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June 12, 2012 By Steven Greer
As we have reported previously, the Battery Park City Authority seems to be in collusion with the local advertising flier, the Broadsheet. Every important story that relates to inadequacies of the authority are either not reported, or spun in a way to show the BPCA in a positive light. The long delays in the construction of the Asphalt Green recreation and youth is a prime example.
BatteryPark.TV exclusively reported on the reasons for the delays with Asphalt Green and how they differed from the official explanations given by CEO Gayle Horwitz. Those reasons deal with behind-the-scenes attempts of Horwitz to nullify the contract made by the previous BPCA administration with Asphalt Green which Ms. Horwitz felt was too favorable to Asphalt Green. The delays in obtaining city permits, the official explanation given by the BPCA for the construction delays, was a ruse, according to our sources. BatteryPark.TV also reported last month that it would be unlikely to see any activity at Asphalt Green this year, despite the organizations still accepting applications and deposits from families.
Today, in the online daily version of The Broadsheet, it was reported that Asphalt Green’s summer camp for children would be cancelled. However, the blame was placed on Asphalt Green for making false promises to the community rather than blaming the BPCA. One paragraph stated, “Mark Costello, a member of Community Board 1 who serves on that body’s Battery Park City Community Center Task Force (and who has voiced reservations for years about the terms of Asphalt Green’s contract with the BPCA), said, “It has been clear for quite a while that they weren’t going to be able to open a summer camp, and not telling people is simply unacceptable. If you’re in the business of taking care of people’s kids, the one thing you cannot do is surprise them. If a pipe breaks, that’s one thing — stuff happens. But they have known about this for a long time. This shows a very corporate attitude toward what they do. But you can’t run the business of childcare like any other business and simply seek your own advantage. There are families stuck in the middle here.”
In no other section of the Broadsheet article is there mention of the long delays in Asphalt Green construction as being caused by the mass firing of 19 BPCA employees, many of whom had the expertise at navigating the city permit system. There is also no mention of the maneuvers by CEO Horwitz to nullify the Asphalt Green deal.
I too have wondered why the Broadsheet has taken such a back seat to this issue. Someone needs to make BPCA accountable.
For providing useful information on the progress or lack thereof of Asphalt Green. So pathetic that the BPCA seems to think it acceptable to act like a bunch of babies. Keep up the good work. We have not got this sort of information from the Broadsheet.
Why doesn’t someone reporting on this story call up the dept. of buildings and see if her story is true? I do not believe that the permitting process has been so slow on the Dept. of Building side that this project is more than 6 months behind schedule. I think the BPCA is lying.
This entire situation is outrageous. Battery Park City Authority is the owner of the building, they are responsible for managing the construction, and they are applying for and responsible for meeting the standards of the permit. None of this is the responsibility of the operator, Asphalt Green. This is analogous to blaming a prospective renter for a landlord’s inability to keep their building up to code or have an apartment prepared by the date on the lease. BPCA is covering up incompetence, the premature termination of key staff (clearly done either politically or emotionally, and not logically), and reckless mistreatment of an operator (Asphalt Green) whose sole intent is to provide the community with services and resources that have been delayed for much too long. Shame on Gayle Horwitz. This not leadership, and if it’s not criminal misuse of public authority and funds, it’s certainly incompetence and waste that shouldn’t be allowed to continue. Replace her and her administration now.
If you call spokesman Matthew Monahan at the BPCA, the phone rings and rings and then a full VM box comes on. To get through dial (212) 417-2000 instead and ask to speak with him.