Dear Broadsheet Editor,
Congratulations on your excellent investigative journalism. The day after the story of diligent reporters (“Spotlight”) netted the best picture Oscar, it is gratifying to see that the Broadsheet does all it can to expose the grubby details of the sweetheart deal that the BPCA gave Allied Barton.
As a neighbor of the BPC, who has appreciated the efforts of the previous PEP guards, I am appalled for all who live in Battery Park City. Hopefully State Senator Daniel Squadron will use these details and continue to fight the BPCA’s appalling control.
If only this story did not so closely echo the tragedy of the City University of New York. Cuomo’s behavior toward it resembles sabotage even more than neglect. Ultimately the whole city suffers from the hemorrhaging he has inflicted where investment would do the most good.
Just as Governor Cuomo has control of the majority of the BPCA board but leaves positions open, presumably waiting for someone to contribute impressively to his campaign coffers, Cuomo controls CUNY’s board and has left it unattended, vacancies begging for refills and one trustee quitting in disgust over his inattention.
Just as the BPCA discharged a unionized, dedicated force for replacement by underpaid contract employees (whose management lies about their wages), CUNY’s board works to break the union of the 25,000 faculty and staff who teach with astonishing dedication at CUNY. They have had no wage increase since the end of 2009. Cuomo’s board of directors presented as a “6% wage increase” a contract offer without any wage increase for 3 full years that provides that 6% only in the fall of its 6th year.
Cuomo called for a $15 wage in the State University of New York, but denies it to CUNY employees in DC 37. We all know that employees in the city have higher, not lower, costs of living.
While New York City already gets proportionately less from the state than its residents pay in, Cuomo has vetoed a bill that would require the state to simply maintain its level of funding to its largest public university. He is breaking with an arrangement that goes back to the early 1960s, when then Gov. Rockefeller induced CUNY to expand to serve young New Yorkers.
Today’s situation brings to mind what was an appalling idea when it was advanced during the Civil War: NYC secession. With a governor in place for years to come who consistently disregards the interests of citizens, both in BPC and the city as a whole – why should it remain?
To the editor,
Excellent due diligence and reporting on behalf of Matthew Fenton and The Broadsheet.
It really is time to disband Governor Cuomo’s band of cronies and give BPC to NYC, where it belongs.
Having lived in BPC for 20 years, I am sick of the unnecessary “politics” that we have to pay for, in addition to our taxes. I am also sick of taxation without representation.
Keep up the great work, Mr. Fenton!
Maureen Barry Somerville
To the editor:
When does a neighborhood stop having a small-town feet to it and becomes just another place for large corporations to enrich their bottom line?
The eminent departure of the News Plus, Cafe Express and Blooming Nail and Spa is merely a continuation of what Gateway/Lefrak has done since the complex opened in 1982-putting its bottom line ahead of its tenants and the neighborhood. Of course this is a capitalist country but sometimes things do go too far.
While we will apparently be getting a pleasant enough restaurant in Le Pain Quotidien it is an international chain versus the three small businesses it will be replacing. These businesses have been here for many years and have provided services desired by the people living/working in Battery Park City.
While the loss of each individual store will not have much of an impact we are talking about three stores. If you add in Chipotle replacing Gateway Cleaners we are now up to four.
Who is to go next? I bet it won’t be Gristedes, the only store in the neighborhood that people have wished for many years to close-they can afford to pay whatever rent Gateway/Lefrak asks.
Long-time BPC tenant