The new BPCA administration, courtesy of Steven E. Greer

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March 7, 2018- by Steven E. Greer, MD

On March 5th, the BPCA convened a town hall meeting in 6 River Terrace. On display for the first time was newly appointed BPCA administration, led by president BJ Jones and CFO Pam Frederick. The manner in which this meeting was conducted was night-and-day different from previous awkward amateur-hour meetings conducted by former president Shari Hyman and Chairman Dennis Mehiel.

Mr. Jones avoided the usual boring moments, whereby Gwen Dawson, for example, would speak in monotonous tone about pile remediation projects. The security of the parks was discussed in just “60-seconds” as requested by Mr. Jones as he wanted to maximize time for Q&A.

For the first time ever in BPTV’s coverage of these events since 2009, the BPCA discussed financial matters important to renters and unit owners. Mr. Jones dared to discuss the 100-year lease between the BPCA and the state, which expires in 2069. As that lease nears expiration, the value of properties declines. Mr. Jones stated that he was not going to “kick the can down the road” any longer.

He then discussed the settlement agreement with the city that details how the revenue form the BPCA is shared with the city. The City Comptroller is once again hoping to steal more of your taxpayer dollars. A question was asked about whether Gateway Plaza rents could be lowered, or new affordable housing be constructed within BPC (the entire BPCA was created primarily as a source for new affordable housing, yet almost none exists currently.).

The expiring ground lease deals for each of the 30 residential buildings was discussed as a paramount importance to Mr. Jones. He urged buildings to come forward and proactively get the discussions going in order to avoid mandated steep increases.

When asked about the steep spikes in Gateway Plaza electric bills, Mr. Jones said that he was aware and would be investigating. He will be speaking to Gateway tenants.

A woman asked about the provision that allows the city to take over the BPCA for one dollar. He mentioned that the city has not done so because it would then have to take over the billions in bond debt as well.

The new CFO, Pam Frederick, has a background in banking, most recently dealing with billionaires in private banking. She seemed competent and poised, unlike previous CFOs who were fired in disgrace.

This new BPCA administration seen on Monday was the direct result of BPTV’s many years of muckraking and pressure. Our ongoing federal lawsuit is asking the courts to restructure the BPCA due to the pervasive corruption seen over the decades. Every single BPCA executive reported on by BPTV has now been either fired or forced into retirement, with the exception of Dennis Mehiel, and his term expired more than two-years ago. Mehiel remains in place without a reappointment by the governor.

BatteryPark.TV. We Inform.

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