Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Impetuous decision has dire consequences

Last week, park and community advocates including the Juniper Park Civic Association, Newtown Historical Society and NYC Park Advocates were shocked to learn that the City’s Department of Parks and Recreation and Council Member Elizabeth Crowley have dropped their bid to acquire the 1.5-acre former site of St. Saviour’s Church in Maspeth, Queens. The groups had been working for 5 years to have this site converted into parkland before the decision to quit was made by city officials without any community notification or input.

“I was dumbfounded when I received a call from a Daily News reporter on Thursday, November 10th, asking me for my reaction to the Parks Dept’s decision to nix the acquisition of the St. Saviour’s site,” said Christina Wilkinson, President of Newtown Historical Society. “It was news to me and every other volunteer involved in this project. As late as November 1st, Parks had indicated that they were ready to proceed with ULURP if and when the elected officials were to raise the money required for the process and we had been working up until this point to find this money.”

Crowley had called Wilkinson personally on Tuesday, November 8th and told her of the opportunity to acquire a 14,875 sq ft property at the corner of 61st Street and Maspeth Avenue from Martin Luther School, which currently uses the site as an accessory parking lot. Crowley said she needed to use the money she had already raised for St. Saviour’s or she might lose it during the City’s upcoming budget modification process. It should be noted that the loss of elected officials’ allocated capital funding happens frequently. It may delay projects, but it rarely kills them. It is incumbent upon elected officials to replace lost monies during subsequent budgets and to seek out and lobby for Mayoral, Speaker and Queens Delegation funding. (During her time in the City Council, Elizabeth Crowley has not secured a dime of funding from any of these sources and this year did not put any money toward the St. Saviour’s acquisition.)

Crowley said that Parks was on board with acquiring the Martin Luther site and had asked DCAS to appraise the property so that negotiations with the school could commence.

“Crowley assured me that it was her intention to use some of her funding toward the Martin Luther site, and then continue to seek other green space in Maspeth, including the St. Saviour’s site,” Wilkinson said. “I took her at her word. She asked me to gather community feedback on her proposal. I was in the process of doing so when I found out that she had gone to the Daily News with her idea and was pitching the Martin Luther site as a “replacement” for the St. Saviour’s site. I can’t believe they torpedoed this project which has borough-wide and city hall support, in return for a much smaller site that is nothing but a maybe at this point and is not in jeopardy of being sold or developed as the St. Saviour’s site is.”

The irresponsible decision by Council Member Crowley and the Parks Dept to prematurely announce the non-guaranteed acquisition of the 14,785 sq ft Martin Luther site as a “replacement” for the 62,500 sq ft. St. Saviour's project means that the original project is most likely ineligible for $1.2M from the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant Mitigation Funding that it was being considered for. St. Saviour's had been listed as a priority 2 finalist, which meant it could have been eligible for funding had any of the four priority 1 projects been found to be unfeasible. As was mentioned in the DEC letter to the City Parks Foundation dated 10/25/11, the determination of the feasibility is to be made within 60 days, or by December 25th.

In addition, as of November 11th, State Senator Joseph Addabbo was waiting for a return call from DEC regarding $300,000 of unallocated priority 1 settlement money and if some of it could be used to cover the St. Saviour’s ULURP fees now. Addabbo also was in the process of finding out whether part of a grant from his predecessor, former State Senator Serf Maltese, could have covered the ULURP costs. Assembly Member Cathy Nolan was quoted in a story by the Times Ledger dated 11/12, “I will be working with other elected officials to advocate again for St. Saviour’s. The destruction of the church and yard has been a tragedy that needs to be addressed.” Apparently, Crowley never informed the other elected officials representing the area about her plan to pull the rug out from under St. Saviour’s in order to claim a win at the Martin Luther site.

This unforeseen development also means that the tentative offer secured by Maspeth activist Tony Nunziato from NYSDOT to fund the construction of the park at St. Saviour’s as part of the Kosciuszko bridge replacement project is also in jeopardy. Elizabeth Crowley could not wait to run to the media and announce her "Maspeth park victory" – in effect, disqualifying the community from receiving funding for the only project it had on the DEC and NYSDOT lists and slapping her own colleagues in the face in the process.

Juniper Park Civic Association President Robert Holden said, “Unfortunately it appears that Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley has given up the fight to save one of the most historic sites in the City of New York and Maspeth’s most important landmark. I’m not surprised. After failing to convince city officials of its importance, Crowley has also given up the fight to reassemble St. Saviour’s church, one of the last remaining Carpenter Gothic-style buildings designed by world famous architect, Richard Upjohn in 1847. Saving the church and land were two of Crowley’s campaign promises. While the church still sits in trailers in West Maspeth, the St. Saviour’s historic land now contains warehouses as symbolic and grotesque monuments to the failure of the City of New York and our elected officials to recognize the importance of saving the last remaining landmarks of Maspeth’s history for future generations to enjoy.”

In spite of this avoidable setback, Juniper Park Civic Association, Newtown Historical Society and NYC Park Advocates will not be giving up on their proposal to convert the St. Saviour’s site into a park and we call on the Bloomberg administration and local elected officials to work together toward this goal and make it happen. Maspeth is sorely underserved by parkland and needs and deserves to have the historic St. Saviour’s site, the last sizable piece of open space left in the area, preserved as a park.

(Above text from press release)

From A Walk in the Park:

Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe and Joshua Laird last week reiterated to a Walk In The Park that the Parks Department had not ruled out using eminent domain to acquire the St. Saviour's site.

People are also wondering that since the acquisition of the St. Saviour's site is much further along, why going after the Martin Luther site is not being done in tandem with the St. Saviour's site.

Multiple people who have been involved with the process for many years from the community say this decision was made without any community consultation or participation.

The community has also asked that since allocation funds have been earmarked for St. Saviour's, what guarantee is there that these funds will be available for the Martin Luther site?


Anonymous said...

" Saving the church and land were two of Crowley’s campaign promises."
- - - - - -
A politician who does not keep campaign promises. Wow, that's realy a first!

Anonymous said...

Ugh now I understand it better. What a jerk!

Christina Wilkinson said...

Although I hear that Crowley was "shocked" to find out that Parks decided to drop their pursuit of the site, that only opens her up to questions about why she didn't discuss the impact of her diversion of money from one project to another with them before calling up the paper.

Anonymous said...

Maspeth Mom...

Llving so close to the Martin Luther site ...I wonder what type of park they will put there...a handball park? which attracts gangs member type individuals? There will be teenagers hanging out all nite??Who will close the park at night?

Anonymous said...

Handball courts attract gangs? Juniper Valley, Maurice and Frontera have handball courts. Are there gangs hanging out there? Good God, people.

Anonymous said...

The ML site should be left the way it is, if it is acquired at all. It's nice and green. But then again Crowley and Parks probably won't ask for community input and end up paving it over.

Anonymous said...

Well, lets see if Historic Districts council can pull themselves away from expanding the 1% that gets the attention for preservation to express outrage - lawsuit like they did in the Village?

Naw, they and their ilk only notice us when the send out $100 fundraisers at the Four Seasons.

Should have moved to overturn the landmarks law the moment Landmarks Commission refused designation.

Jerry Rotondi said...

No surprise here!

Campaign promises are only made to be broken.

Liz Crowley has proven to be a lowdown treacherous cur!

I took note of her body language at the last St. Saviour's rally.

Her general demeanor didn't project sincerity to me.

Anonymous said...

Does Historic Districts Council
even give a crap about our "outer" borough?

RU kidding?

Simeon sips his Merlot in Baccarat stemware, while Queens goes under!

georgetheatheist said...

"And Happy Thanksgiving To All My Constituents and Best Wishes for the Holiday Season!" - Elizabeth Crowley community newspaper advertising.

[And don't forget to see her smile, smile, smile.]

Anonymous said...

How very Crowley of her.

Anonymous said...

How does someone with the last name Crowley fail to get a small project done in her district? We're not talking about restoring the NYS Pavilion, just the acquisition of 1 1/2 acres of land. How are other council members able to accomplish this and she can't?

Anonymous said...

Liz seems to take a page from Community Board 1 where you tell the people that you want to revitalize the community then gleefully ignore them as you tout how wonderful the political order is from the roof of one of the 16 hotels.

Queens Crapper said...

You mean like this?

Anonymous said...

The M/L location is just not a good spot for a park. first of all it is 2 small and the traffic conditions would pose a danger.

Anonymous said...

Liz Crowley has proven to be a lowdown treacherous cur!

Is it true that if you look into Crowley's left ear, you can see daylight coming in from the right ear???!???!!?!

Anonymous said...

You mean like this?


Yup, and you can be a knuckle dragging neanderthal if you enable development the politicians regard you as a hero.

Go through the Queens weeklies - in picture after picture that is who you see.

Look at the Queens institutions - in picture after picture (with a few notable exceptions) that it is what you see.

St Saviours is inexcusable.

Anonymous said...

Look what is needed is to hound this woman out of office.

Dog her every step. Try every chance you can to make her look like the moron she is. Ask her questions when the reporters are there - record her reaction - belittle her at every turn.

Send it to Crappy - spread it to the four winds - start at Dizzy Lizzy website. Show up at places that she was at the week before to undo her aura. Write letters to the editor.

Who knows doormats, even in your tiny minds you might get back bone for these bloodsuckers once you smell it and end their careers.

That whole Crowley clan should be purged from Queens politics.

CJ said...

Liar! Liar! Liar! Liz Crowley. May you never serve another day in public office.

I first came upon this church and the beautiful surroundings in December of 2005. What a beautiful oasis it was and what a great loss for the community. I don't live in NYC, but I truly feel your loss and sense of betrayal.
What you need is an Occupy St Saviour's. Please don't give up. Take back control of your community from these thugs.

Anonymous said...

she's a beautiful looking woman.

Anonymous said...

Run Christina Run
Run for City Council ...

Anonymous said...

Q.What is Queens Civic Congress doing about this?

A1. Planning their annual fete with our elected officals.

A2. I danno ... something about the driveways in Fresh Meadows or sumptin.'

Anonymous said...

Q. What is Four Borough Preservation blah blah doing about this?

A. Preparing lists for Teirney.

Anonymous said...

Q. What is the Queens Preservation Council doing about this?

A. Talking about Queensmarks.

Anonymous said...

Q. What is the bottom line when you look at the preservationists, civics, and politicans in Queens?

A. You are f*ked.

Joe said...

I think its time Wilkinson runs for a seat.
F_ck these people ---they are all festering dirty diapers IMHO and need to be disposed with.
Crowley should have seen this coming, likely she even knew !
Crowley has to know (by now) the mayor and his possie-commu are all split tongue, Moth*rF**ing, phony special interest bastards who hate Maspeth.
It is the duty of the populate to make every attempt to fire all the bastards that be !

Ned said...

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."
-- Thomas Jefferson

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Lizzie's dumb, but the people who voted for her and put her in office are dumber. Remember how she screwed the community when she runs for City Council the next time.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Bloomberg and City Council have a hard on for Maspeth. I'm surprised, considering that Maspeth has so many city agencies located in West Maspeth. It's time to dump ALL Crowleys. Joe lives in Virginia anyway and doesn't live anywhere near the people he is supposed to represent. As for Lizzie, Cousin Joe put her here. It's our job to get her out of here.

georgetheatheist said...

"I think its time Wilkinson runs for a seat."

I think so as well. Democratic primary or Republican?

Anonymous said...

Liz pissed off the Lez soon after she was elected.........

Anonymous said...

Maspeth Mom says...

I am wondering what type of park they will put there...is it going to be like the triangle parks off the expressways...if the city buys the land... then if they decide not to build a park ...can they put low income housing there? Possibly sell it to a developer who can put 8 houses on it... someone explain why they couldnt do that...seems to me NYC can do anything wants.

Jerry Rotondi said...

You'd better get off the pot and on the stick Ms. Crowley!

You're not winning any popularity contests here today.

Make sure that St. Saviour's Park becomes a reality or risk losing
an election!

Anonymous said...

Yeah right Wilkinson for office! That's a freakin joke!

Christina Wilkinson said...

