PARK EAST 'PARKING ABUSE'
February 24, 2008 -- NEWS of Mayor Bloomberg's crackdown on privileged parkers hasn't reached his own community board, which has authorized a synagogue a dozen blocks from the mayor's home to use homemade parking placards.
Officials at Community Board 8, which covers the Upper East Side, even sent out an e-mail last week spelling out the peculiar deal it made with the Park East Synagogue on East 67th Street.
Bloomberg - who has ordered a sharp cutback in government parking placards - lives just a stroll away on East 79th Street.
"After a very lengthy and detailed discussion, [Park East] agreed to the recommendation that they reduce the number of placards to eight by the end of June 2008, then decrease by four by June 2009, and two the following year, until the number of placards in use is reduced to two by June 2010," said the e-mail from Assistant District Manager Latha Thompson.
The message was sent to an irate resident, who has been complaining for months that Park East was manufacturing its own parking placards, and that the 19th Precinct next door was honoring them.
City Councilman Dan Garodnick (D-Manhattan) told The Post the community board was way out of bounds.
"It's unacceptable for individuals to be generating their own parking placards," he said.
Garodnick - who appoints members to the community board - said he wants all the synagogue's permits yanked, since only government entities can issue official parking placards.
Bloomberg is tightening that restriction on March 1, when 20 percent of all placards are supposed to be surrendered and placard-issuing powers will be limited to the NYPD and the Department of Transportation.
Park East director Joel Baum said the permits date back to before he came on board, and are used by teachers at the synagogue's school, a privilege accorded to public-school teachers as well.
"It has nothing really to do with the synagogue directly," he said.
CB-8 officials declined comment, saying that only the chairman, David Liston, could talk to the press and he's out of the country.