Municipal Government

Mayor Selling Out Manhattan

January 23, 2012
By Scott M. Stringer, Manhattan Borough President

Mayor Bloomberg has announced a plan to sell three city-owned buildings in Lower Manhattan for a one-time infusion of cash into the city budget. While it is tempting for the city to look for easy solutions to our current budget woes, I do not believe it is prudent to sell off our dwindling public assets for a quick fix without any articulated benefit to the Lower Manhattan community.
 
As you know, Lower Manhattan is in the middle of a school overcrowding crisis. Before we sell off precious public assets, shouldn’t we consider whether one of these buildings is suitable for a new school? The cost of land in Manhattan is rising, rents are going up and there is no place in Lower Manhattan right now to build affordable housing. Could one of these properties provide affordable housing for middle class families?
 
Instead of rushing to sell off Lower Manhattan’s public assets to the highest bidder, we need to have a conversation about how government facilities can continue to serve the public.
 

January 22, 2012

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