4. Be truly accountable to the public
The original Atlantic Yards proposal was conceived by the developer and the political decision-makers behind closed doors, and was designed with no significant input from New Yorkers. No Brooklyn elected official had an opportunity to vote on the project.
All other large projects of the New York State Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) are managed by a subsidiary or LDC which is governed by a board that often includes members chosen with the input of local elected officials. By contrast, since the time of Atlantic Yards' approval in December of 2006, the ESDC been reluctant to engage community groups in any dialog around the future of the Atlantic Yards site. The agency has promised to hold regular meetings with local elected officials but has failed to do so. Finally, when approving the modified plan in June 2009, ESDC made crucial determinations about the environmental impact of the project without having the new arena proposal, but merely relied on the developer's assertion that future changes would comply with the previous project's design guidelines. The MGPP further allows the developer to control the project build out schedule without any remedies for delays beyond the proposed 2019 end date. ESDC's abrogation of these basic oversight responsibilities is unacceptable for a project that is receiving exceptional direct and indirect subsidies, zoning overrides, and has won the ability to acquire property through the State's power of eminent domain.
The BrooklynSpeaks sponsors believe Atlantic Yards must
- Include oversight by a dedicated LDC, subsidiary or public benefit corporation that includes board members appointed in consultation with local legislators.
- Actively involve a formal advisory board made up of representatives from civic associations, community-based organizations and Community Boards from affected neighborhoods.