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March 8, 2012 By Steven Greer, MD
The BPCA held an official meeting today, with Chairman Bill Thompson and CEO Gayle Horwitz present. After discussing accounting issues related to the non-profit status of the BPC Parks Conservancy, CEO Horwitz began her “President’s Report”. She went over two issues that were of paramount importance to the community at the last town hall meeting: dog excrement on the sidewalks and the growing problem of rats in BPC.
The first astonishing thing seen in the video is that Chairman Thompson seems to have no recollection of the rat problem whatsoever. He asked, “Is there a significant rat problem?”, to which Horwitz replied, “No.”. He then proceeded to reiterated, “There is “A” (as in singular, just one rat) rat problem?”.
Parks Conservancy Director Tess Huxley chimed in by explaining how they paid unspecified amounts to an “authority on rats” to advice the BPCA on the problem. Horwitz explained the trash compactors that BPCA has installed.
Next, Horwitz briefly addressed the dog excrement on the sidewalks issues, and downplayed it as not unique to BPC, but rather as a “citywide problem”. She held up fliers that have been passed out to people on the esplanade and implied that the dog excrement problem was under control. This is in contrast to comments posted on BatteryPark.TV and other local sources.
After the three-minute “Presidential Report”, Chairman Thompson expelled the public and press by calling an executive session. The meeting ended with everyone laughing and seeming to think that the rat and dog excrement problems were solved.
This disconnect between reality and the beliefs held by the top leadership of the BPCA are due, in part, to the fact that no one on the board of the BPCA lives in BPC. In addition, Chairman Thompson has not attended any town hall or community board meeting to date.