City backs off boycott threat on Bloomberg noose art group
BY KIRSTEN DANIS
DAILY NEWS CITY HALL BUREAU CHIEF
Wednesday, September 19th 2007, 4:00 AM
City Hall has backed off a threat to boycott a Queens civic group until its leaders apologize for a poster of a noose "reserved" for Mayor Bloomberg.
The change of heart came yesterday after the Daily News made inquiries about the impasse.
Community Affairs Commissioner Nazli Parvizi had told the influential Juniper Park Civic Association she was "beyond disturbed" to see a photo of the poster in a local newspaper.
"There are lines, even in the political arena, and your group has most certainly crossed one," Parvizi scolded the association in a Sept. 7 letter.
The poster, which was brought to a July 14 rally to save a church, depicted a noose hanging from a tree and the words, "Reserved for [Councilman Dennis] Gallagher, Bloomberg, [Deputy Mayor Daniel] Doctoroff" and former community affairs staffer Matt Gorton.
The association has clashed with the Bloomberg administration over its refusal to grant St. Saviour in West Maspeth landmark status.
In her letter, Parvizi demanded a public apology before she would agree to meet with the 1,700-member group.
Robert Holden, President of the association, accused Parvizi of trying to suppress free speech and said he would not apologize for the drawing.
"I would not have used it," Holden said. "I'm not going to try to put my values on somebody else. That's the whole idea here."
Late yesterday, City Hall did an about-face and said community affairs staffers would meet with Juniper Park leaders - even without a mea culpa.
"The people of Middle Village shouldn't be penalized for the poor leadership of a few individuals," said City Hall spokesman Matt Kelly.
Flushing preservationist Jerry Rotondi, who drew the poster, said the noose was meant to recall the hanging of politicians in effigy and he had no intention of saying sorry.
"If they can't take the heat," Rotondi said, "then get the hell out of politics."
Here's a better version (blogs are great): City Hall Overrules CAU Commish - pay attention to the last line. It reveals the depth of this administration's corruption.
Now will they save St. Saviour's? No. Swallowing their pride was easier. They don't want to stand in the way of development in Queens and piss off our local machine.