Press Release Archive

Press Release

Press Release # 5
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Matthew Gorton (212) 442-1500


Government Structure is the third topic to be considered by the Commission during its month-long series of Issue Forums held in all five boroughs

The New York City Charter Revision Commission will hold the third of five “Issue Forums” this Thursday in Staten Island, focusing on the structure of City government. Addressing the Commission will be five experts: Doug Muzzio, Baruch College; Eric Lane, Hofstra University Law School; Brad Hoylman, former chair of Manhattan Community Board 2; Marc V. Shaw, Interim Senior Vice Chancellor for Budget, Finance and Financial Policy at CUNY; and Gerald Benjamin, SUNY New Paltz.

  • TOPIC: Government Structure
  • PLACE: Staten Island Technical High School, 485 Clawson Street Staten Island
  • DATE: June 10, 2010 - 6 p.m.

At Thursday’s forum, the Commission will invite testimony from the expert panel and will accept public comment on the issue. Those wishing to testify may begin signing up one half-hour prior to the start of the forum. Anyone wishing to testify will be given the opportunity to do so regardless of when they arrive.

The forum is open to the public and will be streamed live via webcast through the Commission’s website. Comments to the Commission can be submitted through the Commission website by selecting “Contact the Commission” or by emailing the Commission.

Doug Muzzio

Professor, School of Public Affairs, Baruch College

A specialist in American public opinion, voting behavior, and city politics, Doug Muzzio has extensive political, governmental, and media experience. He is the co-director of the Center for Innovation and Leadership in Government and the founder and former director of Baruch Survey Research, both at Baruch College's School of Public Affairs.

Muzzio is a political analyst and on-air commentator for WABC-TV, and has done polling and political analysis for ABC-TV and other news organizations. His governmental experience includes: twice-elected trustee of the Pequannock Township (New Jersey) Board of Education; chief of staff to New York City Councilmember-at-large Antonio Olivieri; consultant to the New York City Charter Revision Commission; research director for the Dinkins mayoral campaign; consultant to City agencies and not-for-profit organizations, including the New York City Sanitation Department, the New York City Board of Education, the New York City Parks Council, the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, and the Hispanic Federation of New York City. He is in his fourth year of developing and delivering cultural diversity training programs for the New York City Police Department.

He is currently writing a book, The Reel City: The American City in Cinema, 1896-2001 on the images of the American city in movies.

Eric Lane

Eric J. Schmertz Distinguished Professor of Public Law and Public Service, Hofstra University School of Law

Eric Lane is the Eric J. Schmertz Distinguished Professor of Public Law and Public Service at Hofstra University School of Law where he has been teaching since 1976. He is also the Senior Fellow at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU Law School.

Lane has held many positions in state and local government. He has most recently served as a special counsel to the Speaker of the New York City Council. He has also served as a consultant for the Justice Project of the Center for Court Innovation, and from July 1993 to February 1995, he served as counsel to the New York State Temporary Commission on Constitutional Revision, which was established by Governor Mario Cuomo to review various aspects of the New York State Constitution.

In 1990, Lane served as chair of the New York City Task Force on Charter Implementation. From 1986 to 1989, he served as executive director/counsel to the New York City Charter Revision Commission. This Commission was responsible for the most extensive changes in the City’s Charter since its inception. From 1981 to 1986, Lane was Chief Counsel to the New York State Senate Minority. He serves on the boards of the Vera Institute of Justice and the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem. He is a member of the American Law Institute and the American Bar Foundation.

The author of many articles on governmental decision-making, Lane co-authored The Genius of America: How the Constitution Saved the Country and Why It Can Again with Michael Oreskes. He has also written law texts with the Honorable Abner J. Mikva: The Legislative Process and an Introduction to Statutory Interpretation and the Legislative Process.

Brad Hoylman

Former Chair, Community Board 2, Manhattan

Brad Hoylman is the recent past chair of Manhattan Community Board 2, which represents the neighborhoods of Greenwich Village, SoHo, NoHo, Little Italy, Chinatown, Hudson Square and Gansevoort Market. As Chair of Community Board 2, he was responsible for helping launch several community-based planning initiatives, including: brokering a compromise for the new design of Washington Square Park, planning open space on property owned by St. Vincent’s Hospital, establishing planning principals for New York University, rezoning a portion of the Far West Village, establishing a new elementary school at the Foundling Hospital site and proposing a middle school at 75 Morton Street, and creating the first community board committee for Chinatown. Under Hoylman, Community Board 2 supported the expansion of bicycle lanes and was the first community board in the city to support congestion pricing. Hoylman is currently chair of the community board’s St. Vincent’s Hospital Omnibus Committee and its parliamentarian, and has served as the chair of the Traffic and Transportation Committee.

Hoylman is a graduate of Harvard Law School and Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He is involved in local Democratic politics in Greenwich Village, where he serves as a Democratic District Leader. He is a Trustee of the Community Services Society of New York and a member of Citizens Union. Professionally, Hoylman is a senior executive and general counsel at a New York City nonprofit organization.

Marc V. Shaw

Interim Senior Vice Chancellor for Budget, Finance and Financial Policy, City University of New York

Marc Shaw, who has held senior-level positions in both city and state government, is currently Interim Senior Vice Chancellor for Budget, Finance and Financial Policy at the City University of New York, where he oversees and manages the finances of CUNY's 23 colleges and professional schools and the University's central administration, including its investment portfolio. Prior to working at CUNY, Shaw served as Senior Advisor to Governor David Paterson.

From 2006 to 2008, Shaw was Executive Vice President for Strategic Planning at Extell Development Company. From 2002 to 2006, he was the First Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor for Operations to Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

In 1996, he was appointed by Governor George Pataki to serve as the Executive Director and Chief Operating Officer for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the Authority, including financial and strategic planning, and the capital programming activities for headquarters and the operating agencies.

Prior to working at the MTA, Mr. Shaw served as New York City’s Budget Director and Finance Commissioner under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

Shaw began his career in New York City government in 1988 as Director of Finance for the New York City Council, where he was chief fiscal advisor to the Speaker of the Council and served as the Council's principal negotiator on the city budget.

Beginning in 1981, Mr. Shaw worked for the New York State Senate Finance Committee. He has been an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Service at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University, and an Adjunct Professor at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. He graduated magna cum laude from the State University College at Buffalo, and received his M.A. degree from SUNY Buffalo.

Gerald Benjamin

Distinguished Professor, Associate Vice President and Director of CRREO, SUNY New Paltz

Gerald Benjamin is a Distinguished Professor, Associate Vice President for Regional Engagement and Director of the Center for Research, Regional Education and Outreach (CRREO) at SUNY New Paltz, where he has been affiliated since 1968. As Director of CRREO, Benjamin leads New Paltz’s efforts to raise its level of engagement within communities, governments, not-for-profits and businesses across the Hudson Valley.

At New Paltz, Benjamin served as Chair of the Department of Political Science, Presiding Officer of the faculty, and Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, which is the largest academic unit at SUNY New Paltz. Benjamin earned a B.A. with distinction from St. Lawrence University, and received his Masters and Doctoral degrees in Political Science from Columbia University.

Benjamin directed the Center for the New York State and Local Government Studies at SUNY's Rockefeller Institute of Government in Albany, served as Research Director of the Temporary State Commission on Constitutional Revision appointed by Governor Mario Cuomo, and was Principal Research Advisor to the 1989 New York City Charter Revision Commission. Between 2004 and 2006, Benjamin chaired the Ulster County Charter Commission, which resulted in approval of the County's first charter. In 2007, Benjamin was appointed by Governor Spitzer to the State Commission on Local Government Efficiency and Competitiveness which proposed wide-reaching reforms in local government in New York State.

Between 1981 and 1993 Gerald Benjamin was an elected member of the Ulster County legislature, where he served as both Majority Leader (1985-91) and Chairman (1991-93), the latter of which, in the absence of an executive, made him the County's Chief Elected Officer. During Benjamin's tenure, Ulster County had a budget of $165 million and more than 1,300 employees.

Benjamin served in the United States Army, rising to the rank of Captain in the Medical Service Corps. He has been a Fulbright Lecturer at the University of Tokyo and the Japanese Foreign Ministry School, a Serbelloni Fellow in Residence at the Rockefeller Foundation Study Center in Bellagio, Italy and a Visiting Professor at Meiji University in Tokyo, Japan. A 1991 recipient of the New York State/United University Professors Excellence Award, alone or with others he has written or edited fourteen books or monographs and numerous government reports, articles and opinion essays. His book with Richard Nathan, on Regionalism and Realism in local governance in the New York City metropolitan region, published by the Brookings Institution Press in 2001, was named an outstanding academic title for 2002 by Choice magazine.