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December 2, 2009

Paterson meets with Atlantic Yards opponents, promises "objective and fair hearing" (but what does that mean now?)

Atlantic Yards Report

So, as the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) moves forward with Atlantic Yards, can the man in charge of the agency, Governor David Paterson--once a public opponent of eminent domain (as DDDB's Daniel Goldstein reminds us), now a tacit supporter of Atlantic Yards--do anything?

Well, at least he's listening. Last night, before a "community conversation" at the First A.M.E. Zion Church in Bedford-Stuyvesant, organized by local elected officials. Paterson held a hastily-called meeting with a small group of Atlantic Yards opponents.

He promised them "an objective and fair hearing"--seemingly meaningless (and too late) boilerplate given that state agencies like the ESDC and Metropolitan Transportation Authority have already been charged to do so and have vigorously defended their actions in court after being sued.

Also, with a bond sale in the works, surely others in the administration would tell Paterson that the horse is about to leave the barn and stopping the project would lead to a huge legal mess. Then again, there's a serious argument--as per Nicole Gelinas--that the bond sale is risky, thus giving Paterson some cover, should he invoke his maverick streak.

(What could he do? Tell the ESDC not to pursue eminent domain? Stall the bond sale?)

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Posted by lumi at December 2, 2009 7:50 AM