2:30 pm Nov. 22, 2011
The public advocate is criticizing Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn for not following through on a plan to allow small-business owners to contest city fines electronically.
In a new report released today, Bill de Blasio said owners are fined for minor infractions and have to show up in person to deal with the fines, costing them valuable time away from their businesses. In a statement about the report, de Blasio's office said, "Similar reforms were promised by the Administration in 2010 but were not enacted across all agencies that oversee small businesses."
De Blasio is referring to an announcement last year by Bloomberg, Quinn and others describing ways the city would reduce bureaucratic obstacles for small business owners.
A spokesman for de Blasio said two agencies that failed to reduce those hurdles are the Department of Consumer Affairs and Department of Sanitation.
The press offices for the speaker and mayor didn't return requests for comment.
CORRECTION: The original version of this item said that de Blasio had blamed the Small Business Services and Sanitation departments, rather than Consumer Affairs and Sanitation.
UPDATE: A spokesman for Quinn noted that the Environmental Control Board adjudicates all fines from the Department of Sanitation, so that criticism is incorrect. Also, although Quinn was part of the original announcement which de Blasio has not yet been fully implemented, his statement today expressed criticism of the "administration" -- which is Bloomberg's side of City Hall.