Of Occupancy and Occupation

To the editor:
My head is spinning!  Are we under attack by Albany?  By the Governor, by the Legislature?
In December, Governor Cuomo signed the long-awaited bill requiring a minimal minority of BPC Residents to be on the BPCA Board while attaching an “Approval Message.”  It stated: “There are technical concerns that would make it difficult to make sure the Battery Park City [Authority] board can function effectively.” And so, the Legislature promised to pass legislation that the Governor indicated would address his concerns.
Honestly, with only TWO locals on a Board of SEVEN members, how much local influence is possible?  And yet,  legislation is required to ensure that we locals don’t coerce or influence the Board to our way of thinking!  What a waste of time and energy!!
Now it’s January and the legislation requiring Board members to recuse themselves even from discussion of matters that might be consideredpotential conflicts of interest for residents is moving along.  What exactly can a local resident accomplish by being on the Board?  What BPCA business could come up that would not be considered a conflict?  Doesn’t everything the Board do impact local residents in some way?!
And the Legislature is going even further than what the Governor publicly requested by dictating the background requirements of potential new Board members.  Wouldn’t the Governor use common sense by limiting candidates for the Board to those who can make a contribution?  Obviously, there are personal characteristics and experience that makes someone capable of being a BPCA Board Member.  Writing this into law seems to be a devious way to exclude certain members of the community while hiding behind a strict interpretation of this legislation.
Governor Cuomo – please come to your constituents here and explain what is going on.  Is there any point to naming local residents to be on a Board and then requiring them to recuse themselves when any buisness is conducted?  Can someone rationally explain what seems nonsense to me?
Maryanne P. Braverman

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