|Photo from Times Ledger|
Of the 51 Council members, at least three — the Democrats Charles Barron of Brooklyn, Peter Koo of Queens and Annabel Palma of the Bronx — gave no money to parks in the past three fiscal years. Another three — the Democrats Gale A. Brewer of Manhattan, and Albert Vann and David G. Greenfield, both of Brooklyn — allocated $8 million to $9 million each over the same period.
The amount of money they have to disburse is determined, in part, by the speaker of the City Council, Christine C. Quinn, who is now running for mayor (and who has been a major supporter of parks). Some members may perceive more pressing demands, like affordable housing or public safety.
Some City Council members chafe at the requests to finance basic park infrastructure. “Why should we be paying for it?” said Mark Weprin, a Queens Democrat, who recently designated money for protective netting at a public golf course. “They come to us with a list of projects, and I always find that offensive. These are the basic needs of an area. It shouldn’t be up to the local councilman to fix up parks.”