Thursday, June 4, 2009

Pol sees no conflicts having son as lobbyist for State Senator

Pol sees no conflicts having son as lobbyist for State Senator
BY Kenneth Lovett DAILY NEWS ALBANY BUREAU CHEIF

Thursday, June 4th 2009, 4:00 AM

Goldfield for News/Goldfield, Ken, Freelance, NYDN
Toby Ann Stavisky's son, Evan, is a lobbyist for a firm that goes before his mother - and also lists her as a client, the Daily News has learned

ALBANY - Senate education bigwig Toby Ann Stavisky's son is a lobbyist for a firm that goes before his mother - and also lists her as a client, the Daily News has learned.

Evan Stavisky is a partner with The Parkside Group, which has a client list that includes SUNY-Buffalo and several CUNY entities, including Queens College.

Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Queens) became head of the Higher Education Committee in January, when Democrats took control of the state Senate.

Parkside, which also does political consulting for a host of elected officials, lists the senator as a client, and records show she paid the firm more than $200,000 last year.

Toby Ann Stavisky and Parkside deny there is any undue influence.

"My son does not lobby me or even discuss his clients with me," she said. Other members of the firm lobby the senator, insiders said.

Parkside President Harry Giannoulis insisted his firm adheres to "the highest ethical standards."

"Although the law contains no prohibition, Evan Stavisky does not lobby his mother on higher education, or any other issues, period," Giannoulis said.

Yet government watchdog groups say there is an appearance of impropriety.

"The public perception is there is definitely an inside track - it's mother and son," said Barbara Bartoletti of the state League of Women Voters.

Susan Lerner, of Common Cause-New York, said the senator should recuse herself from all issues involving clients of her son's firm.

"Whether the child, the lobbyist, is hired because they are going to talk directly to his parent or not is irrelevant," Lerner said. "We know why they are being hired. It's influence."

Toby Ann Stavisky said she has no plans to recuse herself.

"There's no need," she said. "There are times when I oppose some of their client's positions. I deal with each issue on the merits."

Former Senate Majority Leader Joe Bruno took heat when his son, a former district attorney, quit his job to become a lobbyist. The younger Bruno lobbied the Senate, but his father insisted the two did not talk business.

Besides SUNY-Buffalo and Queens College, other higher education clients listed on Parkside's Web site are Plaza College, CUNY Creative Arts Team, CUNY Graduate Center Foundation and Queensborough Community College.

The influential firm also does political consulting for Evan Stavisky's brother-in-law Ken Zebrowski (D-Rockland).

Toby Ann Stavisky in 1999 was the first woman from Queens elected to the state Senate, filling the seat of her late husband, Leonard Stavisky.


Read more: "Pol sees no conflicts having son as lobbyist for State Senator" - http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/queens/2009/06/04/2009-06-04_pol_sees_no_conflicts_having_son_as_lobbyist.html#ixzz0HSNOCDEj&A

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Parkside Candidates Connors, Crowley and Gennaro spend almost $1 Million and All Lose

Padavan victory statement slams Parkside

"First and foremost, I would like to extend my deepest appreciation to the thousands who supported my re-election and to the countless residents in our community who expressed their unwavering support throughout the recount process. I look forward to returning to Albany and bringing some much needed energy and common sense to the deliberations and debates in the state Senate.

From Election Night and at every step of the recount, I remained in the lead. However, despite this crystal clear fact, Councilman James Gennaro and his political cohorts at the Parkside Group engaged in a shameful smear campaign intended to mislead residents of the 11th Senate District. Today, their constant claims and negative attacks have once again been proven erroneous and utterly baseless. In fact, ballots that were deemed invalided based on Election Law by the both the Queens Board of Elections and the New York City Board of Elections were examined twice providing an unprecedented level of scrutiny and due diligence for any recount in our state.

Councilman Gennaro, party bosses and the political operatives at the Parkside Group prolonged this process with endless delays and senseless legal wrangling in order to advance their own political agenda. Had it not been for the unmitigated greed and self-serving motives of Councilman Gennaro and the Parkside Group this election would have been resolved back in November and the residents of the 11th Senate District would not have been denied a voice in the State Senate at a critical time for our community and state.

