That which the governor giveth, the mayor can taketh away. At least that’s the case for the Battery Park City Authority, which is facing a potential takeover at the hands of New York City.
It’s only been a month since William Thompson was appointed as Chairman of the Battery Park City Authority, but his days are already numbered. Ironically, his fate is in the hands of the same man who took away his shot at being Mayor, Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
According to the New York Daily News, Thompson said, “It’s not like I’m getting paid a lot in this job. If that happens in the end, so be it.”
Battery Park City has recently been under the scrutiny of New York City’s comptroller John Liu to start determining whether aÂ takeover of the neighborhood is a financially viable step for the city, after similar and recent acquisitions of both Brooklyn Bridge park and Governor’s Island…
Historically, the city has had the option to take over Battery Park City for a mere dollar. Yet, behind that dollar comes great fiscal responsibilities — including assuming the Authority’s $1-billion-dollar debt, as well as the burden of keeping up the same impeccable park maintenance and services (events, art installations, etc.) to which residents have become accustomed.
The decision ultimately lies solely in the hands of both the mayor and comptroller. Liu has been quoted in several news outlets saying that he takes this decision seriously and would want to hear from the residents of Battery Park City before making a decision.
Longtime Battery Park City advocate, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, was also quoted in the article saying, “I’m not for it. I’m not against it. I’m cautioning at this point.”
If anything, Thompson’s announcement that he’s taking a new corporate job hints that he’s hedging his bets. Although Thompson and Bloomberg have a history as political rivals, they’ve also collaborated in the past, working together as comptroller and mayor for several years. While the decision about the Battery Park City Authority’s fate is far from final, the outcome is something neighborhood residents and property owners need to monitor vigilantly.