Thursday, October 01, 2009

Thompson claims his AY support is "a very different position" than Bloomberg's AY support

On today's Brian Lehrer Show, Democratic Mayoral candidate Comptroller Bill Thompson, eschewing the opportunity to criticize Atlantic Yards as a "boondoggle" as did 2005 Democratic candidate Freddy Ferrer, instead stuck to calling for the affordable housing to be built.

And that, he asserted, showed how he differed with Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who has supported the project to the hilt.



The action begins at about 22:20

BL: Do you differ with the mayor at all on this point on what should happen next at Atlantic Yards?

BT: I supported, maybe not the mayor's original plan at Atlantic Yards, but I had supported Atlantic Yards based on two reasons. The large number of affordable units that were supposed to happen there, and the Community Benefits Agreement that also was happening at Atlantic Yards. Over a period of time, I'm not going to say that I haven't been concerned at the constant changes in Atlantic Yards. I still have a number of questions and continue to pay attention and monitor that. Because that project continues to change and morph. And I have to tell you, it continues to raise concern with me.

He's not monitoring it much. (The statement sounded as convincing as the statement July 22, by the Empire State Development Corporation Steve Matlin, that "We're constantly updating" the fiscal analysis of Atlantic Yards.). Otherwise Thompson would have noticed the mayor's criticism of CBAs, the lack of guarantees and doubts whether enough subsidies would be available, and the unenforceability of the CBA.

And, as the letter (left; click to enlarge) Thompson wrote on 7/1/05 to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority shows, he offered boilerplate support, citing not just the CBA, but jobs, housing, hoops, open space, and new, unspecified tax revenues.

Housing promises believable?

BL: So, we have a number of people asking on our comments page, do you believe the housing promises in the Community Benefits Agreement?

Thompson tried to sound firm.

BT: If those promises aren't met, then the city of New York should walk away from this. If the promises that were made about affordable units aren't done, then New York City needs to say goodbye to Atlantic Yards.

He's the Comptroller. Surely he knows that the issue isn't whether the promises are met, but whether there are sufficient subsidies, and whether 1) it's appropriate to continue to divert subsidies to this project and 2) the subsidy per unit compares favorably with other projects.

BL: Is that a different position from the mayor?

BT: I think it's a very different position than the mayor.

Not so.

1 comment:

  1. What's the Mayor's position according to Thompson? That the housing shouldn't be built?


    Why is it the Dems could only offer up an empty suit? It's an embarrassment. He can't even figure out how to utilize one of Bloomberg's biggest failures.

    Sheesh.

    ReplyDelete