The antics of Councilman Gennaro and his Parkside Group friends are a complete disservice to the community and lead to the disenfranchisement of the tens of thousands of Northeast Queens residents. As a result of their outrageous tactics, Gennaro and the Parkside Group are responsible for wasting thousands of taxpayers’ dollars.

We are facing a myriad of grave economic challenges at every level of government. Moving forward, I pledge to continue to fight on behalf of the all residents of Northeast Queens each and every day and help put our economy on the right path to recovery." - Frank Padavan

Then he told the NY Observer: "He spent over twice as much money as I spent, the registration is three to one in his favor, and president Obama received 70 percent of the vote in this Senate district. So despite all of those advantages, he lost," Padavan said. "That shows, I think, a very strong position in terms of our work for the last 36 years."

Friday, February 6, 2009

Padavan Attacks Parkside's Tactics

Padavan Fires Back
February 6, 2009
Even though the recount in the 11th SD is over and Republican Frank Padavan will be returning to his Senate seat in Albany, the war of words between the GOP and the Democrats wages on.

In response to Democratic Councilman Jim Gennaro's non-concession concession statement last night in which he blamed Padavan and his fellow Republicans for dragging out the race and demanded an apology on behalf of the districts residents, the returning senator fired back with some finger-pointing of his own.

After thanking the "thousands" who supported his re-election by 578 votes and expressing his eagerness to return to Albany next week (at which time he will resume being paid for showing up to work), Padavan took aim at the Gennaro, his supporters and his consulting firm, the Parkside Group.

"From Election Night and at every step of the recount, I remained in the lead," Padavan said. "However, despite this crystal clear fact, Councilman James Gennaro and his political cohorts at the Parkside Group engaged in a shameful smear campaign intended to mislead residents of the 11th Senate District."

"Today, their constant claims and negative attacks have once again been proven erroneous and utterly baseless. In fact, ballots that were deemed invalided based on Election Law by the both the Queens Board of Elections and the New York City Board of Elections were examined twice providing an unprecedented level of scrutiny and due diligence for any recount in our state."

"Councilman Gennaro, party bosses and the political operatives at the Parkside Group prolonged this process with endless delays and senseless legal wrangling in order to advance their own political agenda."

"Had it not been for the unmitigated greed and self-serving motives of Councilman Gennaro and the Parkside Group this election would have been resolved back in November and the residents of the 11th Senate District would not have been denied a voice in the State Senate at a critical time for our community and state."

"The antics of Councilman Gennaro and his Parkside Group friends are a complete disservice to the community and lead to the disenfranchisement of the tens of thousands of Northeast Queens residents. As a result of their outrageous tactics, Gennaro and the Parkside Group are responsible for wasting thousands of taxpayers' dollars."


For the record, Gennaro has paid Parkside more than $476,500 since last July for consulting, TV ads, signs, literature and other campaign-related exenses, according to his financial reports online at the state Board of Elections Web site.


Tags:
2010 , Consultants , Democrats , Queens , Republicans , Senate
By Elizabeth Benjamin on February 6, 2009 10:35 AM | Comments (5) Email Buzz up!
5 Comments
Cincinnatus

February 6, 2009
11:03 AM
Parkside sure does earn a large fee.

At the very least they've guaranteed themselves another $500,000 payday in 2010 for the rematch.

Of course if this war of words continues then Parkside could stand to reap in the $ even earlier.

johnandcam

February 6, 2009
11:06 AM
I am for voters' rights but if a voter can't even fill a ballot correctly with accurate information then the ballot should be null immediately. Gennaro is a sore loser. I will never forgive Gennaro on how he treated the female lawyer who spoke in behalf of the NYC bar association on their support for the ban on horse drawn carriage. Finally after minutes of battering this attorney, Tony Avella came to her defense and call Gennaro out on his "shameful" behavior. I never though I stand up for a lawyer but I felt so bad for her. She was so professional and Gennaro was so scummy and he embarrassed the city.
glendale

February 6, 2009
12:22 PM
Johnandcam is right on about Gennaro being scummy and an embarrassment. He did not show class during the campaign making spurious charges and he did not show class after he clearly lost continuing to make spurious charges and lacked the commn decency to concede an election he lost. Voter's in the 11SD should not soon forget Gennaro's conduct and total disregard for truth, fairplay and the voter's in the district. They also should not forget the boatloads of money he raised from developers and other special interests to sell out the very community he ran promising to protect. Senator Padavan may not be warm and fussy but he is a straight shooter who does the right thing by his community year in year out.
VJ Machiavelli

February 6, 2009
11:10 PM
Liz you left out how much his wife received in Consulting fees. like these on Feb 26/08 check #1070 $7,500.00 dollars or on 03/20/08 check # 1074 $800.00 Lets not forget his "LAWYER" "Arnold Kriss on 10/ 02/07 check #1057 $15,047.16, 03/16.07 check # 1031 $25,000.00 Then it seems he love to have "POLITICAL MEETINGS" at Acquista Trattoria on 03/21/07 he had one for $50.65 cents. Yes Liz you should really take a look at how he spent ALL THAT MONEY HE RAISED.

Senator Padavan ran a campaign based on his record, he did not bring up why Gennaro spent $40,000.00 on a lawyer or paid his wife as a "Fundraising Consultant" Gennaro & his "BRAIN" Evan Stavisky used every dirty trick in the book. They could not run a campaign based on records they had to ise one based on Lies and fear.

Gennaro needs to explain to the voters of the 11 SD and to those he represents in the city council WHY HE HAD TO PAY ARNOLD KRISS $40,000.00 DOLLARS. As for using his wife as a "Fundraising Consultant" THATS WHAT TOM DeLAY DID IN WASHINGTON, boy did the DEMOCRAT'S HOWL

VJ Machiavelli
http://www.vjmachiavelli.blogspot.com
rush fan

February 7, 2009
7:42 PM
Wow, way to lay into them Fran! Parkside is an embarrassment. Working on getting people elected then lobbying these self-same people. Can anyone spell CONFLICT of INTEREST???

Saturday, November 8, 2008

"Frank says Parkside is "sleazy""

[Photo]Padavan said Gennaro ran a "despicable campaign" and that his consultants were that "sleazy outfit, the Parkside Group" which, according to Padavan, "are famous for that type of campaign."

Padavan's said his opponent distorted and misrepresented his voting record. He said he supported increasing access to health care and tougher gun control measures, but that Gennaro's campaign said the complete opposite.

Leading in Recount, Padavan Makes His Attacks

Padavan said he decided to focus his campaign's message on "our record." He also said in hindsight, he would not have changed his message.

"There are lots of things I could have done, but I chose not to," he said. "We ran a very, very clean campaign. Everything we put out was positive."

But he told me the attacks they could have made.

There was the issue of Gennaro "having been found guilty by the New York City Board of Elections, and he paid a fine,"said Padavan. "There was his involvement in that scandal in the City Council [with] those phony organizations, and the fact that he received the bulk of his funding from developers, which have been the enemies of my constituency and want to change the character of the neighborhood."
posted by Queens Crapper at 12:05 AM on Nov 8, 2008


Anonymous said...
looks like Parkside's reputation is changing. They used to be the most hated lobbying firm the the city. Now, looks like they're also the least effective.

Remember, folks, you can help stamp out the Parkside Group. Vote against ANY AND ALL CANDIDATES who do business with them. The Liz Crowley story is a great example. Ran with Parkside - lost. Ran without Parkside - won. Congrats, Liz.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


Anonymous said...
The Parasite Group strikes again!

How does it feel, Jim, that they took your money, made you look like an asshole, and just like Liz Crowley in the special election - left you a few votes shy. People know them now, they know their tactics, and they're 'just saying no' to scum like Evan Stavisky.
Remember that next time.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


Anonymous said...
Evan is complete moron, and NO candidate should let him speak to the media on their behalf. His moronic 'dead in the water' comment is proof of that.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


Evan Stavisky said...
Hi, welcome to White Castle, can I take your order?

Saturday, November 08, 2008


The Ghosts of St. Saviours said...
Completed Tasks:

-Gallagher
-Maspeth Development LLC
-Maltese
-Como

To Do:

-Parkside Group
-Michael Bloomberg
-Community Assault Unit
-The Queens Ledge

Saturday, November 08, 2008


italian girl said...
I received tons of flyers from Gennaro - very negative. What a turnoff. I voted democrat all the way down until I got to Padavan - Gennaro.

