Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito taking credit for the recent passage of a $75 billion municipal budget is nothing to be proud of.
She presented the budget to her loyal flock of members just before midnight on June 25. They only had one hour to read it prior to voting at 1 a.m. on June 26. Unless the council members took an Evelyn Woods speed reading course, no one had time to read and understand the details buried in the hundreds of pages, which made up the budget.
Not to worry, in exchange for looking the other way and voting in favor of the budget, everyone got a "piece of the action." Each got a slice of $50 million in local pork barrel member item spending.
Next, unreported by the media, was another treat. Mark-Viverito also authorized approval for the remaining 50 percent balance of lulus paid out to council members ranging from $4,000 to $28,000 for chairing committees or subcommittees.
No wonder council members are loyal lapdogs to the speaker. So much for open transparent reform government promised voters by both the mayor and speaker. Mayor Bill De Blasio, Mark-Viverito and her members have all quickly morphed from reformers into inside City Hall loyal clubhouse regulars.