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NYC needs to be accountable for its upkeep.

Recently, you may have read a story in the New York Times that crime has been substantially reduced in the midtown area. Part of the success is attributed to the private security service provided by the Grand Central Partnership, 34th Street Partnership and Bryant Park Special District.

Anyone working in or visiting midtown can see that the streets are cleaner, taxi service at the train terminals is safer with dispatchers reducing the number of hustlers who prey on tourists and other unsuspecting people, and that there is a general improvement in the area. With the tremendous amount we pay in taxes, why is it necessary for property owners and local businesses to provide what are really municipal services? What about the rest of the city, like So-Ho, Chinatown, as well as the highway system and the outer boroughs? These areas are filthy, graffiti is found on every wall and there is a deterioration in the quality of life. If government can't get the job done, then let's get private enterprise to run this city. Let's create small independent districts so that the entire city can be improved like Bryant Park, Grand Central and the 34th Street neighborhoods.

Some years ago Jimmy Cannon was a sportswriter for the New York Post. On occasion, he wrote a column, "Nobody asked me but" I'll borrow his line and say: Nobody asked me but: Why is it that whenever we read a story about a company building a new factory, it's never in New York? Recently, I read a story that BMW was going to build a $625 million assembly factory near Spartanburg, South Carolina. South Carolina government officials said the plant will employ roughly 2000 workers. Another 2000 supplier jobs will be created to provide the assembly plant with various parts. When was the last time you read a story like that about New York?

Nobody asked me but: Are we still the Empire State of the United States? Think of this - in 1960 New York State had 43 representatives in the House of Representatives. Based upon the 1990 census the number of New York Congressmen has declined to 3 1. That's a loss of over one-fourth of our Representatives. That, of course translates into less clout in Washington for our state. Are people leaving New York because of unnecessary regulation, higher taxes, uncooperative and ineffective government officials, quality of life deterioration - You tell me!

The situation will not get better unless government takes responsibility for providing basic services to its citizens and taxpayers. ir groups of private business people can find the funding for additional personnel to clean the streets and provided security, then the City of New York, with all the millions collected in tax dollars annually, can do no less. It's time to stop being ashamed of the worsening condition of New York City and to start holding accountable elected officials who are entrusted with it care.

Sheldon Lobel is an attorney with offices at 101 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10178. Lobel's firm is engaged in representing clients in real estate matters concerned primarily with municipal agencies in New York City including the City Council, City Planning Commission, Board of Standards and Appeals, Department of Buildings, Landmark,s Preservation Commission, Department of Housing Preservation and Development and Division of Housing and Community Renewal.
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Title Annotation:New York City; New York, New York
Author:Lobel, Sheldon
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Oct 14, 1992
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