Gennaro = Slimeball

Saturday, November 08, 2008


Anonymous said...
Our mail boxes were filled with Gennaro propaganda, It angered me that he took credit for all the downsizing that took place in his district,it was the civics andhard working residenst that did the work, He was usually a thorn in our back! Look at the Jamaica debacle. he voted to screw the community.

Saturday, November 08, 2008


Anonymous said...
Jim Gennaro and the Parkside Group should be ashamed of themselves, aside from their negative campaigning, they opted to completely cover the Jamaica Estates Gatehouse, the World War II Memorial as well as the 179St.subway station walls with Gennaro for senate posters. This is public property! Just because you earmarked funds for the renovation, you don't own it!

Saturday, November 08, 2008


[Photo]Padavan said Gennaro ran a "despicable campaign" and that his consultants were that "sleazy outfit, the Parkside Group" which, according to Padavan, "are famous for that type of campaign."

Padavan's said his opponent distorted and misrepresented his voting record. He said he supported increasing access to health care and tougher gun control measures, but that Gennaro's campaign said the complete opposite.

Leading in Recount, Padavan Makes His Attacks

Padavan said he decided to focus his campaign's message on "our record." He also said in hindsight, he would not have changed his message.

"There are lots of things I could have done, but I chose not to," he said. "We ran a very, very clean campaign. Everything we put out was positive."

But he told me the attacks they could have made.

There was the issue of Gennaro "having been found guilty by the New York City Board of Elections, and he paid a fine,"said Padavan. "There was his involvement in that scandal in the City Council [with] those phony organizations, and the fact that he received the bulk of his funding from developers, which have been the enemies of my constituency and want to change the character of the neighborhood."
posted by Queens Crapper at 12:05 AM on Nov 8, 2008

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Queens Crap November 8, 2008

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

After Loss Crowley Parts with Parkside and Wins

Same Faces, Different Tactics in Elizabeth Crowley vs. Anthony Como by John Lauinger - NY Daily News - October 8, 2008

Read original...


When Democrat Elizabeth Crowley campaigned in the June special election for former City Councilman Dennis Gallagher's seat, she avoided speaking directly to the press.

Her message was crafted by the Parkside Group, a high-powered political consulting firm, and its media-savvy consultants did all the talking.

But as she gears up for a November rematch with Anthony Como, who won that election, Crowley has been waging a conspicuously homespun and unchaperoned campaign.

Crowley told the Queens News she parted ways with the Parkside Group in order to save money and run a "grass-roots" effort.

"I lost by 38 votes and I said, 'What can I do differently?'" Crowley said, noting her new approach is to spend her money on "direct voter contact."

"It's the way that elections should be won - knocking on doors, meeting voters at train stops, going to community organizations," she said.

Crowley said of the Parkside Group: "Their mail and their campaign stuff is a lot more expensive than if I go to the printer myself and have something made."

But Como (R-Middle Village) took issue with Crowley's "new" mail. "She's at meetings handing out her old palm cards," he said.

The Crowley campaign gave The News a card at a candidates forum last week in Ridgewood. It reads: "Vote Crowley. Special Election. Tuesday, June 3rd."

"June 3rd" had been crossed off.

The 30th Council District - which includes Middle Village, Glendale and Ridgewood, with parts of Richmond Hill, Woodhaven and Forest Hills - has been in Republican hands since 1991.

A Democratic insider said Queens party bosses thought the best chance of claiming the seat was in the nonpartisan special election, in which Como and former GOP Councilman Tom Ognibene split GOP votes.

But it didn't happen. Now Queens Democrats - led by Crowley's cousin, Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-Queens) - have more important races to consider than Round 2 of Crowley vs. Como, the insider said.

But Michael Reich, the executive secretary of the Queens Democratic Party, said Crowley has done well in fund-raising and has not been abandoned.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Something Happening Here?

Dizzy Lizzy dumps Parkside

When Democrat Elizabeth Crowley campaigned in the June special election for former City Councilman Dennis Gallagher's seat, she avoided speaking directly to the press.

Her message was crafted by the Parkside Group, a high-powered political consulting firm, and its media-savvy consultants did all the talking.

Same faces, different tactics in Elizabeth Crowley vs. Anthony Como

But as she gears up for a November rematch with Anthony Como, who won that election, Crowley has been waging a conspicuously homespun and unchaperoned campaign.

