Monday, May 22, 2006

More Hokey Pokey

The South Bronx is looking for a "Get Out of Jail Free Card." As we have been commenting, and as the NY Times reported on yesterday, the jail bait and switch maneuver by Deputy Dan and EDC has foisted a new corrections facility on a community that has had more of its share.

When the BTM/House of D sleight-of-hand was accomplished to make the world safe for Steve Ross and Related it was never publicly stated that the Bronx would be needing additional jail space to make up for the demolition of the old jail. After all, especially with a $400 million price tag for a new jail, wouldn't it have been more cost effective to rehab the existing facility?

In addition, doesn't this new reality raise more questions about the BTM-House of D swap? Shouldn't new questions be raised about simply swapping these properties {without any appraisals of their relative worth} so Related could build a mall? If the tax payers are now being stuck with a huge bill for a new jail that the surrounding neighbors of Oak Point don't want shouldn't some of this cost be borne by the Related freeloaders?

What's missing in the Times story is any comment from the council members who supported the original Gateway deal. There are copious comments from all of the community leaders but none from the council woman who not only represents the area but who was also one of the leaders in the House of D charade and the BTM demolition.

The last word on all of this goes to Majora Carter of Sustainable South Bronx. She complains about the infusion of public money for the Yankees and Gateway and say, "The city's response is, 'Oh, we're going to spend $400 million here, too, but we're going to use it to put you guys in prison'...They need to recognize the irony of that."