Calls to Have The contract Re-Bid
"It is the second time in two weeks that the full media and public were not properly notified, as is required by state and federal law, for what should have been a public meeting at Borough Hall."
Former "Partridge Family" star Susan Dey is the latest person singing the blues over the city’s alleged shady handling of who’ll get control of a historic 19th Century building within Brooklyn Bridge Park.
After hearing some elected officials and community leaders accuse the city of lacking transparency during the selection process for the coveted Tobacco Warehouse contract, the 70s teen idol got up during a Borough Hall session Monday to join in on the criticism and call for the contract to be re-bid, according to the New York Post.
Dey, 58, said she was speaking in support of Prospect Heights-based dance/arts group Lava/Volcano Love, one of two bidders seeking to run cultural, community and education programs at the open-air Tobacco Warehouse in DUMBO. She also said Lava was in the process of expanding services.
The other bidder is St. Anne’s Warehouse, which works out of a building across the street and also provides live theater and other shows.
St. Anne’s is in line to get the contract today because a selection committee that reviewed the bids recommended it get the building space.
The contract will go before the board overseeing the 85-acre park project during a 1:45 pm City Hall session.
Despite weeks of outcry from Councilman Steve Levin, Rep. Nydia Velazquez, state Assemblyman Joan Millman and various civic organizations over an alleged lack of public participation in the selection process, Millman’s Chief of Staff Paul Nelson told the Post he’d be shocked if St. Anne’s doesn’t get the contract.
Nelson, who sits on the board, said he planned to ask for the project to be re-bid but believes he “needs a miracle” because a majority of the board backs St. Anne’s.
The city says it sent out roughly 1,400 "request for proposals" for the contract to different organizations, yet only two bidders applied. There’s been a lot of behind-the-scenes criticism contending the contract was tailor-made so politically connected St. Anne’s would win.
However, Brooklyn Bridge Park spokesperson Ellen Ryan said the selection process was “competitive” and that the park’s board would rely on the public’s feedback before making its final decision today.
Many of the more than 150 people who attended the meeting came to support St. Anne’s, which led some to question why they knew of the meeting yet many media outlets -- including the Post -- did not.
NY1 was one of the few notified, but it ran a TV segment that ignored a lot of the controversy and Dey's comments.
“I felt like this was Atlantic Yards again and Bruce Ratner was stacking a meeting with his union supporters,” said Judi Francis of the watchdog group Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund.