Thursday, March 3, 2016
Katz and Ferreras freeze WPU out of important meeting
Persons involved in the secret meetings confirmed to WPU that on January 29, 2016, Borough President Katz convened a summit meeting at Borough Hall to discuss the problem of horrendous Willets Point street conditions. That first meeting was also attended by City Council member Julissa Ferreras, Marilyn Bitterman and Eugene Kelty of Queens Community Board 7 (CB7), representatives of the New York City Department of Transportation (NYCDOT), and three large Willets Point businesses: Tully Construction, Fodera Foods and House of Spices.
WPU believes that it has certainly earned a seat at the table to discuss Willets Point street conditions, because WPU – not any other entity – has consistently testified at public hearings of CB7 and the Queens Borough Board to request that the city allocate funds to reconstruct Willets Point streets, and has championed that issue for the past several years. As a direct result of WPU’s efforts, CB7 and the Queens Borough Board have included Willets Point street reconstruction in their budget priorities for fiscal years 2015, 2016 and 2017. That no dollars have actually materialized, however, underscores the need for more involvement by responsible officials. CB7 has recently written to the Mayor that the response of NYCDOT is “absolutely ridiculous” – emphasizing the urgent need to set the record straight with NYCDOT concerning circumstances at Willets Point, as WPU is equipped to do.
So, after being frozen out of the January meeting at Borough Hall, when WPU heard of the follow-up meeting scheduled for today, WPU sent letters to Borough President Katz and City Council member Ferreras, requesting that they invite WPU to attend. Those letters were delivered on February 25 and 26 – but WPU received no response whatsoever from Katz or Ferreras.
Yesterday, WPU tried again, by sending a copy of the letter to Katz’s Chief of Staff, Jay Bond, by email. Mr. Bond did not respond at all to WPU.
How do Katz and Ferreras possibly justify totally ignoring important communications from their constituents, concerning meetings everyone knows are important to those constituents? There are WPU property owners who pay $53,000.00 or more in annual property taxes, while receiving virtually NO municipal services in return – and for them, receiving not even the courtesy of a response from their elected representatives is adding insult to injury.