Saturday, September 26, 2009

Group says Willets Point raids were suspicious

From the Times Ledger:

A report issued by the Urban Justice Center Tuesday accuses the city of using strong-arm negotiating tactics with property owners at Willets Point while ignoring more than 200 tenant businesses that operate in the area.

More than two dozen Willets Point workers rallied alongside members of the Urban Justice Center outside Citi Field Tuesday to allege that the city orchestrated multi-agency raids on three properties housing 11 small businesses in April as a means of pushing property owners to strike deals to sell their land.

“The timing of these mass closures with a renewed effort to acquire private land for a public redevelopment is questionable and it may also be illegal,” the report said.

The raids, which occurred March 22 and April 2, came just weeks before the city announced it would renew efforts to acquire property in the southwestern portion of Willets Point to pursue its redevelopment plans for the area.

“When the government enters into private negotiations to acquire private land for an urban renewal plan like the type that has been authorized at Willets Point, there is a danger that any unequal or improper city action will be seen as an attempt to influence or coerce private landowners to sell their land,” the report said. “The actions taken by the city in the past few months are questionable at best, illegal at worst.”

The raids were launched by a collaboration of several city agencies, including the New York Police Department, the Fire Department, the Department of Buildings and the Department of Environmental Protection, and targeted 126-58 and 126-75 Willets Point Blvd. and 37-03 126th St. — all of which are in the area the city hopes to develop first.

“Those of us who have worked in government know that it’s difficult to get agencies to coordinate with one another,” said Wayne Mahlke, chief of staff for state Sen. Hiram Monserrate (D-East Elmhurst). “The city launched these raids in the same week they were negotiating with these property owners. There is no way it was a coincidence.”

From the Daily News:

The city is still forming a plan to relocate the businesses, Lombino said.

"We're looking at relocating some of the businesses in clusters," said Lombino. "We've done it before."

But many owners said they are wary.

"They never tell us the truth," said Marco Neira, 51, president of the Willets Point Defense Committee, adding that it's been difficult over the 23 years he's been in business to trust promises from city officials.

"The city comes here to give us fines, never to fix our streets," he said. "We have no sewers."

"The city gave us these problems," Neira said.

You mean the city still hasn't figured out where they are going to put these businesses?


-Joe said...

These Willets Point guys work hard and provide a vital service.
People are going to need them when they are all broke.
Just got my 91 4WD Jimmy Blazer remote Oil filter seals and U joints done on the point today.
$75 labor for a super clean job in 45 minutes.
2- O rings $1.29
2- 2 OEM U Joints @ 11 ea.

Local thieves in Manhasset and Bayside quoted me the dealer book rate 3hrs labor at @ $110 p/hour + $98parts and tax.
They had the repair quote at over $500. 2 guys also became cursing foul mouth animals when I told them it doesnt take 3 hours go "take" somebody else.

Ive done this job myself and it is 45 minutes to 1 hour AND THATS LAYING ON THE GROUND WITHOUT A LIFT OR RAMPS.
(I pulled my shoulder and just couldnt do it).

Could Auto dealerships and big shops be passing bag $$ to the political thugs to mess with these people on the point ?
--Perhaps some kind of sweet deal for police and City fleet cars so money actually doesnt exchange hands ?

Hmmm ?

Anonymous said...

A raid of Wellington Chen's and TDC's offices both here and in Taiwan or China might prove more interseting.

Who knows what formerly "inscrutable" evidence of international political corruption might be uncovered.

Maybe Shulman and Apelian's CB#7 might have some silent Oriental partners.

H-m-m-m....Donald Manes first suicide attempt was near the Willets Point area.

Anonymous said...

My dad (who is a citizen) works in willets point and he knows this place has no chance to defend against eminant domain.

RIP willets point (1963 - 2010).

Anonymous said...

They've been doing a pretty damn good job so far defending themselves against eminent domain abuse sonny boy!

Is your dad named Wellington?

Maybe YOUR MOM is named Toby!

Another shill feebly attempting to sow some seeds of discouragement.

Political powerhouse Robert Moses tried to oust the junk yards for the 1964 worlds Fair.


Even the well connected Donald Manes couldn't evict the WP business owners for his grand prix (etc.) race track scheme.

"It ain't over 'til it's over"!

And that was a very wise Yankee who said that...not one of Wilpon's shit house Mets!

-Joe said...

Donald Manes.
Isnt that the currupt Democrat who slit his wrists in his car after a party for the new Kew Gardens Israeli consul ?

That didnt work out for him so after his meeting with his psychiatrist he plunged a steak knife into his heart.

It appears Queens Borough Presidents have a history of bad mental illness and tweeding democrat disease since 1969.
Sidney Leviss 1969-71
Donald Manes 1971-86
Claire Shulman 1986-2001
Helen M. Marshall 2002- ?

To best serve the people the current senile old bat Helen Marshall should via removed eminant domain.

Anonymous said...

"Joe"...the history of the office of the borough presidency in Queens shows it to have been full of corruption from its very inception.

For example:
"Honest" Larry Gresser...that's Carol Gresser's husband Lawrence T. Gresser Junior's dad...resigned in the face of a pending investigation.

I believe "honest" Larry served around the 1900s.

Lawrence T. Gresser Jr. (his son) served under Manes as his deputy.

look them all up. What a crew!

It's enough to want to make you eliminate that office entirely.