Thursday, July 25, 2013

Deal done: USTA's pocket change buys parkland

From Capital New York:

The United States Tennis Association, eager to win City Council approval for its National Tennis Center expansion plans, has agreed to provide ongoing funding for Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

The USTA had no immediate comment, but according to Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras and New Yorkers for Parks, who have been working to secure a funding agreement, the U.S. Open organizer has promised $10.05 million for the park.

The agreement starts in 2014 and means $5 million for capital projects; $350,000 a year for three years for maintenance and programming, and then $200,000 a year for the ensuing 20 years.

That's on top of the $500,000 the USTA pays in rent each year to the city's general fund.

That funding will help underwrite the creation of a public-private partnership to help maintain the park, similar in function (if not in scale) to the Central Park Conservancy and Prospect Park Alliance. The USTA will sit on its board.

So, an average of less than $500,000 per year? That's it?

Comment from Mayoral Candidate Bill DeBlasio:

“In a city where outer-borough parks have been consistently shortchanged, today’s announcement represents a major step forward. I congratulate Council Member Julissa Ferreras for securing an ongoing and increased commitment from the United States Tennis Association to help fund park maintenance and upgrades at Flushing Meadows Corona Park, and for laying the foundation for a new conservancy that will help improve Queens’ crown jewel park for years to come. We must ensure that whenever private interests lease or use city parkland, those parks receive sustained and substantial funding in return.”
Sustained? Substantial? Why do we need a new conservancy, when we already have the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Conservancy? Especially since part of the park was recently named after its late former president, Pat Dolan? So the USTA can dictate that the money be used on the tennis courts they're not really giving up and flowers outside their new stadiums?

From the Daily News:

“This will be a win-win partnership,” said park advocate Will Sweeney, who bitterly opposed the expansion until the USTA made the $10 million contribution. “The investment can lead to Flushing Meadows-Corona finally reaching its potential as a world class park.”

A win for the phony park advocates!

But not everyone was a fan of the revised deal.

“It’s very disappointing,” said Geoffrey Croft, president of New York City Park Advocates, who added local elected officials should be the ones to pay for the park maintenance. “They’re taking up more park land.”

Look folks, this is how it's going to work: The USTA money is not going to supplement Parks funding, it's going to replace it.

And what happens after 23 years? They sell off more of the park to another billion dollar corporation?

The final City Council vote was 47-1. The only person to not vote in favor was - Dan Halloran!


Anonymous said...

This is what happens when the politicians know that they will be reelected no matter what they do.

As long as you bow and scrape every time they walk into a room, or let them seduce you with some ice cream money to do their dirty work for them to silence a dissent you all pretty much get what you deserve.

I bet (fill in the $ amount - any dollar amount) you will forget about this before next Thursday lunch.

End of story. Move on. There is nothing for you to see here.

Jerry Rotondi said...


There goes my POSSIBLE vote for Di Blasio as a "choice" of desperation.
I just flushed it down the toilet.

Now I'm DEFiNITELY not voting FOR ANYONE for mayor--and Bill can join the rest of the "effluent" (turds, crap, doo-doo, whatever) floating in the river!

NYC breeds crooks for candidates,


Because the real estate industry OWNS the politicians--bought and paid for by campaign donations.

I might sit this primary out--except for Avella & Graziano--the only straight shooting runners that I believe in.

Therefore, I will vote for them.
I donated to both their campaigns, and my money's on them winning.

The Flushing Phantom said...

Chump change buys a chump!
Did the USTA contribute $$$$$$ to Bill's war chest?

Anonymous said...

Yea Dan!

Anonymous said...

According to Clare - the worst reporter in the city - Trapasso - Will Sweeney bitterly opposed the USTA expansion - he did?? When did he do that. We must of all missed that one. Where or how did she come up with that one. Sweeny's equally ignorant comment regarding the how this paltry "investment" will lead to Flushing Meadows park finally reaching its potential as a world class park is proof enough. What a joke.

And while we are on that subject since when has Will Sweeney been referred to a s park advocate. Just curious.

Anonymous said...

Very dumb of DeBlasio. Was he hoodwinked or bought?

The major media outlets just gloss over this shit. The NY Times did a puff piece on it where they polish the balls of all involved, and leave one line at the end about Dan stating he's 'from another district' - as if people from one district never visit parks in other districts.