Along the East River waterfront – whether at the South Street Seaport or Red Hook, Brooklyn – the city’s Economic Development Corp. (EDC) attempts to remove the tax-paying public from control over public assets under the guise of ‘public-private’ partnerships.
Excerpts from an article in: The Red Hook Star Review, Feb 25, 2015,
Are the Red Hook Cranes headed to Sunset Park, by George Fiala
“EDC was created to operate independently of local planning areas for the purpose of bringing money and jobs to the city.
EDC was asking the City Council’s approval to become a “Master Leaseholder” of SBMT [South Brooklyn Maritime terminal]. This arrangement switches oversight of publicly owned land from local representation to EDC.
Having control of a Master Lease allows EDC to make quick decisions about public land without having to go through the community and thus avoid oversight of their political representatives.
In the end, EDC failed to persuade the council, and a few weeks later the council pulled an expected vote that was supposed to turn over the Master Lease to EDC immediately.
The Daily News reported “The city’s economic development czar is furious.” Kimball was quoted saying, “This is going to send a chilling message to potential operators that Sunset Park may not be open for business.”
He seemed to doubt that [ Council Member ] Menchaca had the knowledge to do his job. Kimball was again quoted in the Daily News: “Sitting across the table it was clear that he didn’t understand what was happening here and he overplayed his hand.”
Menchaca in fact did his homework, and asked pertinent and probing questions, while acting as an honest broker for his constituents.”
For the full article, go to: