Reversal of fortune: $3 million bond ordinance for police, fire and environmental services finally passes

The City Council reversed its earlier rejections of bonding for police, fire infrastructure along with replacing aged environmental services equipment in passing a $3 million bond request in a 6-1 vote.

Outside City Hall Environmental Services equipment stood with signs such as this one noting its ancient origin.  Councilwoman Castellano complained bitterly that an unnamed person stood before the council saying the group was being excluded from deserved support in previous bond ordinance votes.  She along with Mason, Occhipinti, and Russo voted down a similar bond effort twice in recent months although they indicated they would vote yes separately for the police department.

Two earlier requests were rejected with environmental services being singled out for rejection in the legislation presented comprehensively by the Administration for improvement to police and fire facilities and antiquated environmental services equipment.  Council members Tim Occhipinti and Beth Mason were absent and previously voted down the bond along with Terry Castellano and Michael Russo although Occhipinti would arrive later after the vote passed.

Councilwoman Castellano changed her earlier no votes providing the required sixth vote needed for the bond’s passage.

Sponsor Councilman Peter Cunningham noted, “It’s a phenomenal time to bond with the low rates.”

Council President Ravi Bhalla called a five minute break for members to inspect the environmental services equipment but Council members Russo and Castellano remained on the dais throughout.  Instead they stayed huddling with Michele “Five bucks a tow” Russo and Police Chief Falco.

Councilwoman Terry Castellano confers with Ed Drishti, the senior police officers union rep and Michele Russo while Police Chief Anthony Falco speaks with Councilman Michael Russo during the five minute break called to view the aged Environmental Services equipment.

Talking Ed Note: A senior institutional source outside City Hall expressed optimism on the vote earlier.  Their optimism proved correct.

The food truck ordinance was revised and brought back after two public meetings for first reading by Councilwoman Jen Giattino and easily passed 6-1.  

Councilman Michael Russo sponsored an ordinance for senior discounts at the midtown garage passed unanimously on first reading.

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