Crowley told the Queens News she parted ways with the Parkside Group in order to save money and run a "grass-roots" effort.

"I lost by 38 votes and I said, 'What can I do differently?'" Crowley said, noting her new approach is to spend her money on "direct voter contact."

"It's the way that elections should be won - knocking on doors, meeting voters at train stops, going to community organizations," she said.

Crowley said of the Parkside Group: "Their mail and their campaign stuff is a lot more expensive than if I go to the printer myself and have something made."

Maybe Parkside was actually working for the other side...
Posted by Queens Crapper at 12:20 AM 19 comments Links to this post - from Queens Crap, October 7, 2008

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A New "Tin Box"

Parkside Partner Consultant Helps Gifford Miller Become Council Speaker in 2002

"Gifford represents a completely new paradigm," said Harry Gianoulis, a consultant who helped coordinate Mr. Miller's campaign for Speaker. "It's consistent with the way that all of these new guys think that he took a multi-track approach and tried to talk to everyone, instead of saying 'I've got Queens and the Bronx' and ignoring everything outside that target audience. He started early with his campaigning, and he didn't make enemies. The old model doesn't work anymore, where you sit on your ass and wait for a county leader to pick you." -NY Obsever 2001

Good Governement Group the Citizen Union Reports Lobbying Firms were created to do work in Miller Council

More political consultants in New York have taken on the second role of lobbyists over the last five years, prompting good-government advocates to press the city's ethics board to revive attempts to regulate the practice. An analysis by Citizens Union, a nonprofit policy group, shows that half of the top 10 consultant-lobbyists last year earned no money from lobbying in 2001, but gradually adopted the practice, sometimes lobbying the same public officials they helped elect. Altogether, those 10 firms earned $32 million from lobbying and consulting from 2002 to 2005, according to the analysis, which the group intends to present today to the Conflicts of Interest Board. - New York Times, Febuary 3, 2006

Parkside Group Is Formed

In Queens, the Parkside Group leads the newcomers in attracting candidates. Evan Stavisky, Bill Driscoll and Harry Giannoulis bring their years of political experience together to represent a dozen-plus odd Council candidates — maybe some of them aren’t too odd. They have a batch of other candidates throughout the city. Queens Tribune, July 12, 2001

Lobbying Group Parkside Takes In 7.5 Million from 2001 to 2006

"As the city examines the power that lobbyists exert on municipal government, new figures show the top influence-peddlers are hauling in big bucks.
According to a list compiled by the Citizens Union and obtained by The Post, the Parkside Group is the city's top-billing lobbying or consulting group, having earned $7.5 million in fees since 2001." - New York Post, Feburary 3, 2006

Parkside Partner Helps Speaker Miller Choose New Chief of Staff

Miller Gets Help From Lobbyist In Finding a New Chief of Staff
"The position is traditionally that of gatekeeper and top adviser to one of the city's most powerful officials. . . The lobbyist, Harry E. Giannoulis, a partner in the Parkside Group, a lobbying and political consulting firm, said yesterday that while he did not believe he had played a pivotal role in helping Mr. Miller choose his chief of staff, he had given the speaker advice on what to look for in a candidate and had advised some potential applicants to seek the job. He also participated in meetings at which candidates were discussed, according to Mr. Miller's staff. Mr. Giannoulis wears two hats, one as a consultant helping candidates get elected, another as a lobbyist, who then helps his clients gain access to the people he helps elect. It is a standard strategist-lobbyist model that is common in the city and in the federal government. In this case, Mr. Giannoulis acknowledges wearing both hats at the same time -- saying he is collecting a $2,000-a-month retainer from Mr. Miller's campaign committee for political work while also representing clients like the Telebeam Telecommunications Corporation of Long Island City, which owns pay phones throughout the city." -New York Times, May 18, 2004

"Mr. Giannoulis said he had lobbied the speaker directly for his clients. It is his dual roles -- helping the speaker find a chief of staff and also lobbying the speaker on behalf of companies -- that have some government watchdog groups concerned, particularly given the power a chief of staff holds in terms of access to the speaker and in helping perform Council business." -NY Sun, May 19 2004

