Friday, December 04, 2009

Paterson publicly endorsed Columbia expansion (and thus eminent domain), but was quiet about AY; what about that "objective and fair hearing"?

I haven't met too many people who think that Gov. David Paterson's pledge this week to provide Atlantic Yards opponents with "an objective and fair hearing" would amount to much.

Then again, Paterson basically had been silent regarding the project, with no quotes from him in official press releases issued by the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) on 6/23/09 and 9/17/09.

However, he publicly endorsed the Columbia University expansion, stating on 5/20/09:
"I am delighted that the work and cooperation of our partners at Columbia, the Mayor’s Office, and Empire State Development, as well as local elected officials and members of the community will help ensure that Columbia maintains its role as one of the foremost educational and cultural institutions in the world and a major New York employer.”
Now that a judicial panel has put a wrench in the state's plan for eminent domain, raising significant questions about the use of blight in this state, will Paterson take step back and deem the ESDC's questionable procedures in both the Columbia and AY cases is worth a look?

He's got a lot on his plate, like a serious state deficit. But the Columbia decision was front-page news.

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