Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman
Albany Office: Room 510 Capitol, Albany, NY 12248, (518) 455-5426
District Office: 341 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231, (718) 246-4889
news from

February 2008 Community Report

Millman Works to Clarify City's Regulation of A-Frame Signs

Last month, Assemblywoman Joan Millman met with NYC Council Member David Yassky and NYC Department of Sanitation Commissioner John J. Doherty regarding the Department's recent crackdown on A-frame signs. The new policy adopted by the Department of Sanitation mandates businesses receive a fine only if the sign is blocking pedestrian traffic. Many of Brooklyn's sidewalks are wide enough to accommodate A-frame advertising and pedestrian traffic.

Local business owner Mike Davidov, pictured to the left, was one of many area merchants ticketed for the display of an A-frame sign on the sidewalk in front of his business.

"A-frame signs are an important way for local businesses to advertise," said Millman. "I am pleased that the Department of Sanitation has recognized the value of these signs to local merchants."

Millman Introduces Legislation to Reform Public Authorities

Assemblywoman Millman kicked off the new session in Albany by introducing a bill that would begin to hold the autonomous public authorities accountable by limiting the terms of governor-appointed board members. Under current law, governor-appointed board members can continue their tenure on the board even after the appointing governor's term expires.

Public authorities were created as an independent revenue-generating mechanism in order to borrow money for a specific public purpose without public approval and for a limited period of time. There are over 800 public authorities in New York State and by 2006 these authorities had incurred $129 billion in debt. Recently, the New York State Thruway Authority chose to increase tolls on the thruway without proof of the need to raise tolls and without the consent of the governor.

"Clearly, many of New York's public authorities have run amok and reform is needed," stated Millman. "This bill, along with its companion bill in the Senate, will ensure that outgoing governors cannot stack the membership of our public authorities with political appointees for years beyond their terms."

Millman Supports Carroll Gardens Rezoning Resolution

Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman joined State Senator Martin Connor on the steps of City Hall to express support for NYC Council Member Bill de Blasio's newly-introduced resolution requesting that the City Planning Commission immediately begin efforts to downzone the Carroll Gardens neighborhood in Brooklyn. Current zoning regulations do not adequately protect the neighborhood from out-of-scale development. The resolution introduced by Council Member de Blasio would speed up the City's rezoning process.

"I applaud Council Member de Blasio for introducing this downzoning resolution to the City Council," stated Millman. "There are many reasons people choose to live in Carroll Gardens, and we must work to preserve those cherished qualities. We thank the City Planning Commission for recognizing the need to rezone this neighborhood."

Millman Speaks Out Against Possible Con Ed Rate Increase

At a hearing last month, Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman submitted testimony to the NYC Public Service Commission denouncing Consolidated Edison's application to increase rates for New York consumers. According to the public utilities company, a rate hike is necessary to "support investments in electric delivery infrastructure" and also would include an incentives package for shareholders. However, New York residents already are overburdened with the highest utility rates in the nation.

Citing Con Ed's inadequate response to the 2006 Queens blackout and its failure to eliminate electrified hotspots throughout the city, Assemblywoman Millman highlighted the company's unsatisfactory record in delivering power safely and adequately to consumers. In addition, last year the Commission levied an $18 million fine against Con Ed for its poor service to consumers.

"As a public utility, Con Ed's priorities need to be its customers," said Millman. "Unfortunately, it appears Con Ed is more interested in rewarding its stockholders than in serving and protecting the public."

Office of Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman
341 Smith Street, Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 246-4889