Sunday, June 8, 2008

Councilmen unhappy with Willets Point plan

Last December, LaGuardia Community College won a bid to operate the $2.5 million Willets Point Workforce Program, part of the city's proposal to transform the so-called Iron Triangle into a modern residential and commercial megacomplex.

City Councilmen hit Willets Point job retraining plan

The program, expected to launch in late September or early October, is the largest and most comprehensive workforce training project ever included in an Economic Development Corporation redevelopment project, said agency spokesman Jeff Roberts.

As planned, the program will include English language and computer literacy classes, training for construction and automotive jobs, and assistance in landing internships and job interviews.

...Councilman Tony Avella called the program a crafted response to a recent letter in which 29 Council members refused to back the Willets Point plan unless "significant" changes are made - including providing help for displaced workers.

"To me, it's window-dressing," said Avella (D-Bayside). "It's an attempt to give some Council members some cover, so they can say, 'Oh, they are taking care of the workers.'"

...Councilman Hiram Monserrate questioned why the city would advance the program before the City Council has approved the overall Willets Point plan.

"The City of New York does not own property at this site," said Monserrate (D-Jackson Heights).

"If we haven't even had a contract of sale, how is it that we are moving forward in this way?"


Photo from Bridge and Tunnel Club

9 comments:

Taxpayer said...

Council Member Avella,

You are on the right side of the angels with your opposition to the takeover of Willets Point for the purpose of private profitable development.

Please read about Zimbabwe and the murderous Robert Mugabe. He is a world class user of eminent domain, and with it he has destroyed a prosperous nation and starved hundreds of thousands of its citizens.

Private property ownership is the most fundamental right of all people. Without the freedom to own and use private property all our other rights are meaningless.

Eminent domain for schools, libraries, and other purposes solely for public use is lawful.

If a private company believes it can make better use of someone else' private property, then let them enter into a purchase contract without assistance or coercion by any government agency or official. The fact that the prospective buyer may have to deal with a large number of private owners (any one or several of whom might hold out for more money) is of no interest to the government. Bargaining is a vital and ordinary part of private property ownership.

It is an unimpressive argument to assert that the US Supreme Court decided that taking of private property to turn over to developers so that the tax base would be improved, thereby making the seizure a "public" purpose.

For very similar economic reasons, the US Supreme Court decided that a Black man was worth three-fifths of a white man, and that slavery was legal. And, slavery is the ultimate in eminent domain.

jake wpira said...

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beat the city save willets point said...

taxpayer;; you are the angel please call wpira to help us in our fight. we need more people like you in this city and world thanks everyone@ wpira.com

Anonymous said...

"Private property ownership is the most fundamental right of all people. Without the freedom to own and use private property all our other rights are meaningless."

Isn't this the wrong blog to post this? Most people here think the "community" can tell someone what to do with their property.

Taxpayer said...

""Private property ownership is the most fundamental right of all people. Without the freedom to own and use private property all our other rights are meaningless."

Isn't this the wrong blog to post this? Most people here think the "community" can tell someone what to do with their property."

And, like any right, it is limited, in that we cannot use our rights to harm others.

Speech cannot be used to incite violence. Religion cannot be used to perform human sacrifice. We may vote only once per election. Yada, yada, yada.

So, without the freedom to own and use private property all our other rights are meaningless.

And, since this site is about overdevelopment and tweeding, it is a perfect spot to write about the savage abuse of eminent domain.

Queens Crapper said...

"Most people here think the "community" can tell someone what to do with their property."

Actually, most people here believe in enforcement of the NYC zoning code, where the government, on behalf of the people, tells someone what limits are placed on their property. I'd also go out on a limb to say that most are against variances, spotzones, etc.

Taxpayer said...

Another point on eminent domain:

The original intent of eminent domain was to transfer private ownership to public ownership, to serve a public purpose.

The current intent is to transfer private ownership to private ownership.

Both forms require government force.

Here's something for the acquiring private owner/developer to contemplate deeply:

Once you've spent your money and started counting your profits, a new election cycle can produce still another set of predatory politicians who will transfer your private ownership of that newly developed property to still another private owner/developer who promises even greater tax revenue from a new use for the property. (and greater bribes for the new politicians)

Since private ownership to private ownership is desirable, there will never be an end to the turnover, just as there will never be any end to predatory government.

Think you're safe? Nobody's safe from greed.

jerry ccc said...

think you safe? nobody is safe from greed!! how true everyone knows it but can't stop it. take the politicans houses and business properties away and see how fast new laws come out against eminent domain claire mugambe lives on

Anonymous said...

Tony has been O.K. from the very beginning on this issue of eminent domain abuse.

But Monserrate is probably just unhappy with the percentage of the profits he was originally promised for supporting this Willets Point hand job!

So now he's changed his mind.

What a piece of crooked crap he is!