This book represents the culmination of several years of research on community politics in New York City. It could not have been completed without the assistance of several groups of people. First, colleagues with whom I discussed the research helped me immeasurably. Their comments, suggestions, and arguments made the finished product more interesting and ultimately more satisfying. In this regard, I am particularly grateful to Bob Bailey from Columbia University, Doug Muzzio from Baruch College, Joe Viteritti from the Wagner Graduate School at New York University, and Ed Rogowsky from Brooklyn College. I also wish to acknowledge Clarence Stone from the University of Maryland, whose positive reactions to an earlier version of chapter one gave me confidence in the overall model.
I am also grateful to all the community board members from around the city who took the time to fill out and return the questionnaires, to the representatives of the borough community relations offices who spoke with me about the board system, to the officials at the Department of City Planning who helped clarify land-use issues, particularly ULURUP, and to the officials at the Office of Community Board Relations at the New York City Office of Management and the Budget, whose courtesy and assistance made the somewhat tedious task of coding some two thousand community board budget proposals more tolerable. I also wish to acknowledge the American Political Science Association, whose small- grant program helped defray some of the costs involved in preparing and sending out the board members' questionnaires. I also extend special words of thanks to Kelly Ronayne, whose patience and care in reviewing and proofreading the manuscript was of great assistance, and to Eileen M. Gaffney, whose careful copyediting was greatly appreciated.
Needless to say, all errors of fact, misinterpretations of information, or lack of clarity in the presentation are my own and I take full responsibility for them.
Finally, I want to acknowledge my spouse and other household friends without whom the book would have been finished sooner but with much less joy.