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December 19, 2014- By Steven E. Greer, MD
In the wake of the huge turnout for the SaveNorthCove rally and subsequent New York Times article, and BatteryPark.TV reporting on the lack of support from CB1 for Mike Fortenbaugh, the CB1 changed its tune last night at the CB1 meeting. A new resolution was drafted and passed unanimously (see below) which demanded that the BPCA scrap the entire RFP underway and start a new one. The new Marina-operator RFP should more heavily weight community involvement in the final scoring process, the CB1 resolved.
All of this took place only after the fact; after it was reported in the New York Times that the current RFP was looking to be yet another shady back-office Albany deal. Posturing the most last night at the CB1 meeting, blowharding support for Mike’s marina, were the usual cast of characters, such as Bob Townley and Anthony Notaro. However, they, and all of the rest of the CB1, failed to turn out for the Monday rally.
It is time for heads to roll. In the video above, Anthony Notaro is seen plain as day smugly ignoring the sailors at the October meeting, thinking he was going to be supported by the more powerful BPCA and Brookfield Properties. He refused to even allow a resolution in favor of Mr. Fortenbaugh come to a vote.
It is time for Anthony Notaro to leave the CB1. He does not represent this community. He is a water carrier for the special interests, not a representative of the community in any sense.
This MarinaGate scandal is a good example of what a motivated community can achieve. We get the leadership that we deserve. If no one bothers to attend CB1 or BPCA meetings, then we the community deserve to be treated like an inanimate piggy bank by the state and city. Conversely, when people speak up, the spineless leaders can sometimes do the right thing.
Has Battery Park City finally become, for the first time, a real community on par with Tribeca, where people give a shit about local matters? Stay tuned.
COMMUNITY BOARD #1 – MANHATTAN RESOLUTION
DATE: DECEMBER 18, 2014
COMMITTEE OF ORIGIN: BATTERY PARK CITY
COMMITTEE VOTE: 6 In Favor 0 Opposed 0 Abstained 0 Recused
PUBLIC VOTE: 1 In Favor 0 Opposed 0 Abstained 0 Recused
BOARD VOTE: 36 In Favor 0 Opposed 0 Abstained 0 Recused
RE: North Cove Marina Operators RFP
WHEREAS: The North Cove Marina operator’s lease expires on December 31, 2014 after a ten-year term, and
WHEREAS: The Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) issued an Request for Proposals (RFP) for an operator for another ten-year term on or around September 10, 2014, and
WHEREAS: Two historic sailing vessels, the Shearwater, managed by Manhattan by Sail, and the Ventura managed by Atlantic Sail & Charter have operated out of the Marina since 2001, and
WHEREAS: These historic vessels offer access to the New York harbor to all at affordable prices and have become a part of the fabric of our community, and
WHEREAS: It appears that these two businesses –and, more importantly, what they represent -have been overlooked in the RFP, and
WHEREAS: While the RFP and the selection process are the responsibility of the BPCA, and
WHEREAS: Previously, Community Board 1 (CB1) was engaged and an active partner with the BPCA on both the selection of an operator at the BPC Community Center near our ball fields and the decision to install artificial turf on those fields, and
WHEREAS: Our Committee, along with many others in the community, is concerned about what the RFP covers since the Marina is mapped as parkland, a valuable community asset, and
WHEREAS: Any changes at the Marina would have a major impact on the quality of life and on the character of our parks in Battery Park City and lower Manhattan, and
WHEREAS: With such a major RFP, the Battery Park City Committee of CB1 doesn’t
understand why community outreach and input were not sought by the BPCA resulting in, as only one example, the omission of consideration of the important role of these historic ships, and
WHEREAS: The current BPCA Board has only one member who lives in Battery Park City and she recused herself from this vote, effectively denying the community input into the process, and
WHEREAS: The Marina RFP Evaluation Criteria (page 10) only assigns a weight of 15% of a total 100% to “Quality and strength of proposed community-based programming…”, which we believe diminishes those criteria and the value of our parkland, now
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT: CB1 calls upon the BPCA to, at a minimum, modify this proposal, giving much greater weight to the “community-based” programming criteria, and requiring that Proposers show evidence of a proven track record as well, adding that consideration be given to historic ships and these businesses by any Marina operator, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT: CB1 expects going forward that the BPCA will review with us the objective or intent of any and all RFPs that would affect the operation, use, or management of any element of our parklands. Garnering community input regarding a community asset held in trust by the BPCA should be a priority and normal course of operation, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT: CB1 urges the BPCA to exercise its right (per the RFP) to withdraw the current North Cove Marina Operator RFP so that it can be reviewed with more community input and transparency to ensure that the selection of any operator will support the public good, be stewards of our parklands and generate a reasonable revenue stream. Until such time as a new RFP is released and the final selection is made, CB1 asks that the contract with the current operator be extended, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT: CB1 calls upon our local elected officials to meet with BPCA management to express the concerns and disappointment of the community and work toward implementing the appropriate changes in this process.