Tag Archives: New York

Who Sets Nonprofit Compensation Levels? A Question of Equity and Justice

Source: Allison Sesso, NonProfit Quarterly, October 18, 2016

Last month marked an important moment for the nonprofit human services workforce. Members of the District Council 1707 (DC 1707) labor union and a membership organization of childcare providers, Day Care Council of New York (DCCNY), negotiated a four-year contract for 2,700 daycare workers in New York City serving 10,500 children. … While this contract will apply only to those daycare workers represented by the DC 1707 union in New York City, it raises important questions about the human services workforce as a whole—a workforce that provides critical services on behalf of government and that is comprised predominantly of people of color and women. Who should determine the wages of the human services workforce? How should compensation be set? The answers to these questions have significant implications for economic development and equity. … Currently, the City has approximately 4,000 contracts with roughly 1,200 nonprofit organizations, and there are more than 100,000 human services workers in the City. Many of these organizations receive 80 to 90 percent of their funding from the government, and unlike other industries, nonprofits cannot increase prices or pull from a profit margin to fund wage and benefit increases. When the government constricts nonprofit funding, it constricts nonprofit worker compensation, as nonprofits simply cannot afford to pay a living wage or provide decent health insurance coverage or retirement plans for their employees. … The DC 1707 agreement reminds us that government drives compensation levels at nonprofit human service agencies. When government funds nonprofit contracts adequately, they promote equity by boosting compensation and benefits for this predominately female and highly diverse workforce. Governments across the country should pay attention to the developments taking place in New York City and consider taking similar actions to improve compensation levels for this valuable and under-resourced workforce. …

New York’s Charter School Revolution Hits a Milestone

Source: Jason L. Riley, Wall Street Journal, October 4, 2016

Sorry, but I have some bad news for opponents of school choice. The Success Academy public charter-school network, which is based in New York City, marked its 10th anniversary this year and shows no signs of slowing down. The first school opened in Harlem on Aug. 20, 2006. The 165 kindergartners and first-graders, chosen by lottery, shared a building with a traditional public school. Now there are 41 Success schools, serving 14,000 children. The waiting list has nearly doubled in the past three years to about 17,000, and over the next decade the plan is to expand to 100 schools serving 50,000 children, which would rival the size of the Atlanta and Boston public-school districts. … When I asked Ms. Moskowitz this week what’s changed in terms of her challenges over the past decade, she pointed to the political environment. Under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a reform-oriented independent who served from 2002 to 2013, robust school choice was not only supported but encouraged. By contrast, his successor, progressive Democrat Bill de Blasio, has aligned himself with organized labor—which opposes charter schools because most are exempt from the collective-bargaining agreements that allow teachers unions to exert so much control over public education. “The current mayor has succeeded in slowing the growth to its lowest level since its inception,” said Ms. Moskowitz. “On average, during the [second half] of the Bloomberg administration, total enrollment growth was around 26%. In the last two years that has slowed considerably to about 11%.” The citywide charter school waiting list today is about 45,000 students. …


New York Charts Bold Course for Schools
Source: Mara Gay, Wall Street Journal, March 31, 2014

New York City charter schools have scored a major victory under a deal brokered in Albany that could make it one of the most charter-friendly cities in the country. Under the agreement, hammered out by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state Legislature over the weekend, New York City would be forced to find rent-free space for charter schools in government buildings. If there is no room in public school buildings, the city would be required to pay up to $40 million for the charter to rent private space.

De Blasio sued by own allies to overturn charter school openings
Source: Carl Campanile, NY Post, March 26, 2014

Top allies sued Mayor de Blasio Wednesday to overturn his decision to open 14 charter schools in city-owned buildings this fall. The chief plaintiffs include Public Advocate Letitia James, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and eight other city council members, The Post has learned.

Deputy mayor: charter expansion could lead to ‘privatized’ school system
Source: Yoav Gonen, Aaron Short and Carl Campanile, New York Post, March 11, 2014

A massive expansion of charter schools could lead to the “privatization” of public education, Mayor de Blasio’s top deputy warned Monday — even as the mayor himself was saying charters have a role in the system. First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris told an audience at a Crain’s breakfast forum that charters couldn’t be “the long-term solution” for the city’s educational network because 95 percent of students here attend regular public schools…. Shorris’ tough comments came just hours before the mayor met privately with charter operators and said the publicly-funded but privately-run schools have a role to play. Gov. Cuomo — who has emerged as a key defender of charters — brushed off Shorris’ warning about the charters….

