Vallone Commits To Participatory Budgeting

BY JOE MARVILLI
Staff Writer

Although the residents of Council District 19 voted Councilman Paul Vallone (D-Whitestone) in to office partially as a break from the past, there is one program that connects the newly elected official to his predecessor: participatory budgeting.

Vallone announced this month that his office would continue to take part in participatory budgeting, a process where community members decide how to spend a chunk of a councilmember’s discretionary funds. Although he will not get it up and running for this fiscal year, the councilman said he plans to have it in action for the second half of 2014.

The policy has a short history in the area, as the previous councilman, the embattled Dan Halloran, started using the program in 2012.

“I am absolutely committed to bringing back participatory budgeting to my district,” Vallone said in a statement. “In the interest of ensuring an effective and well-planned participatory budgeting process that engages a wide range of residents of this district, my office will work with members of the Participatory Budgeting NYC Steering Committee in the coming months to make sure we can hit the ground running.”

Although Vallone has yet to work out the details of his participatory budgeting, Sondra Youdelman, executive director of Community Voices Heard, was happy to hear the news.

“We are excited to learn of councilmember Vallone’s commitment to lead a full and robust PB process in his district starting this summer for the following fiscal year,” Youdelman said.

Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, jmarvilli@queenstribune.com, or @Joey788.