Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dromm/Crowley Comparisons In Queens Park Fights

Tale Of Two Electeds. Queens Crap published a comparison of the different methods used by City Council members Elizabeth Crowley and Daniel Dromm in two recent fights to acquire private land for public parks in Queens. In May 2011, Elizabeth Crowley (above) attended a rally for St. Saviour's Park where attendees renewed their call to use eminent domain to acquire the land if all else failed. Crowley's handling of the St .Saviour's park negotiations have been strongly criticized.

The city Parks Department needs between $50,000 and $70,000 to begin the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, a formal process that takes at least a few months whereby the city can legally buy private property.

By law, Parks cannot take the money for ULURP from the capital fund, which is the roughly $5.5 million purse that has been set aside by borough politicians to actually purchase the land.

There are several other places where the money could come from, and [NYC Park Advocate President Geoffrey] Croft and other advocates for the park have been trying to be creative in order to secure the funds.

He has reached out to the National Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit that seeks to secure parkland, as well as the City Parks Foundation, a nonprofit with a similar mission on a city level.

So far, he has heard nothing.

The money could also come from city discretionary funding given to lawmakers on a city level.

“I think honestly there has been a real reluctance and an insecurity to getting this job done on the part of the electeds,” Croft said. “They’re not as aggressive as the community wants them to be.”

City Council member Daniel Dromm and other officials announcing the successful acquisition of the Garden School yard.

The environmental consulting firm AKRF provided pro bono services that will help expedite the Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP) at a cost savings to the city. The ULURP process is required when the city acquires private land.

So a park advocate, and not the council member, was the one lobbying for money in the first case, where in the second case, with the same circumstances, the council member was able to get a donation from a consulting firm. Where there's a political will, there's a way.

How is it that one council member can be so successful while the other one is such a lazy f**k-up? And why does the f**k-up think she's ready for congress when she can't even handle a 1.5-acre park project?

"Queens needs strong leadership in Washington." - Elizabeth Crowley

Compare & contrast: Crowley vs. Dromm, part 2
City Council member Daniel Dromm posing next to the Garden School yard which will be turned into a city park.


But if all else fails, city officials said they haven't ruled out eminent domain. There has been talk in the community of acquiring the land housing a Toyota dealership that lies behind the park.

Dromm said he hopes it doesn't have to come to that.

"I'm hopeful that we'll be able to work this out," Dromm said of buying the Garden School yard. "We have a lot of young families in the neighborhood that need park space for their children to be able to go play."

For more than five years neighborhood activists have fought to acquire the former St. Saviour’s church site for public parkland. Council member Elizabeth Crowley (above) transferred funds earmarked for St. Saviour’s to another without consulting the community.


Community activists including the Queens Civic Congress pushed hard during the last two months of the year to have local politicians reaffirm their support after $4 million from Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Maspeth) and Borough President Helen Marshall was reallocated to pursue a smaller site.

They got State Senator Joe Addabbo (D-Queens) on board. He sent out a new support letter less than 10 days after news broke on Nov. 10 that the city was no longer pursuing the St.Saviour’s site.

One politician they could not get to sign onto their push for the city to use eminent domain to forcibly buy the St. Saviour’s site was Crowley.

Here's more:

She said even if the city goes the eminent domain route, it could cost closer to $10 million by the time the legal procedures played out.

“And that’s before you turn it into a park,” she added.

So what? The city just paid $6M for a 25,000 sq ft schoolyard that can only be used part-time! Why don't you fight for your constituents the way Danny Dromm fought for his? Stop making excuses for why it can't happen and try doing something to make it happen.

Read More:

Queens Crap - April 10, 2012

Queens Crap - April 10, 2012

A Walk In The Park - November 12, 2011

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