Monday, July 04, 2011

The need for an ESDC ombudsman--er, community relations manager--and responses to Atlantic Yards Watch concerns about truck routes

Given reports on Atlantic Yards Watch of apparent improper construction activities, the Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC) had better fill its job opening soon.

The ESDC has publicly posted the job opening (embedded below) for the position formerly known as Ombudsman, formally termed Manager – Community & Government Relations, Atlantic Yards Project.

The job description states:
The basic function of this position is to foster and manage communications and relationships with local elected officials and community groups/leaders within the Brooklyn community relating to the Atlantic Yards Project; and assist in mitigating the effects of construction by coordinating all relevant parties.
The may be an accurate description of the tasks faced by the former occupant, Forrest Taylor (who left last month after 3.5 years), rather than the formal definition of ombudsman, which is someone "who investigates complaints and mediates fair settlements."

Note that the top range of the salary, $79,288, is considerably less than the six-figure salary earned by Taylor. Then again, in August 2010, the ESDC hired, for the first time, a Director, Atlantic Yards Project, Arana Hankin, who earns six figures.

Also note that the project is described as $4 billion, though two years ago the price tag was increased to $4.9 billion.

Response needed from ESDC

Both Hankin and the new staffer will face regular reports from project neighbors about construction impacts that appear to be violating stated guidelines.

The latest, from Atlantic Yards Watch, include:

Let's see how soon the ESDC responds to either acknowledge the problems or explain why they're not violations.

Job Posting: Atlantic Yards Manager of Community and Government Relations

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