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Mayor Has Stern Words and Kudos for City Projects

In a special City Hall press conference on Tuesday with the City’s community newspapers, Mayor Rudy Giuliani talked about agencies and residents taking greater responsibility for how things are run.
The Mayor had stern words for the City University of New York’s (CUNY) which overall has "not done a good job" in handling remediation for incoming students that are not up to grade level. "We need to separated remediation from college education. It should happen . . . and the City will continue to support and pay for it, but at some point we won’t. In it’s failure to define what they do, they do nothing well."
CUNY and the State University of New York need to be "challenged to change" and he suggested privatization of remediation in partnership with the City’s private schools.
Giuliani had harsher words for the City’s library system (see adjacent article).
As for child care, safety, and education in the City, the Mayor praised the work of government and challenged the communities to get involved.
The Mayor said there has been a "vast breakdown of familial responsibility" from which the City can do only so much to save children. "Those who are closest to them can protect them the best or hurt them the most," he said, adding that there needs to be a "concerted effort" by community groups and churches to focus on the responsibilities of parents, grandparents, and extended family.
"Communities need to take significantly more responsibility for the people who live in that community," helping to "make up for the breakdown of normal ethical values that guide a decent society."
The Mayor also said the communities need to get involved with the police to help the Department make informed policing choices as neighborhoods develop and change.
In response to a question about Reverend Louis Farakhan coming to the South Bronx to assist in housing efforts as many neighborhood churches already do, the Mayor said he could not support the idea. He described Farakhan as a man with a "hateful philosophy. He divides people. He is a dangerous forces," and said he would be against his "further infiltration into the City of New York of any kind . . . the worst possible thing would be for Farakhan to be involved in housing in this City."
As for Light Rail plans for Kennedy Airport, the Mayor said he didn’t agree that the plan was designed in the right order and he denounced the Port Authority for investing money made at Queens airports into keeping PATH fares from New Jersey at a $1 level.
He said he will support the plan going forward as long as it doesn’t cost the City any money and a design study is done for a single ride link from Manhattan to LaGuardia Airport – what he believes should have been the PA’s first priority. However, he added that the plan as it stands is an "indignity to New York City."
As questions closed, he offered his encouragement and support for the Business Improvement Districts of Queens. He said that regulation changes currently being made are designed to stop some of the large BIDs – which had begun incurring debt – from becoming in effect "governments onto themselves."
But he added that the charges are not meant to cause troubles for the many City BIDs which are operating successfully and properly "functioning based on the dollars they collect." He said his administration would gladly work with any BID that has questions about the citywide changes.

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