AVELLA CALLS ON BLOOMBERG TO DENOUNCE TERM LIMITS LINK TO WILLETS POINT
Council Member Tony Avella, Chair of Zoning for the City Council, today called on Mayor Michael Bloomberg to clearly and completely denounce any link between his possible interest in extending term limits and the upcoming City Council vote on his controversial Willets Point rezoning plan.
"The Mayor must make clear that his Willets Point proposal should rise or fall on the merits, and make sure that anyone in his administration who tries to link these issues should be fired on the spot," Avella said. "Reporters don't just make up these stories; they are leaked by those who think it's to their advantage. This attack on the integrity and independence of the land use process of the City is unacceptable and just plain irresponsible."
Avella said the media reports suggesting the administration would attempt to win City Council votes for its flailing Willets Point plan in exchange for extending term limits demonstrates just how much the administration is struggling to win this debate.
"There is a reason why more than 32 members of the City Council have stood firmly opposed to the Willets Point plan – and that's because it relies too heavily on eminent domain, doesn't include enough affordable housing, and will cost taxpayers in the neighborhood of $1 billion at a time when services are being cut," Avella said. "In my time serving on the City Council, I have found that Council Members want to know the specific details of land use projects before them, especially something as significant as the misuse of eminent domain -taking private property away from small business owners and giving it to some mega developer."
Avella added, "In an age when people are increasing cynical about their government, it's critical that the Mayor clearly states that he will not play these games. He must make clear that his administration respects the integrity and independence of the land use process."