New York Municipalities Blog

Insights on Issues Facing NYS Municipalities and Agencies

Latest Posts

Using Municipal Crowdfunding to Finance Projects

What do indie films, rock bands and municipalities have in common?  The answer may be the ability to harness the power of crowdfunding for financing projects.  For municipalities, municipal crowdfunding may be an alternative to traditional forms of financing select projects. Crowdfunding is the pr...
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February 24, 2016
Is There a Place for Medical Marijuana in New York State Schools?

More information on whether medical marijuana has a place in New York schools is available in this Harris Beach Legal Alert, “Medical Marijuana not Permitted in Schools.”...
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February 17, 2016
Solar Permitting Resource Guide Helps Municipalities Solarize Westchester

The five most common barriers identified in Westchester County are: Fail to define solar electric systems appropriately; Approve all solar electric systems using the same process, including by requiring a site plan; 3. Apply each zoning district’s bulk and area requirements to solar electric syste...
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February 11, 2016
Recommendations from Law Enforcement Leaders on New Police Standards

The report, Use of Force: Taking Policing to a Higher Standard, recommends 30 “guiding principles” to help police departments develop new policies and procedures on police tactics, training, use of equipment, and communication and information flow. Taken together, these new standards seek to fun...
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February 08, 2016
Bills on Zombie Properties Held Up Again In New York State Legislature

In 2015 and for the second year in a row, bills were introduced in the New York State Senate and Assembly to address the growing problem of so called zombie properties. These companion bills (Assembly bill A4781 and Senate bill S6932) propose legislation, known as the Abandoned Property Neighborhood...
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February 03, 2016
States and Counties Looking at Options to Finance Increasing Debt

A lot of attention has been paid, including by those of us at the NY MuniBlog, on the financial difficulties of Detroit and Chicago. More recently, attention has been paid to the ongoing financial difficulties in Puerto Rico where that government recently clawed back funds to make payments of nearly...
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January 28, 2016
Impacts of Federal Laws upon Municipalities’ Daily Operations  

We have previously discussed the impacts of federal laws and the United States Constitution upon the daily operations of local municipalities in such articles as “Concern Over Drones: Air Rights, Privacy, Health and Safety are Among the Issues” and “Lesson Learned in Arizona Sign Code Case –...
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January 25, 2016
Recent New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Enforcement Action Demonstrates Value of Environmental Audits

In a series of 2015 articles appearing in the NYMuniBlog – “New York State Environmental Audit Incentive Policy – Leaving DEC Out of the Picture?,” “The Nuts and Bolts of the New York State Environmental Audit Incentive Policy,” “New York State Environmental Self-Audits: A Form of Enfo...
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January 21, 2016
Update on the New York State Public Authorities Law Requirements Affecting Industrial Development Agencies (IDA) and Land Banks

As the NYMuniBlog reported in July 2015 in the article, “Summary of 2015 Reform Legislation for Industrial Development Agencies (IDAs),” legislation demands IDAs adopt certain standardized policies and procedures. Below is an update on New York State Public Authorities Law regarding website audi...
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January 19, 2016
Implementing Municipal Camera Programs for Public Safety

In this post 9/11 era, municipalities are increasingly using camera programs in a support of public safety. These video surveillance systems could take many forms from downtown surveillance cameras to police dash cams and police body-worn cameras. An article in the International City/County Manageme...
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January 15, 2016