Editorial: Why is New York Mayor Bill de Blasio undermining charter schools?
Source: Editorial Board, Washington Post, March 10, 2014

During his successful campaign for New York mayor, Bill de Blasio (D) made clear that he had a different, less favorable view of public charter schools than did his predecessor. But even charter advocates who feared the worst wouldn’t have predicted that Mr. de Blasio would kick a high-achieving charter school out of its building, leaving hundreds of parents wondering where their children will attend classes next fall. Success Academy Harlem 4, whose students boast some of the highest math scores in New York state, faces an uncertain fate in light of Mr. de Blasio’s decision to deny it free space. The school, in operation since 2008, is part of the Success Academy chain, which serves minority and low-income children with impressive results. The chain’s chief executive, Eva Moskowitz, is a political rival of the mayor; during the campaign, he said of her: “She has to stop being tolerated, enabled, supported.” Mr. de Blasio also rescinded the co-locations of two planned Success schools that had been approved by former mayor Michael Bloomberg. …

&YM_MID=1453812&sfvc4enews=42&cl=article_10_b">Cuomo reiterates support for charter schools
Source: Kimberlee Payton-Jones, American School and University, March 5, 2014

…Governor Andrew M. Cuomo (D-NY) came out in support of charter schools at an Albany-rally yesterday. The governor addressed more than 11,000 charter school supporters amid frigid temperatures. …. Cuomo came out in support of charter schools in the wake of New York mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration withdrawal of agreements that would have allowed three charter schools to operate in public school buildings…..

Idea of Charging Rent for New York Charters Hits Wrinkle State Could Decrease Funding to City for Facilities
Source: Lisa Fleisher, Wall Street Journal, February 6, 2014

Mayor Bill de Blasio might want to think twice before he figures how much to charge charter schools for rent: If he charges too much, it could cost the city money. State education officials are studying how Mr. de Blasio’s pledge to charge rent to charters that operate in city buildings could affect the amount of funding the city receives for facilities. New York City gets more than $1 billion a year from the state to defray the cost of school facilities—partially paying for leases, renovations, purchases and new construction. The state Education Department distributes the building aid through formulas established in state law.State officials said they could consider pulling back some of that funding if it appears that the city is turning a profit on the space used by charter schools—recouping more than its share of expenses. It could be complicated, though, to figure out exactly how that would be measured, state officials said. ….

Editorial: Bill de Blasio & an anti-charter lawsuit
Source: Post Editorial Board, New York Post, January 5, 2014

Even before Mayor de Blasio took office Wednesday, he was being yanked to his left on a key issue: charter schools. And he had a wise response: Not so fast. The pressure came, ironically, from the very City Council member he’s backing for speaker, Melissa Mark-Viverito, and from newly installed Public Advocate Letitia James, among others. The two joined a lawsuit filed last month to stop the city from placing schools alongside other schools in some 40 buildings where extra space exists….

For New York City’s Charter Schools, a Lesson on Paying Rent
Source: Winnie Hu, New York Times, December 1, 2013

…. Charter schools, which receive public funds but are independently operated, have thrived in New York in the last dozen years — in no small measure because the administration of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has provided them with space and other resources. Currently, 114 of the city’s 183 charter schools are housed rent-free in public school buildings, according to the Education Department. … Mr. de Blasio has contended that charter schools have been favored at the expense of traditional public schools, which serve the vast majority of students, and that locating charter and traditional schools in the same buildings has resulted in overcrowding. Mr. de Blasio has proposed that “well-resourced charter schools” should pay rent on a sliding scale. Some charter schools and their advocates have countered that charging rents could lead to teacher layoffs, program cuts and increased class sizes. City charter schools receive $13,527 per pupil from the city’s Education Department, and additional local, state or federal funds based on student needs, such as special education. Some charter schools also receive money through private donations as well as through state and federal grants, including a federal grant that defrays start-up costs. …

City’s Charter Schools Fear Having de Blasio for a Landlord
Source: Javier C. Hernández, New York Times, October 8, 2013

Charter schools in New York City have flourished over the past decade, attracting donations from Wall Street, praise from leaders in business and government, and free real estate from the city. …. The leading candidate to succeed Mr. Bloomberg, Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, is a no-bones-about-it critic of charter schools who rose to prominence in part by berating the mayor’s educational agenda. By contrast, the Republican candidate, Joseph J. Lhota, is a fierce defender of charter schools…. The Bloomberg administration is concerned enough about their future in the city that it is racing in its final months to place two dozen more of them into public school buildings. The board that approves school space plans will meet twice this month, an unusual step. …

