Thursday, November 19, 2015

New FMCP conservancy a total sham and a total shame

From The Observer:

Mayor Bill de Blasio rebuffed attacks from a Queens city councilman that a new nonprofit set up to raise funds for Flushing Meadows-Corona Park “plays politics” by only granting a councilwoman aligned with his liberal agenda an appointee on the conservancy’s board—and leaves Mr. Lancman and his constituents without a voice.

Shortly before Mr. de Blasio joined Queens Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras-Copeland—a member of the Council’s Progressive Caucus and chairwoman of its powerful Committee on Finance—to announce the creation of the park’s new funder and caretaker, Councilman Rory Lancman, a fellow Democrat, sent out a press release entitled “Mayor de Blasio Plays Politics With ‘Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Alliance’ and Disenfranchises Hundreds of Thousands of Park Users.” Mr. Lancman, whose district covers the southern end of the park, argued only granting Ms. Ferreras-Copeland a representative on the Alliance board was part of a pattern for the mayor—pointing out that both of the mayor’s only town halls while in office have been in the districts of Progressive Caucus members.

“The mayor can’t just have town hall meetings in disticts with council members that are his core allies. He can’t dole out appointments to oversee spending of money in public parks just to his allies,” Mr. Lancman told the Observer in a phone interview, claiming the administration refused to meet with him for months to discuss the Alliance’s creation. “I think there are a lot of communities in this city who look at mayor and ask themselves: Is he really representing us? People here feel he’s not representing them. This decision just reinforces that.”

When asked about the apparent imbalance today, Mr. de Blasio made the disputable assertion that Ms. Ferreras-Copeland’s district “covers the vast majority of this park,” and said that the Alliance board would engage with all stakeholders. He also said that, since he has held just two town halls, it was too early to claim he was only holding them in the districts of political allies.

From Capital New York:

“This is something to invest in!” said de Blasio, speaking to reporters and park advocates at a press conference sandwiched between the Queens Museum and the Unisphere, a steel relic from the 1964-1965 World’s Fair.

Nearly two and a half years after the United States Tennis Association agreed (under duress) to invest a total of $10.05 million into a conservancy to help maintain the park it occupies, de Blasio announced the conservancy’s formal creation.

Parks may be a public and publicly-owned good, but de Blasio, a self-defined progressive, argued, “[T]here are limits to what public funding can achieve."

Today, the city is investing some $20 million into capital projects in the park, he said.

But, he added, "I think it’s wise to get additional funding in for the parks that have the ability to do that."

From the Forum:

“This deal is a sham,” said Geoffrey Croft of NYC Park Advocates. “This entire Alliance initiative and model is based on businesses commercially exploiting Flushing Meadows Corona Park, including taking parkland away from the public. Instead of the city properly investing in the park, as they are legally required to do, the administration is championing this plan in exchange for money. They should be ashamed of themselves. This is certainly not ‘progressive.’


Anonymous said...

Part of FMCP is in Councilman Koo's district. No comments from him?

Anonymous said...

It's striking at that the press conference announcing the Alliance, alongside Ferreras-Copeland, stood Peter Koo and Karen Koslowitz, while Rory was absent. If I were Rory, I would have shown up anyway.

In this case, Rory has a point. Nearly half of the park is within his district.

(sarc) said...

Another "SLUSH" fund for the machine...

Anonymous said...

Another quasi-government group to line their pockets with cash and do nothing for the public.

Anonymous said...

Come on people, free money!
Let the party begin.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately FMCP has become a dump. The park no longer feels welcoming and safe. When I was a kid growing up my dad used to take us there on the weekends. It felt like such a big place but ever since most of the land was given away to the USTA it's just like every other playground in the city only bigger.

The park is littered with trash, there are shady characters who sleep on the benches, bathrooms are filthy and illegal vendors stroll around with baby strollers with their merchandise: Vitamin water & Tamales. The conservancy needs someone with real practical experience and the knowhow to turn things around. I think the perfect candidate would be MICHAEL BLOOMBERG. I know most people think that he i snot a people person, but since he is retired and has dedicated his post political life to philanthropy so it's not like he wants more money or fame.

Anonymous said...

This would never happen in Prospect or Central Parks. Our city government are the handpicked servants of REBNY. In this case, it's all about a certain "mall".

Anonymous said...

Wasn't the already an existing Flushing Meadows Park conservatory?

I remember Pat Dolan telling me about it back in the 90s, I think she was a founding member.

JQ LLC said...

Another "SLUSH" fund for the machine...Another quasi-government group to line their pockets with cash and do nothing for the public.

Yes, what this alliance is are a collective of luxury liberals whose nipples have been erect since the prospects of two greedy sloth concert promoters desire to swallow the park with grotesque hyper-commercial events with the promise of capital gains from the frivolous spending shitheads and the eventual privatization of turning our free to the public parks into resort areas and privileged backyards for the oligarchs with their own pseudo police force (re: battery park police bike squad from Allied Barton, see link on the walk in the park section on the Crapper)

What this collective truly is, despite it's fraudulent independent non-profit title, is a Superpac or an LLC, with every one on board that has benefited from tax paying subsidies and the votes of the people (well 20% of the people). NY citizens contributions to the city from our paychecks has now become the disposable income of dishonest and fascist electeds and their benefactors/fellow board members.

And as with public housing, the treatment and neglect of flushing meadows is systematic and willful. As years of gradual neglect and decay and lack of security especially with the increase of droogie like gang attacks leads to rationalizing and justifying the need for a secretive selective conspiring confederacy of conniving fools as this.

They must fail. This is already going on in Rockaway Beach and Riis Park. They are literally gentrifying public spaces. These and Flushing Meadows are the affordable resorts of the middle and lower classes and retired senior citizens. These are the places where people can unwind, relax and play a variety of sports. They belong to everyone, even that fucking alliance and their supporters.

Whose parks. Our Fucking Parks. Leave them alone.

Anonymous said...

The mall plan was killed by the courts. Thank avella and park advocates.

There are now 3 music festivals proposed for the park.

Yes, there is a conservancy this group seems designed to override.

Anonymous said...

So now there are two Flushing Meadows conservatories?

Edward O'Neill said...

I worked in queens for parks in a civil service position and this totally reminds me of why I left. Corruption used to take place there with estelle it has taken ROOT there. The entire borough is being robbed in broad daylight daily now. It used to be hidden.