Sheepshead’s City Council Reps Earn High Marks On Environment

Nelson scored a perfect 100 on NYLCV's Environmental Scorecard, and also sponsored two of the bills on which other councilmembers' votes were evaluated.

If you listen to the putzes up in “the city,” our little corner of Brooklyn is full of backwards yokels, intent on destroying the environment through our frequent opposition to bike lanes and our love of automobiles. In fact, another neighborhood website publisher once told us that most other “bloggers” call Sheepshead Bites the anti-bike blog.

Well, I don’t buy it. Never have, never will, and now we’ve got some backup: the New York League of Conservation Voters.

The NYLCV is a statewide environmental advocacy organization that publishes a scorecard evaluating the voting records of elected officials throughout the state. They just wrapped up their New York City Council scorecard, and found that Southern Brooklyn’s representatives are among the most environmentally-concerned folks in the legislative body. And that’s saying a lot – the Council’s average score jumped to 90 this year – up from 68 in 2009 and 45 in 2005 – making it the “most pro-environment Council in recent memory,” the report states.

The group evaluated the votes on 11 bills, including two pieces of legislation introduced by local Councilman Michael Nelson that requires various city departments to make a plan to curb illegal dumping in the waterways, and increased the fines for such illegal dumping.

Speaking of Nelson, he scored a perfect 100. As did Lew Fidler. And Jumaane Williams and David Greenfield.

In fact, the only council person in the vicinity of Community Board 15 that didn’t nail a perfect score was Domenic Recchia, who scored an 82 after missing the vote on Nelson’s waterways bill, and voting against a bill not sponsoring a bill requiring an increase in storm water-tolerant native vegetation in order to reduce combined sewer overflows. [ADDITIONAL INFO PROVIDED BY RECCHIA’S OFFICE BELOW]

In all, 22 of the council’s 51 members received perfect scores. The three worst scores were Councilmembers Helen Foster (36), Annabel Palma (64) and Larry Seabrook (64) – all representing the Bronx.

UPDATE (4/12/2012): Domenic Recchia’s office got in touch to let us know that the bill mentioned above, requiring an increase in storm water-tolerant vegetation, never came up for a vote and so he did not vote against it. “Intro 75 is still laid over in the Committee on Environmental Protection of which Councilman Recchia is not a member and therefore could not cast a vote,” his office told us. His office added that not all of the bills the NYLCV evaluated actually came to a vote, and the ones that did not were evaluated by whether or not the councilmember was listed as a co-sponsor. And since the bill never came to a vote, the councilman was unfamiliar with its contents and so could not say whether he would have voted for it or not.