Well, folks, we all knew it was coming. The $1 million Dennis Gallagher claimed to have secured in the 2008 Parks budget never existed. Here are some excerpts from articles about the proposed church move where Pinky reveals himself:
"Since the money had been allocated to the Parks Department, the councilman said by process it is impossible to switch the funds to purchase the site without a budget modification, followed by a Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) hearing.
The entire process could take well over a year, and during that time span Saint Saviour's could be demolished." - Queens Ledge, 2/21/08
"...Gallagher told the Times Newsweekly that while he supports the project "if it can be done with private money," securing public funding for the endeavor out of the city budget would be difficult.
The original $1 million procurement, which he said was allocated to the Parks Department budget, must be transferred to the city's General Services fund, a maneuver 'which normally isn't done until the adoption of the city budget in June'.
In order to acquire the church, Gallagher added, the transaction must go before the city's Uniform Land Use Review Process for approval, which he said could take up to a year to complete." - Times Newsweekly, 2/21/08
Hmmm...wow I don't know where to begin. Let's start with the fact that the $1 million was never in the Parks Department budget. How do I know this? I have an e-mail that was forwarded to me that says so:
"While it would be desirable to have more open space in the area, we have no funding whatsoever to advance the acquisition of this site, let alone future development and maintenance funding." - Assistant Commissioner for Planning Joshua Laird, 11/2/07
Mr. Laird also reportedly said the following to Simeon Bankoff, Christabel Gough, Tony Nunziato, Mary Jablonski and Christina Wilkinson at a meeting at the Arsenal on 9/7/07:
"There is no money for St. Saviour’s in the 2008 Parks budget. If there was a million dollars in our budget for this project, I would know about it."
Now, let's move on to the ULURP smokescreen. This would not be a ULURP project, as the city would not take possession of the land the building would be on. The money would be donated to All Faiths Cemetery, a not-for-profit, as a capital grant. Kind of like the expansion of the Catalpa YMCA (a private entity) that Gallagher constantly brags about:
"Nearly $2 million in additional capital funding has been secured by local elected officials, according to Council Member Dennis Gallagher, noting that his office as well as Queens Borough President Helen Marshall had reserved money for the project in this year’s city’s budget. State Sen. Serphin Maltese and Assemblywoman Catherine Nolan have also secured state funding, Gallagher added." - Times Newsweekly, 8/3/06
You'll recall that Gallagher's original plan to buy the piece of property the church sits on and make it Parks Department property would have required a change to the city map that would definitely have had to go through the year-long ULURP process, so his excuse makes no sense.
Here's the budget. Look under "Parks" and see if you find it yourself.
"Dennis Gallagher is a lying, cheating piece of shit." - Mrs. Dennis Gallagher (as per a neighbor) to the NY Post, 7/11/07