Friday, May 18, 2012
A gem of an editorial, part 1
From the Queens Chronicle:
If preservation through LPC action isn’t feasible, the city should simply buy the site at the fair market rate, whether the owner is willing to sell or not. The last time it was sold, in 2010, the price was $105,000.
Compare that to the $3 million going toward saving a schoolyard in Jackson Heights. Or the $14 million being spent on an unnecessary expansion of Borough Hall. Or the $180,000 per station the MTA shells out for its Arts for Transit and Urban Design Program.
Our office receives announcements of much larger spending initiatives from the proud politicians who secured the funding just about every day. Just this week the mayor announced that the city will be spending $9 million to encourage parents to make sure their kids attend school, largely through advertising and education about the importance of avoiding truancy.
Let’s say for the moment that parents really do need to see ads on buses to know their children should go to class. Could the city maybe get away with spending $8.9 million and put the remaining $100,000 into preserving Brinckerhoff?
Whatever the source of the money, it can and should be found. Let’s see our elected officials who are voicing support for preservation put their money where their mouth is. Yes, you’re right, our money, not theirs — but we all know they often treat it like their own. If the 14-member Queens City Council delegation split the cost evenly, using their so-called member item funding, it would be a little more than $7,000 apiece. There’s no reason whatsoever that could not be done.
Will the City of New York make a one-time payout of a measly hundred grand to let dozens of the people who first settled the place we call home rest in peace? You’d think so. We hope so. We’ll see.