Critics Decry Lack of Transparency in City Plan for Park

The City’s takeover of development and operation of Brooklyn Bridge Park was widely hailed as a way to move the project forward and, perhaps, to find ways to fund park maintenance without relying on revenue from on-site housing and commercial operations. However, critics of these sources of funding are finding little comfort in the City’s plans for a new park operating entity.

The Brooklyn Paper: Meet the new operating “entity” for Brooklyn Bridge Park — same as the old operating “entity” for Brooklyn Bridge Park.

That was the over-riding message delivered by critics of the city’s takeover plan for the $350-million waterfront development, which replaces the state’s development agency with a new city entity that will continue to build the greenspace and residential component without public input.

Roy Sloane, identified in the Brooklyn Paper article as a member of the Cobble Hill Association, is quoted as saying at a hearing yesterday evening that he is “at a loss to find one way in which the public benefits by [the plan].” Sloane’s wife, Judi Francis, identified as president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund, is quoted as observing that the complex structure of the City’s operating entity “is designed…to keep the public out”. However, State Senator Daniel Squadron was more sanguine about the new entity’s prospects. He noted that, while he understands concern about the entity’s responsiveness to public input, he belives that the inclusion of representatives of elected officials (Squadron, Assembly Member Joan Millman and City Council Member Steve Levin will be represented on the entity’s board) will make it more open and transparent.

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  • my2cents

    I am all for transparency, but I am sick of people pissing and moaning about not being able to give their “public” or “community” input. People are stupid and rarely have all the facts at their disposal, or look beyond their own personal interests. My friend used to have to sit through community board meetings in lower manhattan as her job, and the type of BS she had to listen to was staggering. I don’t think it’s wrong to have a strong city agency manage building the park by itself, as long as its means of funding and giving contracts is done transparently to assure no cronyism is taking place. The public benefit is the park being built within our lifetimes, Mr. Sloane.

  • JM

    Ah yes my2cents, democracy is so damn messy. Fascism is so neat and tidy! No doubt our beloved Corporate Highness, Mr Bloomberg has only the neighborhoods best interests at heart (as usual). So please people, just shut the hell up, pay your taxes and thank Mike for the shade the new private developments will provide!

  • my2cents

    We live in a representative democracy, not a direct one. Squadron was elected by the people and he has veto power over this. So either we trust our elected officials or we don’t. But the public isn’t always right. Look at the tempest over the IKEA. Now all the people who fought that look like fools.

  • nabeguy

    My2, IKEA is an unfair comparison. If Bloomberg et al were a tenth as smart as the Swedes when it comes to city planning, then I’d rest easy. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

  • milton

    The Swedes have the highest incidence of suicide and alcoholism in the world. I’m not crazy about the Swedes, they tend to be rather cold and humorless.