Forest Hills Patch
In a private meeting this spring with Kew Gardens residents to discuss hotly-contested plans for a new jail in their neighborhood, Mayor Bill de Blasio promised they would be compensated for the jail's incursion, but he didn't provide specifics.
Now, a tentative list of those specifics has come to light.
Koslowitz has also pressed city officials to reduce the size of the Kew Gardens jail, which current plans say would be 27 stories tall and have a capacity of 1,150 detainees.
The proposed jail — one of four new jails the city wants to build to replace detention facilities on Rikers Island — is expected to be smaller than that by the time the City Council votes on the plan next week, according to Koslowitz's spokesperson, Michael Cohen.
Cohen pushed back on using the word "exchange" to describe the list of items City Hall is promising
Koslowitz, who represents Kew Gardens, to secure her vote in favor of the jail plan.
He declined to specify other items being negotiated because he said the list hasn't yet been finalized.
Asked how he would describe the deal, he said, "I would describe it as the Mayor making good on his word that he understands that the community is sacrificing something here and his administration would like to do something for the community."
Koslowitz's vote is critical to the passage of the city's controversial jail plan, which calls for building a new lockup in every borough but Staten Island by 2026.
That's because members of the City Council, whose binding vote on the jails is scheduled for Oct. 17, tend to vote in lockstep with the council members whose districts are affected by a given land-use plan.
Koslowitz has already pushed de Blasio's office to nix plans for an infirmary in the Kew Gardens jail that would serve all four new detention centers.
In the private meeting earlier this year, de Blasio indicated he would go even further.
"When we ask a community to do something for the whole city, which is what we're doing here, then the community has a right to say, here are things that would help our community, including things we've been trying to get for a long time and haven't gotten," de Blasio said, according to a recording of the March 27 meeting reviewed by Patch.
"How can we say to the community, we're asking you to shoulder a burden but we want to do something back that's really going to make a difference?" de Blasio added.
Still, the jail proposal is intensely controversial among Koslowitz's constituents as well as advocates for No New Jails NYC, who say the city should close Rikers but not build any new jails.
Koslowitz's response? "Whether I supported it or not, that jail was happening."
The elected in NYC do not represent the people anymore. What the mayor wants, the mayor gets it. Got it.