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April 9, 2008

Community advocate still missing in Atlantic Yards project

NY Daily News
by Jotham Sederstrom


Nearly a year after state officials announced they would hire a community advocate for residents living near the Atlantic Yards project, the doors have yet to swing open to the public, officials acknowledged Tuesday.

Former MTA executive Forrest Taylor was hired in a fit of damage control nine months after a building collapse on Pacific St. within the $4.2 billion development site.

But since November, when Taylor started the job, office renovations and ongoing meetings with city and state officials have delayed his advocacy duties.

Candace Carponter, a member of the Council of Brooklyn Neighborhoods, a group critical of the arena plan, said that for the select few residents who have actually tried calling Taylor, getting through has been smooth sailing.

"I do think he's accessible, he's just useless," said Carponter, who said that when residents complained about early morning construction on Dean St., Taylor defended the Transportation Department ruckus and refused to mediate the situation.

"His responses have been completely party-line. He's not even good about conveying information," she said.


Atlantic Yards Report, The ombudsman's local office will open (finally)

OK, I'm trying to figure out the headline in today's Daily News story, Community advocate still missing in Atlantic Yards project. Yes, complaints are aired about Empire State Development Corporation ombudsman Forrest Taylor, but those have been aired for months, since he was appointed in late November.

Well, he was supposed to be an advocate all along. The news is that his office on Hanson Place apparently will open soon. Right now, he's on vacation.

NoLandGrab: The vacationing Mr. Taylor apparently doesn't know how to set up an out-of-office reply on his email, since a Prospect Heights resident who was threatened by an invective-spewing construction worker who refused to produce a work permit for middle-of-the-night jackhammering at the site of the former Mobil station on Flatbush Avenue got no response to several emails yesterday about the incident.

Posted by eric at April 9, 2008 10:10 AM