Money for charter schools balloons during Mayor Bloomberg’s tenure
Source: Ben Chapman and Corinne Lestch, New York Daily News, July 14, 2013

Charter schools received billions of dollars during Mayor Bloomberg’s tenure — while teachers, school aides, principals and classrooms got a smaller share of a substantially larger school budget pie, according to documents obtained by the Daily News. Money for charter schools exploded from about $32 million to about $659 million over a decade as Bloomberg increased their number from 17 when he took office in 2002 to 125 in 2010-11, the most recent year for which spending data are available. Funding for charter schools is set by the state. Now there are a whopping 159 charter schools in the city — and two dozen more will open in the fall. More than 100,000 students — about 10% of all city students — are expected to be enrolled when all of the schools reach capacity…. Charter schools outperform public schools on many measures, but only 6% of their students are English-language learners, and just 9% of their students have special needs — much lower than the citywide averages….

Invasion Of The Charter Schools
Source: Anya Kamenetz, Village Voice, Vol. 58 no. 5, January 30, 2013

Former City Councilmember Eva Moskowitz, with Bloomberg’s union-busting blessing, is pushing her Success Academy edu-franchise into Brooklyn. The natives aren’t buying….Success Academy Williamsburg opened this past fall. Citizens of the World was approved in December to open in the fall of 2013—unless a lawsuit by local parents, who have taken their campaign from the hui to City Hall, manages to stop it. In other words, a full-on cage match is brewing near the shops and bars of Bedford Avenue. But it’s more than just #firstworldproblems—it’s a struggle over the urban soul and a microcosm of the national education debate. Each side claims to be concerned only with what’s best for all children, implying that others are acting out of spite, greed, or bad faith. But the basic principle in play here is simple: Who should decide the educational needs of a neighborhood?…

… Charter elementary schools like those in Moskowitz’s chain, Success, save money by “co-locating” in existing school buildings; they see the depopulated hallways in a place like Williamsburg as an empty niche waiting to be exploited. Already, the 28 elementary schools in the neighborhood include five charters. …

Whether they are not-for-profit or for-profit, and they can be either, charter chains are businesslike—and they compete aggressively for students. Success Academy spent a reported $900,000 on marketing last year, including $250,000 to the lobbying, PR, and crisis-management firm SKD Knickerbocker. The chain also bought space for a set of large ads in the Bedford Avenue L subway stop….

…For Mayor Bloomberg, as well as his former schools chancellor, Joel Klein (now an executive at Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., where he oversees Amplify, the company’s “education unit”), and his current one, Dennis Walcott, the logic is business logic. The three men are some of the most prominent boosters of charter schools nationwide, and when they talk about education, they speak the language of choice, investment, and free markets. …
See also:
Charter School Studies
Source: Stanford University, CREDO, 2013

Ramapo eyes private firm to run planning, zoning

Source: Steve Lieberman, LoHud, September 23, 2016

With Chief Building Inspector Anthony Mallia suspended from his town post due to pending criminal charges, Ramapo officials are looking at contracting with an engineering company to handle issues involving construction projects and developers. The Laberge Group would be hired to perform the building and zoning work on a month-to-month basis while Mallia is facing a corruption case put together by the Rockland District Attorney’s Office, Supervisor Christopher St. Lawrence said Friday. Laberge Group has been asked to put together a proposal under which it would handle all projects before the town planning and zoning boards. The group also would review the fees charged for construction, which have not changed since 1995, he said. … Ramapo had recently contracted with the Laberge Group to seek grants for state funding for the repair of the Fourth Street Bridge in Hillburn and culvert work on Phyliss Terrace in Monsey, St. Lawrence said. He said the town is seeking just under $1 million for the bridge rebuilding and about $1 million for the culvert work. The firm, on its website, lists among its clients the Rockland County communities of Stony Point and New Square, as well as the East Ramapo Central School District. In Westchester its listed clients are Peekskill, Yonkers, Pound Ridge, Dobbs Ferry, Hastings-on-Hudson, Mount Kisco, Sleepy Hollow, Port Chester, and Tarrytown. …

The National Labor Relations Board Says Charter School Teachers Are Private Employees

Source: Rachel M. Cohen, The American Prospect, September 8, 2016

The National Labor Relations Board issued a pair of decisions in late August, which ruled that teachers at charter schools are private employees, therefore falling under the NLRB’s jurisdiction. The cases centered on two schools with teachers vying for union representation: PA Virtual Charter School, a statewide cyber charter in Pennsylvania, and Hyde Leadership Charter School, located in Brooklyn. In both cases, the NLRB concluded that the charters were “private corporation[s] whose governing board members are privately appointed and removed,” and were neither “created directly by the state” nor “administered by individuals who are responsible to public officials or the general electorate.” The NLRB determined that a charter’s relationship to the state resembled that of a government contractor, as governments provide the funding but do not originate or control the schools.


