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The North Cove Marina was taken away from the community this year by Dennis Mehiel: the CEO and Chairman of the BPCA. He rigged the RFP outcome to award the contract to land-based Brookfield Properties, a big donor to Governor Cuomo, despite them having no experience at running a marina. Brookfield had to then subcontract the marina to IGY Marinas: a company run by Andrew Farkas who is a close friend to Governor Cuomo.
Not only was the eviction from the marina of Mike Fortenbaugh an outrage to the community, but rubbing salt in the wound, the marina will have no replacement community sailing events this year. This raises the big question as to why there will be no yachts or small sailing boat classes operating out of North Cove.
The answer is irrefutably NOT because of construction on the piles that support the esplanade. The BPCA has concocted a smokescreen excuse for the marina closure stating that the pile remediation work has moved to the south side of the marina forcing it to be closed. However, last year, the piles under the north side of the marina were repaired with workers who were under the esplanade causing no closure of the marina. Several sources close to Mike Fortenbaugh’s operations and the BPCA strongly refute the explanation given by the BPCA that the marina has to be closed due to pile work.
So, why then is there still not even a contract between the BPCA and Brookfield properties? Why will IGY Marinas not be operating out of North Cove this year?
To answer that, one needs to ask why Governor Cuomo, who just won re-election last year, is spending millions of dollars from his Super-PAC funds to air TV ads making him look presidential. Governor Cuomo clearly has delusions of running for president in 2016, waiting for Hillary Clinton to once again fall away as the Anointed One.
Being in his delusional “running for president” mindset, Mr. Cuomo is mindful of unnecessary controversy that could turn into his own version of Governor Christie’s BridgeGate. One of those potential landmines is his close affiliation with Andrew Farkas.
When Governor Cuomo won re-election Last year, he personally thanked billionaire real estate mogul Farkas for helping run his campaign. Being so close to Mr. Farkas is a scandal because, back when Mr. Cuomo ran HUD for President Clinton, he was suing Mr. Farkas for housing violations. When Cuomo made missteps and fell out of favor with the Clintons, he then dropped the lawsuits against Farkas and became his friend. Farkas employed Cuomo at his firm Island Capital group giving him millions of dollars, and the two have been political power brokers ever since.
The last thing that Governor Cuomo needs would be to have a scandal of the caliber of the Farkas-conflicts-of-interest-scandal (Farkas is a man associated with one-percenter yachts) to arise as he moves toward a presidential run. Therefore, the governor, who controls the BPCA and tells Mr. Mehiel what to do, could very well be the reason why the marina has been put on ice this season, and likely next season too.
Cuomo awarded Mr. Farkas and Brookfield for their help with his 2014 election by awarding them the marina contract. That was the hard part. Now, he is telling them to wait to open their Christmas presents until after the 2016 presidential race, we think. That is our best working hypothesis as to why the North Cove Marina is being mothballed this year.