Thursday, December 11, 2008

Residency Bill for DC 37 Workers Rescue on Hold - NY Daily News

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An opportunity to rescue the residency bill from its legislative quagmire in the City Council has failed.

At least for now.

District Council 37 was slated to hold a press conference Tuesday on the steps of City Hall to announce it had a veto-proof majority in the City Council for the bill, which would allow members of the union to live outside the five boroughs.

That press conference was abruptly canceled late Monday. DC 37 Executive Director Lillian Roberts (photo left) and union officials declined to explain why.

The bill, sponsored by Councilman Robert Jackson, is considered the "compromise" legislation. It would allow new DC 37 workers to live outside the city limits after two years of city residency.

It was designed to appease some Council members, including Jackson, who worried that lifting residency requirements would open up vital city jobs to virtually anyone.

"This will not dry up employment opportunities in New York City," said Jackson (D-Manhattan).

The Bloomberg administration has said - repeatedly - it will only support legislation that mirrors the agreement it reached with DC 37 in 2006.

That contract said legislation should lift residency requirements. Period. End of sentence.

The veto-proof majority apparently wasn't enough for Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who reportedly asked all parties to give her more time.

It's not clear whether there is a possible deal in the works with the Bloomberg administration.

Then again, Quinn doesn't need the mayor's approval.

And while she may not want to cross swords with Bloomberg on this issue, many Council members aren't prepared to take her to task either.

The clock is ticking. The next stated City Council meeting is Dec. 18. That's the last chance for the Council to vote in 2008.

Councilman and State Senator-elect Joseph Addabbo said he would like to see the matter settled before takes his new job on Jan.1.

"We're running out of time," said Addabbo, who is chairman of the Council's Civil Service and Labor Committee.

Bringing Christmas cheer to sick kids

Cops from the 102nd Precinct in Queens are determined to brighten the holidays for children with cancer who are stuck in the hospital.

Lt. John McGrorty's 4-year-old son, Matthew, died of the disease this year, but he had nothing but praise for the treatment Matthew received at New York Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center.

So he and his colleagues at the precinct raised $10,500 in a charity golf outing for Hope and Heroes, a children's cancer fund that supports the center's Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital in Manhattan. The money is earmarked to develop better treatment for children with cancer.

McGrorty knew how long the days can be for a child going through cancer treatment. So in addition to the contribution, the officers donated 85 DVD players along with 200 DVDs and games to children at the hospital.