The votes are in: participatory budgeting results

April 17, 2013 Denise Romano
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You voted, they listened.

Over the past few days, 1,601 residents in Councilmember David Greenfield’s district came out to vote on what participatory budgeting projects they would like to see in their respective communities.

Greenfield is allocating a total of $1 million of his discretionary budget to fund a project in each of the neighborhoods he represents. Neighborhood assemblies in Midwood, Boro Park and Bensonhurst – each neighborhood that Greenfield represents – have been collaborating since November on improvement projects.

Security cameras at locations in Borough Park to be determined by the Police Department got the most votes, followed by security cameras in Midwood and countdown clocks for pedestrians at dangerous intersections in Bensonhurst. Since those projects only totaled $600,000, two more projects will come to fruition: street resurfacing in Borough Park and countdown clocks for Midwood.

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“I am thrilled with the results of this great experiment in open government. Participatory budgeting gives residents the chance to have a direct and real say in the future of their community, so I am pleased that so many people from Boro Park, Midwood and Bensonhurst took the time to volunteer as a budget delegate or voted last week for their favorite projects,” Greenfield said. “These $1.1 million in projects will truly improve the safety and quality of life of all local residents and will have a great impact on our neighborhoods for years to come.”

Greenfield noted that he will talk with Department of Transportation commissioners to see if the other two proposed Bensonhurst projects that did not make the cut can be worked on somehow anyway – street resurfacing in Community Board 11 and pedestrian safety measures around P.S. 682.

The winning projects will be funded in this year’s budget, which is due to be completed before July 1. Their implementation will begin during the next fiscal year.

“I hope that many of the people who took advantage of this unique opportunity will stay involved in their local community and government, and I look forward to working with them again in the future. This really was democracy at its finest and showed how well government can work when we give the power back to the people of our community,” concluded Greenfield.

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