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Vallone: New York City government has changed.

The world has witnessed tremendous changes in recent years - the unification of Germany, the re-emergence of Russia. New York City government too has been transformed, although this has gone somewhat unnoticed.

New York City Council Speaker Peter F. Vallone brought those changes to light in an address to the April 16 monthly luncheon meeting of the Institute of Real Estate Management Greater New York Chapter No. 26 at the Hotel St. Moritz.

Since its inception a year and a half ago, New York City's new City Council of 51 members is a strong legislative branch that has brought a balance of power to city government, Speaker Vallone said. Its authority now encompasses the disposition of the budget and land use.

The criminal justice system which previously suffered under the old Boar of Estimate is no longer at risk, Speaker Vallone said. In 1990, the new City Council passed a law to increase the number of police officers from a low of 20,000.

"We're well on the way to 30,000," he said. "New York City will once again be a city where you can feel safe."

When Mayor David Dinkins wanted to "make property owners responsible" for the homeless and "warehouse human beings" around the city, the City Council said "no". Instead, it initiated a study to determine what kind of social,medical or psychiatric services homeless individuals need. "It's not a case of simply supplying them with a home," Speaker Vallone said.

The City Council stopped the Mayor from raising real estate taxes and instituted a four-year tax freeze, preferring to downsize government for raising revenues.

Speaker Vallone decried the lack of role models for the city's youngsters. Her said the council wants to introduce one-hour of release time per week into the school system for religious instruction in the house of worship of choice.

Those that remain at school would receive basic morality instruction between right and wrong.

Speaker Vallone, a Democrat, represents the 22nd District, Queens, which includes Astoria, Long Island City, parts of Jackson Heights, Randalls and Wards Island (Manhattan) and Rikers Island (Bronx). A Fordham Law School graduate, Speaker Vallone is an attorney with the firm Vallone & Calabrese in Queens.

Speaker Vallone joined the City Council in January 1974. Twelve years later, he was elected vice chairman and majority leader. In 1989, he was re-elected majority leader and speaker under the new Charter.

The next IREM Luncheon is Hotel St. Moritz and will Chairman of Time Equities information, call Colleen scheduled for May 21 at the feature Francis Greenburger, in New York City. For Cugine at (212) 944-9445.
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Title Annotation:New York City Council Speaker Peter F. Vallone addresses Institute of Real Estate Management Greater New York
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:May 13, 1992
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