Letters to the editor



Downtown Express - Oct. 31 - November 6, 2008

Horse sense

To The Editor:

I agree with everything you say in your recent editorial against extending term limits except for a statement made at the hearing, which you reprinted (editorial, Oct. 24 – 30, “Again let the voters decide on term limits”).  It said that the city values carriage horses more than taxpayers because there were nine hearings over a short time.  You are wrong.    

The city actually values the carriage horse industry more than the average taxpayer.  Why is anyone’s guess.  In 1989, a law was passed to keep the horses working in the Central Park area.  A sunset clause was slipped in at the last minute, which meant the law expired in 1993.  Because of this, in the next four years, there were many, many hearings.  The tiny carriage horse industry is politically connected — they were then and they are now.  And Christine Quinn is part of that establishment, which is why the current bill to ban horse-drawn carriages, sponsored by Tony Avella, has gone nowhere.  Like the taxpayers, the city also does not care about the much beleaguered and dispirited carriage horses.

The extent of damage the Council has done to the democratic process is yet to be seen.  But people will not forget.  The process has been devalued for years to come.  Why should we ever trust any of these “representatives” again?   And why should we bother voting?  They were all beneficiaries of term limits and knew the rules going into the game.   They violated a very deep trust and it will never again be business as usual.

Elizabeth Forel 
Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages