Form of Government and Structure
A close analysis of New York City shows that it utilizes a mayor-council system form of governance. The fact that New York City falls is structured under the City Charted offers a comprehensive platform that enhances the success of mayor-council system of governance. Another crucial factor that is worth noting with regards to New York City’s government is that it is more unified than any other U.S. city. This is evident by the fact that the city’s government coordinates a wider array of matters regarding public education, welfare services, water supply, public safety, sanitation, recreational facilities, correctional institutions, as well as libraries. With the use of mayor-council system, New York City is headed by a mayor tasked with the City’s administration matters (Spada, 2009).
Despite the fact that the mayor-council system is a common form of local governance in the United States, it is of the essence to note that the one for the United States is unique in its way. This is perhaps because of the distinct political geography of New York City. The uniqueness of New York City’s geography may be accredited to the fact that it is made up of close to five boroughs. With the use of mayor-council system of governance, the mayor is elected by voters and takes charge of the City’s administration matters four years. Deductively, the mayor is elected on a four-year term basis. Headquartered in Manhattan County, it is also essential to note that New York City’s government has a replica of the three branches (executive, legislature, and judiciary) of government that are contained in the national government.
With regards to the executive branch, it is of the essence to realize that New York City has an executive branch that is made of a Mayor, the Comptroller, Public Advocate, and five Borough Presidents. These personnel are tasked with a wider array of duties that are unique to each other. More importantly, the Mayor coordinates different services within the City such as fire protection, policing, and law enforcement within the city. In addition, New York City’s Mayor takes charge of close to fifty city department heads. Apart from appointing the said head New York City’s departments, the Mayor appoints a number of Deputy Mayors tasked with the roles of heading major officers that are part of the City’s executive branch (Ward, 2006). The connoted Deputy Mayor are headed by the City’s Mayor; hence, they report directly to him.
The Public Advocate as the other personnel that makes up New York City’s executive branch takes charge of the Office of the Public Advocate. Worth noting is the fact that the person occupying the New York City’s Public Advocate office is directly elected official. Part of the duties of New York City’s Public Advocate is to streamline the relationships between the public and the government. As such, the Public Advocate carries out investigations on matters pertaining disputes that emerge with the contexts of New York City. In a nutshell, the Public Advocate serves as New York City’s ombudsman whereby he/she advises the mayor on matter that are closely aligned with community relations. Moreover, the Public Advocate is allowed to create legislation in the council because he/she is an ex-officio member of the Council committees (Benjamin, 2012). Another pertinent matter regarding the Public Advocate is the fact that the person occupying this post succeeds the mayor in cases where the mayor is incapacitated. In such case, the Public Advocate takes charge of the City until an election is held.
As previously mentioned herein, the Comptroller’s office is another crucial office that falls under the realm of New York City’s executive branch. Evidently, New York City’s Comptroller is the custodian of various financial matter within New York City. Speaking of custodian of various financial matters, this refers to the fact that the Comptroller oversees all financial matters within New York City. In fact, the Comptroller is the chief financial officer of the city. Certainly, being a Comptroller in New York City does not occur spontaneously nor in isolation. Instead, being a comptroller requires an election whereby New York City’s voters elect the person they deem more suitable to take charge of their city’s finances (Spada, 2009). On a similar note, the Comptroller often renders advice to New York City’s council, as well as the mayor on various financial matters including financial transactions and fiscal policy. In other cases, the Comptroller has certain powers to investigate matter regarding New York City’s finance and expenditures. This means that the Comptroller may carry out an audit the accounts of various agencies within New York City.
On the other hand, borough presidents as part of New York City’s executive branch are based in the respective counties. This should not be mistaken to mean that the counties have some forms governments. Amicably, New York City’s borough presidents are elected on a popular vote. However, the borough presidents lack powers in that their post is somewhat ceremonial. As such, the main roles of New York City’s borough presidents include advising the mayor on pertinent matters related to each borough, advocating the needs of their respective boroughs during annual budget process, appoint community boards, comment on land use within each boroughs, and chair all Borough Boards (Ward, 2006).
With regards to New York City’s legislative arm, it is of the essence to note this arm is mainly made up of the New York City Council. This arm establishes and amends bills on the basis of majority vote. Precisely, the council debates on bills and sends them to the mayor for approval into law. In cases where the mayor disapproves a given bill, the Council is accorded one month to outweigh the disapproval by close to two-thirds vote. One comprehensive aspect regarding New York City Council is that it is a unicameral form of council that is made of close to fifty-one members. The members are drawn from districts defined by physical population boundaries comprising of close to one hundred and fifty-seven thousand people. Similar to the president, the mayor is elected on a four-year basis. The council is coordinated by a speaker, elected by the council members (Ward, 2006).
