Monday, February 02, 2009

Bloomberg's Park Mugging

We have commented repeatedly about the city's bad deal on the construction of the new Yankee Stadium-with a particular emphasis on the outrage over the despoliation of the neighborhood parkland. Now, the NY Post weighs in; castigating Bloomberg for misfeasance in the matter:

"Don't blame the Yankees for City Hall's inability to build a park on time. The new Yankee Stadium will open in three short months - but it may be another two years before all eight promised city parks near the new ballfield open. Moreover, the Independent Budget Office says the cost of the new parks will be at least $195 million - $79 million over budget and counting. There's really no excuse for it."

Now this is the managerial maven Mike Bloomberg we're talking about-ruling over an economic development team more concerned with scoring a luxury box that in insuring that a community would have access to its parks on time. And this is on top of the fact that the parks in question are inferior substitutes for the original greenery.

The city for its part, is taking this all in with a lackadaisical attitude: "In any event, there's no reason the full renovation should be two years late. But the Parks Department ho-hummed the IBO report: "It's consistent with what we've been saying all along," a spokeswoman said. With that attitude, the parks won't be done until a third Yankee Stadium is built another century from now."

Now this scandal isn't the fault of Mike Bloomberg alone; Adolfo Carrion, Maria Baez and Maria Carmen Arroyo deserve the infamy as well. They set the table for the Yankee largess-and didn't give a tinker's damn about the neighborhoods they're supposed to represent. Councilwoman Helen Foster was the only elected to stand up-along with CB #4; whose members were sacked as a reward.

It's one thing to shill for every mega-project that comes down the pike. It's quite another, to allow the surrounding communities to suck hind teat when the bulldozers are done with their decimation. This is, however, a significant part of Mike Bloomberg's legacy.