Friday, October 15, 2010

Bloomberg's Daughter In Pay-To-Play Park Deal


A private foundation that helps fund two Bedford-Stuyvesant charter schools wants to renovate and close off a city park for sports team practices, the Daily News has learned.

Mayor Bloomberg's daughter Emma Bloomberg, a planning officer at the Robin Hood Foundation, pitched the idea to local and city officials at an August meeting.

St. Andrew's Park would be closed and used exclusively for parts of the school day by high school athletic teams from the Uncommon Schools and Achievement First, which share a building on Atlantic Ave., said Community Board 3 chair Henry Butler.

In exchange for the exclusive use of the park, Robin Hood would fund a renovation of the rundown, dangerous park, which has been the scene of two crimes in recent months.

Parks Department spokeswoman Meghan Lalor called Robin Hood's presentation "conceptual."

"While the original proposal was to renovate the athletic field, as a result of discussion at this meeting, the project was expanded to include other areas of the park as well," Lalor said.

In August, a female Parks Department employee was raped in an early morning attack in St. Andrew's. In June, a man was killed at the park after a drive-by shooter sprayed bullets into a crowd watching a basketball game.

Robin Hood officials did not return calls for comment.

New York City Park Advocates President Geoffrey Croft said the idea of a private group renovating a public park in exchange for exclusive use sets "a very dangerous precedent."

"The security issue has to be addressed but [private use] doesn't solve the problem that's happening at St. Andrew's," Croft said.

Read More: 

New York Daily News -  October 14, 2010 - By Jake Pearson 

1 comment:

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