National Labor Relations Board decides charter schools are private corporations, not public schools
Source: Emma Brown, Washington Post, August 30, 2016

The National Labor Relations Board decided in two separate cases last week that — as far as federal labor law is concerned — charter schools are not public schools but private corporations. The decisions apply only to the specific disputes from which they arose, involving unionization efforts at charter schools in New York and in Pennsylvania. But they plunge the labor board into a long-running debate over the nature of charter schools: publicly funded, privately run institutions that enroll about 3 million students nationwide. Charter school advocates have long argued that charters are public schools because they are tuition-free, open-enrollment institutions funded primarily with tax dollars. But union leaders and other critics describe charters as private entities that supplant public schools, which are run by elected officials, with nonprofit and for-profit corporations that are run by unelected boards that are unaccountable to voters. In its recent decisions, both issued Aug. 24, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that Hyde Leadership Charter School in Brooklyn and the Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School are — like other government contractors — private corporations that receive taxpayer dollars. … Miscimarra said the board should refrain from becoming involved in any charter school cases: The labor board’s definition of public vs. private is so specific that it must be evaluated case by case, creating unacceptable uncertainty for schools and their employees, he wrote …

M.T.A. Contract Workers Will Earn Higher Wages by 2018

Source: Emma G. Fitzsimmons, New York Times, August 26, 2016

The company that runs a call center for Access-A-Ride, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s service for people with disabilities, and the union that represents its workers have reached an agreement to raise their wages to at least $15 an hour by 2018, the union announced on Friday. The union, Transport Workers Union Local 100, had held contentious negotiations with the authority’s contractor, Global Contact Services, over working conditions and wages at the Access-A-Ride call center in Queens. … Under the agreement, newer call center employees would see their hourly pay increase gradually to $15 by the end of 2018. More experienced workers would make $15.40 an hour by 2018. The workers must ratify the agreement and a vote is expected in September. … His company took over the call center in 2013 from a company called First Transit after Global Contact Services was awarded a five-year, $152 million contract by the authority. Officials at the authority and advocates for people with disabilities have said the customer service improved under the new contractor. …


Pilot program offers the disabled with alternatives to Access-A-Ride
Source: Henrick Karoliszyn, New York Daily News, April 1, 2013

Community Board 1 in Astoria and Community Board 18 in Canarsie testing Taxi Smart Card Program.. A city pilot program that would give people with disabilities the option to take taxis instead of Access-A-Ride or public transportation is being tested in Astoria. The Taxi Smart Card Program would allow residents to use taxis or livery cabs with a $100 bank card for doctor’s appointments, family visits or running errands…


Source: Jerell Blakeley, NJ Spotlight, August 15, 2016

Unfortunately, Bush is not alone. He and his hardworking colleagues in Camden and other cities are losing their jobs as more and more districts choose to privatize school custodial staff. School districts in New Jersey as diverse as Clifton, Woodstown, Lacey, and Paterson are privatizing school custodial-staff members at alarming rates. As members of the Healthy Schools Now coalition, we are concerned about the impact of school privatization on school facility quality, as well as the social costs of this troubling trend. … According to noted education scholar Walter Farrell, privatization leads to lower quality services, accountability problems, and hidden costs; most importantly, the financial benefits remain unproven. According to the Great Lakes Center for Education Research & Practice, custodial privatization processes suffer from loopholes in contracts, misleading cost-benefit analyses, indirect costs, and unrealistic introductory rates. Due to the inexperience of the privatized school custodial staff and its lack of appropriate staffing, President Clarice Berry of the Chicago Principals Association, testified before a Chicago City Council committee that she was “terrified” of what would happen when the snow began. According to the Chicago Tribune, parents claim that the unsanitary bathroom conditions, overflowing garbage cans and soiled napping cots are the result of inadequate custodial care following the Chicago Board of Education’s decision to award multimillion-dollar custodial management contracts to two firms, Aramark and SodexoMAGIC. … Healthy Schools Now is also concerned with the disproportionate impact of cuts on custodians of color. As noted in a recent article in The New York Times, roughly one in five black adults are employed in the public sector and are about 30 percent more likely to have a public-sector job than non-Hispanic whites, and twice as likely as Hispanics. …