The third branch; the judicial branch of New York City is mainly comprised of New York’s courts. There is a need to note that New York City’s judicial system is a bit complex. Nevertheless, it is made of various courts including the state Supreme Court tasked with the roles of offering jurisdiction on various matters including significant lawsuits, felonies, as well as election and governmental matters. New York City’s state Supreme Court is divided into various judicial district courts, which operates independently from New York City’s government. The first trial court in New York City is the Criminal Court, which often handles criminal motions, minor felony cases, arraignments, and misdemeanours. Cases that are beyond the jurisdiction of New York City Criminal Court such as major felony cases are often referred to New York State Supreme Court, whereby, the judges in this court are appointed by New York City’s mayor. Such judges serve for a maximum term of ten years. Finally, New York City’s judicial branch is composed of civil court, which offers jurisdiction on minor claim cases, and residential disputes (Benjamin, 2012).
Impact of Homeland Security Initiatives on New York City
Since its establishment, homeland security has launched a wider array of security initiatives aimed at assuring that there is tightened security across various United States contexts. New York City occurs as one of the city’s whose homeland initiatives have and continue to impacts on various matters, particularly matters aligned with security. A close analysis of New York State shows that it has received more than $3 billion U.S. dollars from homeland security federal funds. These funds have been highly beneficial foe New York City in a number of ways. Precisely, a significant proportion of these funds have been channel to implement New York State Homeland Security Strategy. Certainly, this has impacted directly on New York City’s local agencies. In fact, a significant proportion of New York City’s law enforcement agencies have utilized these funds to leverage their capability to combat emerging security concerns, especially terrorism (Cuomo & Perales, 2011). Overall, homeland security initiatives have had a collateral impact on New York City in that it has enhanced the overall security of the state.
There exist several precise ways in which homeland security initiatives have impacted on New York City. More importantly, homeland security initiatives have leveraged New York City’s capability to contain emergency situations. Funds emanating from homeland security’s federal funds have been utilized to develop emergency response infrastructure such as communication and emergency alerting systems. This has and continues to offer a comprehensive platform in which New York State can respond to emergencies. In addition, emergency management systems in New York have been improved immensely as a result of homeland security initiatives. This can be accredited to the fact that New York City has established a well-structured emergency management framework, which is well equipped to manage different forms of emergencies. Medical emergency response in New York City has also improved immensely as a result of homeland security initiatives. This may be attributed to the fact that homeland security has and continues to provide grant funds that are utilized in supporting Medical Emergency Response Cache (Cuomo & Perales, 2011). This assures that medical matters within the contexts of New York State are addressed promptly. This has a colossal influence in enhancing the health of New York State’s populations. Conclusively, homeland security initiatives in New York have created awareness among this City’s populations through security enhancement campaigns. This has played a critical role in ensuring that there is a sustained security status in New York City.
New York City’s Budgetary Challenges
In the recent past, New York City has been on the limelight due to growing budgetary concerns. This may be explained by the fact that New York City’s budget has grown hugely. Evidently, revenue expenditure in New York City is to blame for the huge budget. Arguably, New York City’s expenditure has risen from twenty-nine billion U.S. dollars to close to fifty billion U.S. dollars. This depicts the manner in which increasing revenue expenditures is the primary reason for the growth of the City’s budget. On another note, New York City has experienced inflation, which also explains the rise in its budget (Cuomo & Perales, 2011). The rise in New York City’s budget raises a wider array of concerns, which should be resolved. One of the major concern is the fact that despite the rise in spending, fewer services have been rendered to the New Yorkers. This means that the huge revenue spending is not channelled to service delivery for the New Yorkers. Coupled with declining federal support, budgetary issues remain a pressing issues in New York City.
Pertinent issues in New York City
One of the most pressing issues in New York City is housing. In recent past, housing has evolved into a pressing concern for the New Yorkers. This may be attributed to the rising rates of rent across various context within New York. Despite the rise in rent rates, New Yorkers have not had a raise in their incomes. Instead, income for most of the New Yorkers are stagnant despite the rising rent costs. In a nutshell, New York City has and continues to experience critical deficiency of affordable housing (Cuomo & Perales, 2011). This calls for adequate policy decisions on housing matters. Adequate housing policies would offer a comprehensive platform that guarantees access to adequate housing for New Yorkers across various neighbourhoods. As an example, adequate housing policies would strengthen the real estate market, which will benefit New York City on matter regarding diversity, liveability and the City’s character.
Benjamin, G. (2012). The Oxford handbook of New York State government and politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Cuomo, A. & Perales, C. (2011). Local Government Handbook. Boston: Cengage Learning.
Spada, M. D. (2009). New York real estate for brokers. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.
Ward, R. B. (2006). New York State government. Albany, N,Y: Rockefeller Institute Press.