City Comptroller Asks Brooklyn Bridge Park For More Financial Transparency

City Comptroller Scott Stringer (photo) has written a letter, dated May 1, 2015, to Brooklyn Bridge Park President Regina Myer. His letter begins:

I write today to urge the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation (BBPC) to improve the transparency of its financial statements and provide greater detail to the public on past, present, and future budget projections.

He goes on to note that “[b]y all accounts, Brooklyn Bridge Park has been a transformative addition to the City’s park system,” providing “vibrant, active, spaces that New Yorkers from all walks of life can enjoy.” But he then observes:

While the Corporation posts audited financial statements on its website, there is more that can and should be done to broaden public access to BBPC’s finances.

Comptroller Stringer notes that many public authorities, including the Hudson River Park Trust, are required to provide public disclosures that go well beyond simply publishing audited financials, such disclosures including projected costs and revenues. He observes that BBPC is not subject to these requirements, and that it has has provided projections of costs extending for fifty years, but revenue projections extending only for five years. He writes:

While I appreciate that there may be disagreement over the potential impact of the expiring tax-abatements [on revenue projections], I believe that it is appropriate to show projected costs and revenue on the same, long-trm scale

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  • Solovely

    Thoughtful and empirically grounded letter from our Comptroller; personally, I heart the references to “best practices” at other organizations. The Park Corp is not following best practices (despite their large staff, off-the-city-record salaries, and the considerable sums of public monies involved, and questionable activities with board members having interests in the condos).
    Financial transparency at an entity like this is not a label they assign to themselves; financial transparency is reputation – a quality that is earned when the community understands and trusts. “The ends justify the means” is also not an acceptable modus operandi; the process, the way public entities conduct themselves, matters! xo Lori

  • NeighboorHood

    Kudos to all the neighbors who kept applying pressure for this. It already vindicates one of our main arguments against the BBP board, ie. their purposeful lack of transparency. Now lets see if they try and ignore this or counter with a negative PR blitz of their own as they have in the past.