Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Koppell Gets A Bronx Cheer at Bronx Charter Revision Hearing »

By Celeste Katz

The DN's very own Erin Einhorn of the City Hall Bureau was on hand for last night's Charter Revision Commission at Hostos Community College in the Bronx, which drew more than 150 people (compared to the scant crowd at last week's Manhattan hearing).

The commentary was all over the board, but one thing was crystal clear: Testifiers sure didn't take kindly to their elected officials soaking up the speaking time at the beginning, when the commission members were sure to be awake.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr. went first, calling for Borough Presidents to get more powers and a fixed budget. He also scolded the Commissioners for even thinking about calling for non-partisan elections again this year after that idea was so soundly rejected by the voters in 2003. Though speakers are limited to three minutes, he went at least twice that long, then offered a long answer to a question posed by a member of the commission.

The crowd's patience evaporated when Bronx Councilman G. Oliver Koppell took the mic to make a passionate argument against term limits. Koppell blew past the loud bell indicating three minutes were over and was still talking four minutes later when the audience started getting restless.

Civil rights lawyer Michael Meyers finally signaled the commission to give Koppell the hook. When Koppell asked for a bit more time, the crowed heckled and booed. (See the video below!)

To be fair, Einhorn noted Myers also blew through the three-minute mark when he got up to speak.

Watch Erin's video:

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