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De Blasio to Redistribute $$$ from Central Park to Poorer Parks

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On November 26, 2013 @ 9:29 am In The Point | 17 Comments

No, this is not a joke. This is De Blasio Time. We’ve got Knock Out Games for the kids and park redistribution schemes.

The bill loots successful parks like Central Park and Prospect Park that are partly privately funded.  Central Park, like a number of the other parks being targeted, are already conservancies, which means there are people actually interested in them.

This extends the whole charter school war into the realm of the park.

This bill is the work of the incredibly repulsive Daniel Squadron, a Schumer crony who pushed out a competent State Senator entirely because of his political connections.

Now Squadron is obviously thinking bigger. And he’s got De Blasio’s backing.

The bill would lop 20 percent from parks conservancy budgets and redistribute that money to poorer parks.

“I just can’t even stomach the thought of losing 20 percent of our budget,” Tupper Thomas, the founder and since-retired head of the Prospect Park Alliance, told an audience of park advocates during a Thursday-afternoon forum at the George Soros-backed Talking Transition tent in SoHo.

The bill, which was sponsored by State Senator Dan Squadron, a Democrat from Brooklyn, would require all park conservancies with annual operating budgets of $5 million or more to put 20 percent of those budgets into a “neighborhood parks alliance fund,” whose board would then redistribute the money to parks it identified as needier.

The legislation dovetails nicely with de Blasio’s “tale of two cities” campaign theme; one of those cities has nice parks, the other does not. They are not funded equally.

They’re not funded equally, because some local politicians care about funding parks. And others don’t. Squadron’s bill cynically bypasses that issue for another redistribution scheme.

According to an analysis by New Yorkers for Parks, the de Blasio-backed Squadron bill would impact five conservancies—Central Park’s, the High Line’s, Prospect Park’s, Randall’s Island’s, and Asphalt Green’s.

“Why did you target existing, successful conservancies as the focal point for this issue?” Leicht asked Squadron.

Squadron tried to reframe the question. “Why did we really open our arms and try to bring them into the fold of the larger parks network to deal with this issue?” he asked.

“Well, opening the arms is different than tithing them, right?” said Leicht, pointing out that, “every single person I’ve talked to that’s associated with an existing public-private partnership has said [the bill] will undoubtedly chill their donations and create significant problems for them in their future fundraising and in some cases really threaten their sustainability.”

“One of the great things about my proposal is I’ve had some of the same conversations you have,” he said. “People think that it’s absolutely insane, the 20 percent. And I’ve had other people tell me that I’m a rampant privatizer because it’s not 50 percent or 75 percent.”

That’s a bug, not a feature. The real goal is to drain conservancies and then wipe them out. They were a product of a time when New York City civics worked. Now that has to bulldozed in De Blasio time.

Squadron’s line is a wonderful piece of ObamaSpeak. “Why there are some out there who think I’m a crazy capitalist because I haven’t seized all your money.”

“If we said to the Brooklyn Museum, you know you’ve done a great job fund-raising, but you know, we’re gonna take 10 or 20 percent of your money and reallocate it to the Queens Museum, because they haven’t done quite as good of a job of fund-raising, or Jennifer Raab has done an extraordinary job raising money for Hunter College, and you know what, let’s take some of that $40 million she brought in this year and reallocate to the Bronx Community College because they need the money more,” said Benepe. “That’s not the way democracy works.”

De Blasio won. So I guess that’s the way democracy now works. From each according to their yadda yadda.


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