Since 2006, Dan Garodnick has been City Council Member representing District 4 in Manhattan. He recently announced his candidacy for Comptroller.
The Long Island City / Astoria Chamber of Commerce met on July 19th at the Waterfront Crabhouse. Members were able to meet and greet Garodnik and hear his views on NYC Government financial management and administrative controls.
Dan Garodnick is currently Chair of the Consumer Affairs Committee for the City Council, and has been a strong advocate for tenant rights as well as credit reporting and control issues. He also recently introduced a Bill which would curb the use of new electric bikes on sidewalks, which have become a serious hazard to pedestrians.
During his comments, Garodnick noted that he has observed that small business owners are frustrated by governement, and express that they feel that it is an obstacle. He cited examples of things that can be changed, and should be changed, including things like hours for brunch service in restaurants NYC as well as housing codes and building permits around stalled construction sites.
As candidate for City Comptroller, he discussed the importance of the job and its responsibilities at a time when the City has budget deficits. In his comments, he put issues in the context of small business. He also dealt with the "audit function" of the City Comptroller's Office and the possible changes that could come as a result of his election.
Members of the Chamber at the meeting voiced concerns about the assessments being charged small business as a result of the borrowing to fund unemployment compensation. He addressed the opportunity and power of New York City to lobby State and Federal government on behalf of its small businesses.
He also discussed various aspects of the auding process, and his view of the relationship between the Comptroller's Office, agencies, and the Mayor. This lead to a discussion on the audit process and the actions that are taken as a result of the audits. Agencies do not have an obligation to accept the recommendations made by the Comptroller. The obligation is only to respond. Garodnick has a plan to monitor recommended changes and have an impact on the agencies. Audits are made public on the .gov website. Their is frequent disagreement in the result of the City audits.
In compliance with regulations controlling 501(c)6 organization, the meeting was strictly for information exchange and no campaign fund raising was part of the meeting.