Big Step for Local Representation in Battery Park City

courtesy Daniel SquadronState Senator Daniel Squadron’s bill mandating that at least two of the seven Battery Park City Authority board appointments are residents of Battery Park City passed the Senate yesterday, and now Governor Andrew Cuomo just has to sign it. From Squadron’s announcement:

For years I’ve called on the Governor to nominate residents to the Battery Park City Board and tried to block non-resident appointments—an effort that continued as recently as last night. That’s because I believe local community members have a critical perspective in local governance. This bill is a big step toward a BPCA board that reflects the value of local governance. Both chambers of the Legislature have spoken with a clear, bipartisan voice in support of ensuring Battery Park City residents have a say. It’s critical that the Governor sign this legislation and ensure we have residents on the Authority Board. Thank you to Assemblymembers Glick and Niou, my colleagues, Community Board 1, and ‘Democracy4BPC.

The three appointments recently made by Cuomo—Catherine McVay-Hughes, George Tsunis, Louis Bevilacqua—were confirmed, with McVay-Hughes the only downtown resident among them. This is from a press release that came out a day or two before—including it here in case you need some persuading that this is important.

State Senator Daniel Squadron spoke on the Senate Floor (video) on the urgent need for local residents to be appointed to the Battery Park City Authority Board, voting against the appointments of non-residents Louis Bevilacqua and George Tsunis, and in favor of long-time community leader and former Community Board 1 Chair Catherine McVay Hughes:

“Battery Park City was 92 acres of water that is now 92 acres of land. Unfortunately, the Battery Park City Authority, with its seven members, has and will have after this appointment zero residents of Battery Park City on it. It is a basic principle that in local governance you have a local voice, and in Battery Park City that is sorely lacking. All seven appointees are made by the Governor. Over the last two years, every elected official in the area has written to the Governor to ask for actual Battery Park City residents to be appointed to the board. It is critical when we talk about a local governance body like the Battery Park City Authority that we have a local voice,” said State Senator Daniel Squadron in his floor speech.

“The idea that zero out of seven would be residents is simply unacceptable. It’s why I, along with Assemblymembers Glick and Niou, have been pushing legislation to ensure a resident voice on the Battery Park City Authority. It’s legislation I continue to hope will pass this year. At the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, every single member is a resident of Roosevelt Island. It is simply not right that these appointments are considered anything other than a local voice for a local community that needs to be governed. I urge my colleagues to join me in the interest of local representation for a local community,” continued Squadron.


1 Comment

  1. Does he have enough votes to override a veto? It seems hard to believe that the Governor would sign a single-purpose bill forcing himself (to give up unfettered control of some political plums) to do what he has not done willingly to this point.