Friday, September 21, 2012

EDC: Can You Hear Us Now?

As the Queens Tribune is reporting the courts have ruled that a mandated hearing on the agency's reorganization effort, the one sought by WPU over the agency's strong objections, can't be skipped-even though EDC was doing a lot of skipping trying to avoid explaining why it needs to create two separate organizations (Hint: it broke the law):

"Willets Point United will be heard in court, after all. The City Economic Development Corp. attempted to keep the collective of Willets Point property owners out of a State Supreme Court hearing on NYCEDC’s restructuring, but the court this week announced a hearing and is permitting WPU to attend."

WPU told the following to the Tribune:

"We are gratified that the court has recognized the obligation under the law that the EDC [sic] re-organization must be subject to a public hearing,” WPU said in a statement. “At the same time, we are saddened by the way in which a quasi-public agency has tried to stifle this mandated hearing and, even worse, try to prevent Willets Point property owners from participating. Clearly, EDC [sic] has a lot to hide and its behavior leaves a lot to be desired.”

As we mentioned, this all was necessitated by the illegal and collusive behavior between EDC and Claire Shulman's LDC band of self servers:

"In July, the attorney general’s office found that NYCEDC and its local development arms had been lobbying the City Council illegally. The quasi-public entity, which serves as an economic development tool for Mayor Mike Bloomberg, is barred by law from lobbying. Former Borough President Claire Shulman, the president of one of NYCEDC’s localized entities, the Flushing Corona Willets Point Local Development Corp., was found by the AG to be illegally lobbying.  
"To comply with the law, NYCEDC said it would restructure itself and shed its status as a local development corporation. NYCEDC will merge with the New York City Economic Growth Corp. and keep the NYCEDC name. WPU argued this was simply a way to circumvent the law."

The funniest aspect of all this was EDC's claim-one that the court didn't buy-that WPU was not an "interested party." Sure, just like the guy who's being chased by a lynch mob isn't an interested part in the motivations of the mob.

The hearing will be held next week (Sept. 28 at 9:30 a.m. at 60 Centre Street in Manhattan.) the day after the scoping session for the Willets Point project. Any one who has an interest in insuring that government doesn't have powers not granted under state law should feel free to come down and join us next Friday-if nothing else, just to hear the song and dance from the EDC lawyers.