Joseph Ardizzone, who has lived in Willets Point since 1932 and is the last resident at the site, criticized the city’s attitude towards the area for the past 30 years and its failure to put in sewers, roads and provide other municipal services for the neighborhood.
CB 7 OKs Willets Plan … with buts
“For the past 75 years the city has said no to me, why should I now say yes,” said Ardizzone, who dressed up like a colonial American and decried the city’s tactics as un-American during the meeting.
Here's a letter from a business owner:
At the Community Board meeting, the members started fighting over what they wanted to build on my land. This is land that has been in my family for years and that I pay taxes on and it is being fought over already? I could not believe what I was witnessing.
I looked around the room as Evan Stavisky, the lobbyist who was hired by the city, schmoozed with the board members trying to sway their thoughts and votes. I saw Claire Shulman, the woman who withheld basic services from Willets Point while she was Borough President, do the same.
I felt helpless and could not believe that these people did not care that we were being thrown off our land due to their long-standing neglect. They just want us out to preserve their legacy.
Facing the threat of losing your business and livelihood due to an eminent domain seizure is cruel. I have worked my entire life to build my nest egg and now it is going to be snatched away. No one at the Community Board meeting seemed to care about all the equity the city was trying to loot away from all the landowners by offering 50 cents on the dollar.
I thought about my father - how he fought in Germany to protect other people’s land. Now here I am fighting my city and country for the land my dad worked hard for to keep his American dream alive. My father died two years ago just as the city started its fifth attempt in 25 years to take our land.
And, of course, Grandma Shulman has weighed in on her blog:
Now in my travels around the borough and talking with our citizens, I have yet to find any significant opposition to this plan with the exception of the businesses on the site.
Everyone wants to get rid of the unsightly mess at Willets. Some Councilmembers and folks have different ideas on what should be developed there but most are negotiable.
Translation: "Evan, we need to throw more money at them."
Meanwhile, the Mets are begging for more tax money...