It’s Big Thinking, That’s True, But Thinking Big Is What We New Yorkers Have Done Throughout Our History
Posted: October 28th, 2014 | Filed under: Things That Make You Go "Oy"
Politicians love ribbon-cutting ceremonies, so they cook up schemes for capital improvements like the 35-community-parks initiative. But New York City has nearly 2,000 parks, and their maintenance isn’t glamorous — it’s hard to summon the news media to show clean public toilets or pulled weeds — and the Parks Department sorely lacks enough full-time gardeners, plumbers and security guards.
That’s something that the mayor needs to address. Instead, he used the community parks announcement to score cheap political points, which critics rightly jumped on.
The mayor chastised his predecessor, Michael R. Bloomberg, for favoring marquee parks and ignoring ones in underserved neighborhoods, prompting Veronica White, a former parks commissioner under Mr. Bloomberg, to note that the Bloomberg administration poured $5 billion in capital investments into parks, most of which were in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island. Mr. Bloomberg also added 850 acres of parkland to the five boroughs, she pointed out.
And it was Mr. Bloomberg who, before leaving office, set aside $80 million of the $130 million in Mayor de Blasio’s plan for those same neighborhood parks.