Thursday, October 4, 2007

Firemen dying & crystal baseballs: Your tax dollars at work

It's hard to know where to start—there are just so many examples of pathetic and embarrassing abuse of the public trust by public authorities. The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation is always worth a few groans, and here are a couple examples from the last few days:
But don't think the LMDC is the only agency that parties hearty on the public dime. The AP reports that Taxpayers Footing Bill For Yankees' Lavish Spending, Group Says. The Yankees deny the allegations:

“Elected officials are turning a blind eye to the fact that the Yankees seem to have unfettered access to the public trough,” Damiani said. “It goes to show how the Yankees will stop at nothing to squeeze every penny from New Yorkers for this project.”

In 2001, then-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani authorized the Yankees to deduct up to $5 million a year on planning costs for the new stadium for five years for rent payments to the city, Good Jobs said.

...and the subsidies for "rent payments" went for things like crystal baseballs, according to Good Jobs New York.

So the NYC EDC's plan to destroy the Duffield Abolitionist homes to build an underground parking lot is pretty much par for the course. So is the NY State ESDC's failure to hire an ombudsman for the Atlantic Yards, despite a promise made 149 days ago.

The Atlantic Yards is the most visible fight against public authority abuse, but it is part of an even bigger problem. Are New Yorkers finally getting some guts to fight for good government? The answer is up to you, dear reader.