Thursday, December 13, 2007

"Figures Don't Lie,but..."

As Liz reported yesterday, Assemblyman Richard Brodsky, in a letter to Congestion Commission Chair Marc Shaw, blasted the hot-wiring of data collection for the determination of the best methods to reduce congestion in the city. As Brodsky wrote: "I simply don’t understand how we can function as a Commission when the basic descriptive, position-neutral data is being manipulated and distorted by the City. I came to the Commission with a position opposing congestion pricing that goes back over a decade. But I said then, and I say now, that we need the Commission to be fair and credible, and we need to deal with both congestion and mass transit funding. I don’t mind losing an argument. I do mind a process that makes a fair debate impossible."

This concern of Brodsky's goes back to the basic issue that we have raised from the very beginning: all of the assumptions that have gone into the mayor's 6% solution are based on calculations that have not been independently vetted. The opacity and disingenuousness of this entire process hasn't changed-it's only gotten worse as support for the tax erodes.

It now turns out that the "Independent" Budget Office is acting more like a cat's paw for the city-and the need for a forensic accounting team has become more acute. All the while, however, the public is passing judgement, and more and more it is knowingly smelling a rat.