Resolutions to sell county nursing homes tabled for study

Source: Rick Miller, Olean Times Herald, August 4, 2016

Resolutions before the Cattaraugus County Legislature seeking buyers for the county nursing homes in Olean and Machias were tabled Wednesday by the Human Services Committee for more study. … Vickman, a former employee of the Machias nursing home and a longtime supporter, added, “We aren’t able to tell the public where we are (financially).” She argued for hiring a consultant to come up with a five-year plan much like the Center for Governmental Research report from 2012. Vickman also said the committee needed to meet again to decide what information and projections it needed. Committee member Barbara Hastings, D-Allegany, said the nursing homes’ independent auditor, Michael McCarthy, is scheduled to deliver an annual report later this month, suggesting the committee hold off taking any action until after hearing his report. … While it’s not easy to follow the county nursing homes’ finances, both forecast 2016 deficits of less than $1 million each. The Pines Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Olean has sufficient reserves to cover a $890,500 deficit, so it isn’t on the property tax levy — except for the $1 million cost of its share of intergovernmental transfer (IGT) funding. The Pines Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Machias budgeted for a $889,268 deficit after the IGT money is applied but does not have any fund balance. When the $889,268 Machias deficit is added to the nearly $2 million cost to obtain the federal IGT money through the state, the overall impact on the property tax levy is more than $2.8 million. … One point Rose Teachman, president of CSEA, made in her remarks to lawmakers that talks on a 70-point list of cost-saving measures suggested by the union were beginning to bear fruit when they were discontinued. There are alternatives to selling the nursing homes, she said. Legislators abruptly sent the resolutions back to committees for more study at last week’s meeting. …

State hires private firm to examine Buffalo Billion spending

Source: Tom Precious, Buffalo News, July 15, 2016

A private legal firm is being paid up to $450,000 by the state to examine past and future spending of the Buffalo Billion and other upstate economic development programs, at the same time federal prosecutors have been expanding their own investigation of state officials, private individuals and companies across the state. Two and a half months after hiring the outside investigator, the Cuomo administration on Friday afternoon released its contract with Bart Schwartz, a former federal prosecutor who runs Guidepost Solutions out of Manhattan. … The contract calls for a maximum total payment of $450,000, though there is language in the 21-page document for additional expenses for “unanticipated needs.” The contract runs until Dec. 31. Schwartz’s firm can bill the state for a variety of work, including $652.50 per hour for tasks performed by his company’s directors and managing forensic investigators. … After an initial round of subpoenas was sent by federal prosecutors looking into the matter, Cuomo said there was no need for an additional state review of the Buffalo Billion program. That all changed on April 29 when his office became the latest to receive a subpoena seeking a range of information involving economic development programs, private corporations across the state, and communications by Cuomo’s top staff, as well as information about Joseph Percoco and Todd Howe, two longtime political associates of the governor. The contract states that Schwartz is charged with reviewing any projects he wants associated with the Buffalo Billion program or several others that have been launched in other upstate cities. …

States Diversifying Use of Public-Private Partnerships in Infrastructure

Source: Sean Slone, Council of State Governments, May June 2016

When U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx finished his remarks at the recent InfraAmericas conference on public-private partnerships, or P3s, in New York City, Kentucky state Rep. Leslie Combs was first to the microphone for the Q&A. “We just passed P3 legislation in Kentucky,” said Combs, who this spring authored the legislation that allows Kentucky, like 33 other states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, to enter into P3s to build infrastructure projects. … But Kentucky’s first announced infrastructure P3 is not a toll road or a major bridge project. In fact, at the behest of anti-toll interests in the northern part of the state, Kentucky’s legislation specifically prohibits the use of tolls on any P3 project connecting Kentucky and Ohio, such as a potential replacement for the functionally obsolete Brent Spence Bridge. Instead, the commonwealth’s first P3 project is KentuckyWired, a partnership to create a statewide, open-access fiber optic broadband network. …

… Indeed many of the infrastructure P3 projects garnering the buzz at this year’s InfraAmericas forum were somewhat different from those the U.S. P3 industry has become accustomed to over the last decade. The conference highlighted projects at major U.S. airports and on university campuses. There were transit project P3s, alternative fuel, highway lighting and water infrastructure projects and a variety of social and civic infrastructure projects—public buildings and the like—in the spotlight as well.

Judge rules against group trying to halt sale of Brooklyn Heights Library

Source: Mary Frost, Brooklyn Eagle, July 11, 2016

Love Brooklyn Libraries, Inc., headed by Brooklyn resident Marsha Rimler, had challenged the project’s environmental review, but the court dismissed the claims on July 7, saying they lacked merit. The court also ruled that the lawsuit was not served within the required deadline, and that any extension of the deadline for service would be unwarranted. … Love Brooklyn Libraries, Inc. had claimed that the city’s environmental review did not take into account several adverse environmental risks, including increased traffic, air pollution and noise, and long shadows cast in nearby parks. The city, however, provided a detailed explanation of how its environmental analysis was carried out, demonstrating it was in technical compliance with applicable laws. For example, the analysis found that construction vehicles would not add more than 50 “vehicle-trips” at any intersection during peak hours. Because of this, further analysis was not warranted, according to guidance under the CEQR Technical Manual, the city’s environmental “bible.” … The library site is being sold to developer Hudson Companies for $52 million. Hudson plans to build a 36-story luxury tower, with a new, smaller Brooklyn Heights branch on the ground floor and below ground. As part of the deal, 114 units of affordable housing will be built in Clinton Hill.


Brooklyn Public Library To Sell Branch to Real Estate Developer
Source: Ian Chant, Library Journal, August 13, 2015

…If plans continue apace, the system will sell its Brooklyn Heights location to real estate developer Hudson Companies for upwards of $50 million. A 36 story residential tower of condos will be built on the site of the branch, in one of the borough’s toniest neighborhoods, and the ground floor will host a new library. … A design for the new library hasn’t been settled on yet, but one thing is for sure—at just over 21,000 square feet, the new branch will be significantly smaller than the current one, which is over 60,000 square feet. … The Brooklyn Heights Branch also houses BPL’s Business and Career Library, which won’t be true following the renovations. Once the current branch shutters its doors, the resources provided by the Business and Career Library will be moved three miles southwest to the Library’s Central Branch.

Community Board Approves Redevelopment Plan for Brooklyn Public Library Branch
Source: Ileana Najarro, New York Times, July 16, 2015

A controversial proposed redevelopment plan for the Brooklyn Public Library’s Brooklyn Heights branch, which includes the construction of affordable housing, received a community board’s approval, with provisions, at a heated meeting on Wednesday evening. The board, which met at St. Francis College, voted 25 to 14 in favor, with four members abstaining. … As part of the proposal, Hudson will also build 114 affordable-housing units in Clinton Hill, Ms. Johnson said. In exchange, the developer would build market-rate condominiums on top of the new library building. … The community board voted to approve the recommendation of the plan with three provisions: that once construction is completed and the new library is fully outfitted, at least $2 million be set aside as a fund to help maintain the library; that the new library have the same amount of usable space as the current one; and that there be a memorandum noting that a community benefits plan that is needed be made.

Saving Schools and Libraries by Giving Up the Land They Sit On
Source: Joseph Berger and Al Baker, New York Times, March 17, 2013

The Brooklyn Heights library is neither the oldest nor the most dilapidated branch of the Brooklyn Public Library system. But the 52-year-old limestone building is nonetheless ripe for demolition. It sits on land that developers crave, in a fashionable neighborhood where housing is in high demand. And so the library system, desperate for money to pay for $230 million in long-deferred repairs for its 60 branches, has embraced a novel financing model that is increasingly being used around New York City as a way to pay for government services. The library, on Cadman Plaza, along with another library near the Barclays Center, would be sold to developers, torn down and then rebuilt at no public expense on the ground floor of a new apartment tower. …

…But the approach has provoked growing protest in the affected communities. Most pressingly, residents are concerned about how far they will have to go to reach a library, and where their children will go to school, during the years it will take to erect the new towers. But they are also worried about the aesthetic and cultural price of replacing local institutions to which they are deeply attached, neighborhood landmarks if not official ones, and having them swallowed up into stacks of concrete, steel and glass. …

…Meanwhile, the New York City Housing Authority, facing the biggest deficits in its history, has proposed letting developers build private, mostly market-rate residential towers on parking lots alongside eight housing projects in Manhattan. The authority would use the resulting lease payments — as much as $60 million a year — to pay for badly needed repairs in the 179,000 apartments it manages….