Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Field of Schemes scrutinizes Carrion

Here's Field of Scheme's take on recent events. Click the title above to read it at their website.

Counting pols in NYC

Way back on December 22, Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion submitted his official recommendation on the $1-billion-plus New York Yankees stadium project, but it took until this week before anybody noticed. Carrion endorsed the plan, of course - he's been one of the project's biggest backers since it first surfaced in June - but added some "stipulations" that it should be expanded to include his own pet projects, a hotel, convention center, and High School for Sports Industry Careers, none of which have funding or room to be built in the current plan.

In any case, Carrion is hardly "playing hardball on [the] new Yankee Stadium plan," as a Daily News headline put it - his recommendations are nonbinding, and likely to be thoroughly ignored by both the city council and the mayor's office. The Bronx beep (yes, that's what they call borough presidents here) did give a nod to community concerns by demanding that new parks open atop a Yankees parking garage before old ones are torn up - but given that the parking garage in question would be built on top of existing parkland, it's hard to see how that would be accomplished without time-travel technology.

The bigger news for the Yankees project - and for pending plans for new homes for the Mets and Nets - is today's expected election of Manhattan city councilmember Christine Quinn as speaker of the city council. So far, most news coverage has focused on Quinn being the first woman, and first openly gay person, to hold the top spot at the council, but she's likely to play a key role on stadiums as well, especially the Yanks and Mets projects, which require council approval. Quinn was a vocal opponent of the now-dead Jets stadium proposed for her district, and has criticized the Nets arena as well; she has a reputation as a bit of a loose cannon, though, so it's hard to predict whether she'll take a stand against Mayor Michael Bloomberg's tripartite stadium plan. Regardless of which side Quinn ends up on, though, at least she'll almost certainly be more vocal about her position than her predecessor was.

Finally, the next public hearing on the Yankees project is Wednesday, January 11, at 10 am before the City Planning Commission, in Spector Hall at 22 Reade Street in downtown Manhattan. It's a smallish room, and public hearing rules for this one require that "all persons filling out an appearance form shall be given the opportunity to speak," so expect plenty of fireworks.


At 12:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does he know that his "recommendations" aren't worth the paper they're written on? They are not in the DEIS and are not even being considered as aprt of this project.


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