From the Queens Chronicle:
This year, I have taken on an important issue involving abuse of power, arrogance, poor administrative skills, disdain toward the taxpayers and Flushing Meadows Park. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has shown a lack of oversight and/or care for Flushing Meadows Park. He knows he has big problems with Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, who is supposed to oversee Flushing Meadows and instead allows the destruction of that park to continue.
The crimes within the park were brought to my attention in 1999. At that time, park activist Paul Priore handed me videos showing shoddy conditions and crimes taking place openly in that park, day and night. He went to all of Mayor Rudy Guiliani’s town hall meetings, the park’s inspector general, the media, police precincts, the former Commissioner Henry Stern, Benepe and Flushing Meadows’ administrator, Estelle Cooper. He begged them to look into the crimes with the day vendors and night muggings. Instead of listening to him, they stooped to slandering him.
Today, others have taken on the plight of the park’s fiasco. They are now the target of the evil Parks Department spin. Bottom line, Flushing Meadows is used as a parking lot during tennis and ballpark events. The cost varies between the five lots from $18 to $25 per car in order to place the cars on acres of grassland. The mantra I hear from those I have contacted is, “It’s only since they are building the new Shea Stadium.” Balderdash. It has been a practice for years. Which community board gave them the heads up to do this? What politician has protested against this? Or, are they being politically quiet and going along with the flow? I think so. Try parking one car on Central Park’s lawn.
The fish smells from the head down and there is something fishy about Benepe. He knows what’s going on and appears to condone it. Ignoring the taxpayer’s cry for help just as Guiliani ignored Priore’s cries of rampant crime in the park. They only did something when the rapes, murders and beatings were made public.
Citizen’s Action Committee for Change