Today’s news:

District funds jump 25% under Crowley

Freshman City Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village) brought home the bacon for the 2010 fiscal year, garnering $533,321 for organizations in her district.

Crowley said her funding represented a 25 percent increase in member items over the previous fiscal year levels and a 50 percent increase in capital allocations for the 30th District, which includes Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village and Ridgewood.

“Pretty much any local organization that passed our vetting process got funded,” she said, chalking up her largesse to being one of the first 10 Council members to file her allocation requests this year in March.

The lion’s share of Crowley allocations went to programs for youths and senior citizens, the standard throughout the Council. Crowley sent $40,000 to the Glenridge Senior Center for senior meals, van maintenance and other expenses, the largest member allocation for any organization in her district.

Of Crowley’s member items, $26,500 went to the Greater Ridgewood Youth Council, which also received a combined $2.5 million in capital funding from the Queens delegation of the Council, Borough President Helen Marshall and Councilwoman Diana Reyna (D-Bushwick) as it prepares to move to a new location at the former VFW Garrity Post on Fairview Avenue.

“Maspeth Town Hall and the Greater Ridgewood Youth Council, they’re like anchors of the community,” she said.

The councilwoman said she divided up the allocations based on need and the population of each of her neighborhoods.

“I won’t say what happened in the past, but it was not distributed evenly,” she said.

In terms of individual member allocations, Crowley outraised her predecessor, Anthony Como, who brought in $383,964 in the 2009 fiscal year, and ex-Councilman Dennis Gallagher, who distributed $299,857 in individual allocations during the 2008 fiscal year. Gallagher did collaborate substantially with other Council members for group allocations. Republican Council members, a decided minority in the city, traditionally bring home less in discretionary funds than their Democratic peers.

Crowley’s $8,000 allocation to the Juniper Park Conservancy marks a significant departure from her predecessors, both of whom feuded with the Juniper Park Civic and did not provide funding.

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e-mail at or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 154.

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