THE GOOD . . .
We applaud the members of the City Council for jumping on the insidious parking meter rate increase that went into effect on January 3. An hour of parking on the streets of Queens was being increased by 25 cents, to a dollar an hour or 15 minutes for a quarter.
We warned our readers who admitted that they often do not look and just plug in quarters until they reach the maximum. That technique would have left them with 30 minutes of ticket liability at each two-hour meter or Muni Meter.
In a deal with the mayor, the increase has been delayed through June 30. Stay tuned and keep a couple of extra quarters in your pockets or cars on July 1.
THE BAD . . .
It certainly was a bad choice of words by Schools Chancellor Cathie Black at a meeting on classroom overcrowding. She attempted to make a joke about the solution by asking, “Could we just have some birth control for a while?”
We all know that she meant that ill-considered remark as a tongue in cheek – not to considered, not to be believed – humorous moment during a serious discussion on a system failure.
When hoisted on this petard, she immediately apologized for her words. We say accept the apology – as a misstep. She is human.
THE UGLY . . .
Former State Senator Hiram MonserRATe is having trouble paying his high-powered $750-an-hour defense attorney Joseph Tacopina. Tacopina is defending him against charges he misused $109,000 from the taxpayer-funded charity Latino Initiative for Better Resources & Empowerment (LIBRE).
MonserRATe, 43, was indicted on Tuesday, October 19 on federal charges that he used the non-profit organization as a source to finance his campaigns for both the City Council and the State Senate. Tacopina asked a federal court judge to be removed from the case or name him Monserrate’s court-appointed lawyer. The terms of the federal Criminal Justice Act authorizes payments of $125 an hour or up to a $9,700 maximum for felony cases.
MonserRATe has filed court papers saying he’s unemployed and $128,000 in debt even though he has received $26,000 from his city NYPD pension. He is trying to sell his $130,000 co-op apartment, but has failed at that too.