Wednesday, August 15, 2012

City Stonewalls WPU

As Crain's Insider is reporting:

Illegal Willets Point Lobbying Ignored

"Willets Point property owners are urging the city’s Department of Investigations to look into a report by the state attorney general that the Economic Development Corp. illegally funneled $450,000 in taxpayer money to the Flushing Willets Point Corona Local Development Corp. for lobbying. “We believe it is incumbent on you to commence an action to recover these funds,” wrote Jerry Antonacci, president of Willets Point United. Four weeks later, DOI has yet to respond. The group has also failed to persuade a daily paper to editorialize. “No one thought this was remarkable at all,” a source complained. DOI did not comment."

What is remarkable is that in the face of the illegality the city proceeds as if it were business as usual-with one of the chief culprits in the illegal lobbying scheme, EDC's Seth Pinsky, blatantly making the rounds of local media and acting as if all of this was much ado about nothing.

Maybe our mistake in all of this was not to plan for the building of a mosque on the Willets Point property-perhaps then the mayor would have intervened on our behalf. After all, it sure does seem than the religious rights of Muslims-rights to be respected for sure-trump the property rights of the less affluent in this town.

What does jam us, however, is the blithe refusal of local editorialists to recognize the seriousness of the city employing illegal methods in an effort to remove some little guys and gals from their land-but then again, at least one media outlet partnered with a developer whose goals were just that(and a second publisher apparently doesn't poop without the mayor's permission). Where that leaves the "conservative" alternative is anyone's guess.

This fight is long from being over, however, and we will see just how much these folks will be able to ignore as more dreck hits the fan.