But with the projections still going up, City Councilman Ben Kallos questioned how the city estimates its legal liabilities. He said other spending needs are going unmet because of the funds reserved for litigation.
"With regard to investing in defending these frivolous lawsuits, the key issue here is: We should be seeing a return on our investment, and that should be reflected in the judgment-and-claims budget," Kallos (D-Manhattan) said.
New York Presbyterian Hospital/Cornell-Weill Medical Center and the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center have also agreed to coordinate with the city as it upgrades the waterfront, according to City Councilman Ben Kallos.
New York-Presbyterian is currently constructing an ambulatory care center and Sloan Kettering's new outpatient cancer care facility and science and health building are also under construction.
"Revitalizing and improving the East River Esplanade has been one of my top priorities and one of the best ways to do this is to engage in active public-private partnerships, like this one with HSS," said City Councilman Ben Kallos. "Everyone benefits when the Esplanade is improved and maintained, especially in a part of the city that has one of the lowest amounts of open space.”
Councilman Ben Kallos, a Democrat from the Upper East Side, has also introduced legislation that would require city agencies to send pre-filled applications for food stamps and other government benefits for those who are eligible, using information from previous enrollments or applications. These agencies would also be required to inform people who apply for food stamps if they are eligible for additional benefits.
“We must work to eliminate the bureaucracy, paperwork and waste that prevent our poorest from accessing and keeping the benefits they need to be lifted from poverty,” Mr. Kallos said.
Mr. Kallos, who is chairman of the council’s governmental operations committee, added that he would also work for federal and state changes that could eventually allow city residents to receive food stamps automatically based on tax filings, and to continue receiving those benefits as long as they remained eligible with no renewal process.
'Billionaires' Row' towers, super-tall buildings have gone far enough, says one councilman
The way Ben Kallos, who represents District 5 in N.Y.C.'s City Council, sees it, towers looming more than 500 feet in a residential area — or, approximately 50 stories tall — have been putting residents in the dark for too long. To help solve this problem, the councilman will be holding a community forum tomorrow to discuss implementing a cap on super-tall buildings within residential areas.
City Councilman Ben Kallos is fed up with super tall skyscrapers he says are leaving Upper East Side residents in the dark — literally.
Like Reynoso, Councilman Ben Kallos, a Democrat from the Upper East Side and a member of the Progressive Caucus, opposes the cap but supports the study. “The scientific method dictates we look at existing reality as a control before we test our hypothesis,” Kallos told Capital. “The moratorium on Uber is drastic, for every single reason that is being spoused that we need this moratorium we have regulations that have been introduced by Council members that have been sitting there since last year, so this doesn’t seem like an emergency.”
New York City Councilmember Ben Kallos (Upper East Side, Roosevelt Island) told the crowd, “We’re taking back our waterfront.” He said that the expanded ferry service expected to roll out in 2017-2018 would “connect all five boroughs.”
The Councilmember has literally immersed himself in his subject.
“It’s always a please to swim across the East River, and around the Statue of Liberty with New York Swim,” he said. “Tomorrow morning I’ll be in the Hudson, swimming from 99th to 79th.”
Last week, the administration of Mayor Bill de Blasio unveiled its first express bus line: the 86th Street crosstown, running back and forth between York Avenue on the east side and Broadway on the west. There was a news conference to celebrate, at Columbus Avenue. Polly Trottenberg, the mayor’s transportation commissioner, hailed “modest investments” yielding dividends in terms of saved time for long-beleaguered riders, to which Ben Kallos, a city councilman, added that time saved translates into revenue for businesses whose taxes help pay for further transit improvements: a virtuous circle.
Councilman Ben Kallos of Manhattan announced on Friday that he opposes proposed legislation that would place a cap on new for-hire licenses issued to ride-sharing services such as Uber.
City Councilman Ben Kallos, who chairs the government operations committee, has repeatedly raised the issue of the vacancies at public hearings.
"I have identified years-long vacancies for half of the commissioners at the Tax Commission at multiple preliminary budget hearings and I have sought and extended a call for applicants at these public hearings," Kallos told Capital in an email.
What is the one piece of startup advice that you never got?
Use every networking opportunity to receive feedback and really spend time evaluating the feedback. Learning under The GovLab’s Civic Tech for Legislators and Legislatures coaching program with Councilman Ben Kallos really helped us appreciate this point.
“Waiting in block-long lines for crosstown buses in Yorkville and spending countless minutes boarding will hopefully become just another bad memory," said Councilmember Ben Kallos in a statement.
Some residents were worried about losing parking to stations that are built in the roads, as opposed to on sidewalks. In response, the city asked the transportation department to consider sidewalk stations instead for those locations, said City Councilman Ben Kallos, whose district includes Upper East Side and Midtown.
EXCLUSIVE: Sutton Place residents shocked to learn new luxury apartment complex will be 90 stories high, not 30 like they were told by developers
Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan) said he first heard of the huge tower on April Fool’s Day and was “incredibly concerned” and will push for a land-use review.
Councilman Ben Kallos of Manhattan said Monday that he may hold a hearing into allegations that members of New York Police Department destroyed documents that would show the agency has a quota system for summonses—something top cops have denied for years.
”Destruction of evidence is a serious charge and one that the courts will have to decide on as they move forward," said Kallos, chairman of the Council's government operations committee. "The allegations in this case are troubling for anyone who has ever received a ticket they felt was unfair.”
City Councilman Ben Kallos allocated $38,500 from his budget to put toward the esplanade project, which is also receiving another $3 million from Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito. Kallos serves on the East River Esplanade Task Force, which advocates for improvements to the park.
The Council’s allocation for the project “should be over and above any previous funding commitments,” said Kallos spokeswoman Sarah Anders. “It is great that the Council has made this such a high priority, because open space on the East Side is so rare and very much needed.”
Councilman Ben Kallos's statement came after the Daily News exclusively reported that the city had been unable to produce a single email from the files of former NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly or former Chief of Department Joseph Esposito in which they used the words "summons" or related terms.
U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, City Council members Ben Kallos and Dan Garodnick and representatives for other elected officials gave an update on the project at a news conference Wednesday and said they would push the agency to work on areas of concern regarding the line.
A quartet of politicians—Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Councilmen Daniel Garodnick and Ben Kallos, and Assemblyman Dan Quart—held a press conference Wednesday to warn of five issues that could postpone completion of the first phase of the new subway line. In ascending order of worry, they listed the 69th Street entrance to the 72nd Street station, track installation, electrical work, the project's budget, and—their top concern—the 86th Street entrance.
Nonetheless, City Councilman Ben Kallos is urging constituents to voice their concerns during the comment period.
"With a public comment period for the permits up for review, our community has an opportunity to make our voices heard," he said in a statement. "I urge the DEC to fulfill its mandate to protect our neighborhoods and our environment by stopping the permits for the irresponsible and ill-conceived Marine Transfer Station."
Upper East Side Councilmember Ben Kallos reinforced the idea that the community has a certain measure of control over where docks are installed in their neighborhood.
“East Siders can expect a say in where CitiBike stations are located,” Kallos said. “I sponsored a program to give the community feedback on CitiBike maps and will keep working with residents so that the stations can be located in the best possible locations. I will keep working to ensure CitiBike is a benefit to the community.”