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May 31, 2009

Council candidate Lander, in testimony prepared for Senate hearing, gets tougher on AY, saying deal should be canceled

Atlantic Yards Report

City council candidate Brad Lander alters his stance on Atlantic Yards to one that begins to look more like that taken by his rival Josh Skaller. Skaller has maintained an anti-Atlantic Yards stance from the time he first announced his candidacy.

It was notable that, at the State Senate hearing Friday, the only legislators to appear in favor of the project were three (one via proxy) from Southern Brooklyn, far from the project site and the area from which Forest City Ratner executive VP Bruce Bender can always call in chits. Even Borough President Marty Markowitz neglected to show up or send an emissary.

And, though there was much extraneous testimony that had nothing to do with the hearing's ostensible purpose of government oversight, there were several people who didn't get to testify.

One would-be elected official, 39th District Council Candidate (and urban planner) Brad Lander, submitted testimony calling for legislators to pressure Governor David Paterson and the Empire State Development Corporation to cancel the AY deal. The issues he raised were ones the legislators barely touched.

His reasons:

  • a need for a full accounting of public subsidies
  • a need for a new economic and cost-benefit analysis
  • a need to investigate whether land valuation for the PILOTs (payments in lieu of taxes) deal would be as questionable as the one for Yankee Stadium.

Follow the link for further details and excerpts from Lander's testimony.


Posted by steve at May 31, 2009 9:29 AM