You're right, it is a joke. I have no criminal history, I have dedicated more volunteer hours toward my community than I have toward my personal goals, I am trying to preserve the history of the area and I actually reside in the borough instead of upstate or Long Island. I am afraid I am therefore not qualified to hold office in Queens.

Anonymous said...

One thing you have to know about Elizabeth Crowley, because she's in way over her head she has to appear that she's qualified. That's why it's so important for her to get press. If you examine her record– the vast majority of her announcements never come to fruition. This is how her brain works.

She comes up with an idea, gets press and then moves on to another photo-op. She thinks if you say it will happen maybe it will. If it doesn't, nobody will notice. Following through with an issue or project and doing the necessary work is too much for her and her staff. It's much easier to get press and move on to the next issue.

I pity the poor residents who live in her district. She's totally unqualified for the position.

Anonymous said...

First Lizzie waffled on the new Maspeth High School. She said Maspeth kids would have first preference to attend. She screwed that up. Now she screwed the community with the St. Savior Park site. Three strikes you're out Lizzie. Please, please, please -- is there anyone out there who could run against her? Someone with half a brain? Anybody? My dog is smarter and has more common sense than she does. Crowley is bad for our community. She collects a salary, but doesn't accomplish or do anything. Time to vote her out. Can she be impeached?

Anonymous said...

"Crowley is bad for our community. She collects a salary, but doesn't accomplish or do anything. Time to vote her out. "

Holy Shyte, she sounds like Hollerin Dan the man Halloran.

Anonymous said...

"She comes up with an idea, gets press and then moves on to another photo-op. She thinks if you say it will happen maybe it will. If it doesn't, nobody will notice. Following through with an issue or project and doing the necessary work is too much for her and her staff. It's much easier to get press and move on to the next issue"

Holy Fking Shyte, she really sounds like Dan the man, only difference he raises his voice, yells a little, and then steps back behind the scenes.

Alfredo said...

I recently had the Privilege of meeting Christina Wilkerson and looked he up before we spoke. She has done more for her community than any elected official has done in any community. She is knowledgeable, and has the best intentions of the community and its people in the forefront.

If she is crazy enough to run, the people of her community would be lucky to have her.

Anonymous said...

Maspeth Mom says...

Yes ...its a shame she wouldnt run..but politics is an ugly business, so you can understand her feelings. But her heart is in the right place.

Anonymous said...

looks like the blow job queen
has blown off Maspeth!

Anonymous said...

Claire Shulman screwed Flushing when it came to protecting the Keith's Theatre.

Now Liz Crowley is, likewise, screwing Maspeth regarding St. Saviour's Park.

Twin moves from the Donald Manes Democratic Machine political playbook.

Damn all 3 of to hell!

mad, from Maspeth said...

Get ready to grab your ankles Liz, when it's our turn to get you at the polls!

Anonymous said...

Hope you enjoy
reading all this stuff Ms. Crowley!

Anonymous said...

One thing is certain.

Fellow Jew Bloomberg, is not going to throw out an Israeli developer from the St. Saviour's site, come hell or high water!

This whole affair has been a carefully orchestrated song and dance number among politicians to disenfranchise a community!

There was never any real plan to put a park on the site.

But there was plenty of plotting going on in the backrooms for sure.

Anonymous said...

It's way past the time
for Maspeth's citizens to

Learn from what's going on around
Wall Street!

Bring the shit to her doorstep!

Wadda ya'all got to lose?

She ain't gonna do squat for you!


Maintain a 24 hour vigil in front of her home if necessary, if that's what it takes.

Or else hold a requiem mass for the demise of a park.

It's either still on the front burner, or it's dead!

Anonymous said...

Christina Wilkinson could never take the place of Elizabeth Crowley. Christina is genuine and honest and cares about her community -- not the almighty dollar. She would never fit in with all the political criminals.

Anonymous said...

Like said.
This park space aquisition acquisition was all a show to keep people quiet wile other plans went on behind closed doors.

Its just as bad how certain polititions can act so "shocked" After all snakes can only be expected to behave as snakes.

Anonymous said...

Accoring to the directors of Martin Luther High School there has been no offer made and no one has called them. So they are not selling the property!