Letter to the editor of the Times Ledger:
When the United States Tennis Association was permitted to almost double the size of its presence in Flushing Meadows Corona Park, part of the arrangement included the creation of a fund that I recall being $8 million. It was to be used solely to enhance the integrity of an important urban park which had been for years neglected and pillaged for a host of non-park structures.
That meant improvement of the facility as a place for passive enjoyment. It was not meant to be related in any way to more non-park structures in the park. The money was not to be used for financial requirements that legitimately would and should be covered by the park's normal budgetary allotments. By any stretch of the imagination, salaries of Park Department employees fall within the normal budgetary allotments.
With its typical false bravado the city Parks Department now says that the $8 million-fund is now worth about $12 million and will be used to pay the salaries of employees at a swimming pool and ice skating facility now under construction in the park, according to the April 12 TimesLedger story, "Tennis fund will staff Flushing Meadows pool."
This is clearly a violation of the intent and spirit that prompted the creation of the fund. One need not be surprised because this is yet another example of the ongoing dumping on Flushing Meadows Corona Park by an inept and incompetent Parks Department, aided and abetted by so-called elected officials who have no comprehension of what urban parks are all about.
Benjamin M. Haber, president
Civic Association of Kew Gardens Hills