Lobbyist Consultant role at City Hall Inappropriate

"Dick Dadey, executive director of Citizens Union, a nonprofit civic group that has no budget request before the city, said the competition for money among nonprofits had "created this frenzy" to hire lobbyists out of a belief that doing so would increase their chances of securing appropriations. He also expressed concern about what he called "a growing problem" of council members being lobbied by firms that serve as political consultants to many of them. "It's a closed circle of influence that is totally inappropriate," Mr. Dadey said. "It clearly gives a lobbyist who does campaign work unfair advantage, because it gives them a level of access to the elected official that they otherwise would not have." - New York Times, June 22, 2005

Miller Fund-Raiser's Ties to Lobbyist Raise Eyebrows With Watchdogs

"City Council Speaker Gifford Miller's fund-raising effort operated for 15 months in an office in the same lobbying firm that reportedly has advised him on selecting a new chief of staff. The executive director of Miller for New York, Lisa Esler, rented an office from the Parkside Group since February 2003 before relocating to another floor in the same Nassau Street building three weeks ago. Ms. Esler and aides to Mr. Miller said the space was rented by her consulting firm, The Esler Group, and not the campaign, although Miller for New York is paying for the new office, the aides and Ms. Esler said." - New York Sun, May 19, 2004

Hidden Money Increase Power Insider Lobbyist

The Council was rocked this week by news that for years staffers hid at least $17 million in the city budget by allocating the money to phony charities. Controlled by the speaker, the cash would then be doled out to legitimate groups with political pull or midyear emergencies. In 2001, there were five fake names shielding $1 million. It grew to dozens of names and about $4.5 million by last year, before Quinn said she found out about it. One of the original bogus groups - Murphy's Place - was named in honor of a former councilman who called an Irish staffer "Murphy" because he could not remember his real name, an ex-Council staffer said. She said she told senior finance staffers to quit it in the spring of 2007 - a contention backed up Friday by her chief of staff, Charles Meara. McShane did not explain why Quinn waited more than a year to order an end to the practice. investigators are believed to be looking into any shady ties between Council members and the nonprofits they fund with the body's multimillion-dollar pork budget. – Daily News, April 5, 2008

What was going on in the Council Financial Office?
“Ms. Quinn is expected to replace Ms. Angelo with Michael P. Keogh, who worked most recently for the mayor's Office of State Legislative Affairs. Ms. Quinn was elected last month with the support of the Democratic organizations in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx, and has already started hiring party loyalists in return for their support, several council members and lobbyists said.”
NY Times, Feburary 22, 2006

Since the story about her aides channeling money into fake organizations broke, Christine Quinn has stressed that said aides were under direct orders for her not to do so. (She also says she knew about the practice of putting money aside, but not about the phantom organizations). In her initial press conference on the subject, Quinn said only that two members of her finance department no longer work for the council. She declined to name them, but it has now been reported that one of those staffers is Staci Emanuel, who reporters haven't had much luck tracking down. The other is Michael Keogh. When Keogh left the City Council, he landed a job at Bolton St. Johns. The powerful lobbying firm (it's ranked #2 in the city by revenue) - Azi Paybarah, The Politicker

"Her finance director, Michael Keogh, has since joined Bolton-St. Johns, a lobbying firm where Emily Giske, a top official in the state Democratic Party and close ally of the speaker, also works. Quinn’s communications chief Jamie McShane said the speaker played no role in Keogh landing that job, and Keogh has told reporters he is cooperating with investigators. The most critical questions that must be answered relate to how the distributions of the discretionary money were made. Technically, it was a process Quinn controlled, but McShane, citing the ongoing investigations, was unable to provide the specifics on how funding decisions were made. If Quinn herself made the decisions, she ought to explain where she thought the money was coming from."

In an appearance last night on the Perez Notes radio show, Council finance committee chair (and comptroller candidate) David Weprin said the Council slush fund incident, was a minor blip. These “fictitious groups,” Weprin said, never came before his committee or the Council as a whole – it was merely the work of a “couple of staff people.” - Daily News Blog, July 31, 2008

Although the council speaker can have ultimate veto power, Fidler said other people scrutinize the member items. "Some of it gets decided by the member," Fidler explained. "Some of it gets decided by the borough delegation. Some of it gets decided by the speaker and some of it gets decided by the budget negotiating team." Who is the team?