Assembly Passes Braunstein Bill to Improve Public Communications and Input on City Projects

The New York State Assembly has passed Assemblyman Edward C. Braunstein’s (D-Bayside) bill A.355-A to require city agencies to provide advance notice to state elected officials and community boards about construction, acquisitions and other projects that will take place in their communities. Notifications for various construction projects or designations in New York City are currently sent only to City Council members, borough presidents, and, only in select instances, to community boards.

Often, New York City projects or plans (i.e. NYC Department of Environmental Protection water main and sewer replacements; property acquisitions by the NYC School Construction Authority; major Department of Transportation reconstruction initiatives) begin, or are solidified, without giving advance notice to State Assemblymembers or Senators. This prevents officials from providing needed communications to constituents, or supplying necessary input on behalf of their constituents during the planning process. 

Under the bill, several NYC agencies would be required to provide advance notice on many city-lead projects. In addition, the bill also mandates that elected officials and community boards be notified in advance about long-term work to be performed by a public utility company, such as Con Edison, and of media and entertainment filmings and accompanying parking requests scheduled in the district.

“Expanding vital internal communications to include state electeds would better equip officials to deliver accurate and timely information to their constituents, and would help to ensure that the local community has a voice in the public planning process,” said Assemblyman Edward Braunstein. “Similarly, providing advance notice about upcoming utility projects and media filmings to elected officials and community boards would help ensure that local residents are well informed about what’s happening in their communities.”

“Community Board 7 supports the efforts of Assemblyman Braunstein and the other sponsors of Assembly Bill A.355-A,” said Gene Kelty, Chair of Queens CB 7. “This bill will assist the local Community Boards for a quicker heads up on the amount and type of constructions as well as other projects affecting their Districts.Community Boards were developed for supervising services from the City to their Districts as well as Planning for their areas.This bill will help the Boards in accomplishing its primary purpose.”

"Community Board 11 is happy to be supported by Assemblyman Braunstein's bill, which increases the transparency by which our residents are informed of the many filming dates and special parking request locations that we host every year in our district,” said Joe Marziliano, District Manager of Queens Community Board 11. “More importantly, this bill allows for the Board and residents to have more lead time to be able to plan accordingly for community based projects like utility work. This is an initiative that solves many complaints we have received for a long time, and the Board is happy to be able to facilitate more information directly to the public moving forward."

The companion bill S.4013-A, carried by Queens State Senator Leroy Comrie, is in the Senate Cities Committee.