With much fanfare, Elizabeth Crowley announced that she would allow participatory budgeting in her district for the first time this year. Dozens of creative ideas for improvements in the district poured in, but the final list of projects was filled with standard repair projects at schools, parks, and libraries – like replacing seats in a school auditorium, upgrading playground equipment, fixing school bathrooms, replacing old computers, and installing a new school air conditioning system. These types of capital projects are supposed to be funded by the city anyway through the budgets for each department. So basically, what happened is that people who bothered to vote showed up at the polls to affirm that Crowley should fund what she is already required to. Other communities that have been involved with participatory budgeting for a longer while have found that the projects they voted for have still not been funded after several years. And if all this isn't dumb enough, here's the kicker: It is a requirement to show photo ID in order to vote in the participatory budget process for the district yet at general elections it is not!
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SERVING MIDDLE VILLAGE AND MASPETH SINCE 1938.