Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Markowitz, de Blasio outraged by potential conflicts in taxi selection, but they didn't mind conflicts with Atlantic Yards

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Public Advocate (and Brooklyn resident) Bill de Blasio, and Assemblyman Micah Kellner have written a letter (below) to New York City Comptroller John C. Liu asking him to investigate the process by which the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) has selected the new "Taxi of Tomorrow."

They believe that the Turkish manufacturer Karsan, the only one of the three RFP respondents that promised to build parts for the taxis in Brooklyn, was eliminated due to several potential conflicts of interest, including a leak of a consultant's report to the New York Times, and that consultant's work for the other two finalists.

(Here's coverage in the Brooklyn Paper and Patch. The winner was Nissan.)

Selective outrage

They make a reasonable case--I haven't studied it enough to be sure--but I'm struck by the (ahem) selective outrage.

Other potential and real conflicts related to Atlantic Yards did not draw the ire of Markowitz and de Blasio, notably 1) the essential decision by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to give the Vanderbilt Yard to Forest City Ratner without an RFP (which was belatedly issued), and 2) the role of environmental consultant AKRF, which worked consecutively for FCR and the Empire State Development Corporation.

5.3.11.Letter to Comptroller John Liu

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