlmutter signed a letter addressed from Bryan Cave to CB8 regarding an application by New York-Presbyterian Hospital. According to "A Handbook for Community Board Members," a document circulated by the Mayor's Community Assistance Unit, Ms. Perlmutter�s action is expressly prohibited by the NYC Charter (Section 2604(b)(6)) and by Conflicts of Interest Board Advisory Opinion No. 96-4, which states, "A Community Board member who is a professional (e.g., lawyer, architect, engineer) may not personally represent any party presenting a project or proposal for consideration to the Community Board on which he or she serves. A member's firm or business partners are not permitted to represent private clients before the member's Board." The Conflicts of Interest Board issued a waiver letter dated May 15, 2006, permitting Ms. Perlmutter to serve on the LPC, apparently without considering Ms. Perlmutter�s involvement on CB8 or her interactions with other board members on behalf of her firm's clients.
Please plan to attend tomorrow's hearing. If you absolutely cannot attend, it is critical that you reach out to the City Council in advance:
Council Member Diana Reyna, chair of the Rules, Privileges & Elections Committee
Council Speaker Christine Quinn
Council Member Jessica Lappin, chair of the Landmarks, Public Siting & Maritime Uses Committee
Your local council member (go to http://www.cmap.nypirg.org/netmaps/MyGovernment/NYC/MyGovernmentNYCMaps.asp?DistType=cncl_06_03 for contact information). **Members of the Rules, Privileges & Elections Committee include CM's Maria Baez, Yvette D. Clarke, Leroy G. Comrie, Jr., Inez E. Dickens, Erik Martin Dilan, Lewis A. Fidler, Daniel R. Garodnick, Robert Jackson, Melinda R. Katz, Michael E. McMahon, James S. Oddo, Christine C. Quinn, Joel Rivera, and David I. Weprin**
Your friends and neighbors - please urge them to put in their own calls and emails to Council members.
And don't forget the Mayor's office - firstname.lastname@example.org (Andrea Davis, Advisory Committee on Appointments).
NB - "posted as a courtesy opinions expressed are those of the author and it is not intended to, nor does it reflect the opinions or thinking of the Chair, the Officer or the Board members" - JRM