Skip to main content

Top Markowitz aide Scissura positioning himself for Borough President; does he agree with his boss that "Brooklyn is 1000 percent behind Atlantic Yards"?

City Hall News reported 9/28/11:
Carlo Scissura is taking another step toward running to replace his boss Marty Markowitz as Brooklyn borough president. The beep’s chief of staff is stepping down from that job to become a special advisor instead, taking a $15,000 pay cut to $124,000, with some of his responsibilities transferred to other staff members. The move frees him from the restrictions that bar top city officials from raising campaign money or doing other overtly political acts. Scissura, who declined to comment, received Conflicts of Interest Board clearance for the move. Markowitz will not replace him as chief of staff.
In other words, Scissura likely will function in several ways as chief of staff, but without the title--for more than two years.

Fundraiser tomorrow

He's holding a fundraiser tomorrow, with one of hosts Andrew Steininger, capital budget/economic development specialist at Borough Hall, and another Sharon Davidson of the North Flatbush Business Improvement District.

(Note how Scissura, in the picture, is wearing a "Brooklyn" pin the way Markowitz does.)

Markowitz is on board. On 7/4/11, in an article headlined With Boss’ Support, Top Markowitz Aide Eyes Borough President Run, City Hall News reported:
"His passion for Brooklyn and knowledge of education and economic policy are a real asset,” Markowitz said in a prepared statement, “He has a bright future ahead of him and I look forward to whatever he chooses to do next.”

...“I feel like I would be able to do a great job for Brooklyn and I obviously learned from the best borough president we ever had,” Scissura said.
Political assets

The article noted that Deputy Borough President Yvonne Graham, who had planned a run in 2009 before the extension of term limts gave Markowitz a third term, is not running.

Nor is it likely that Council Member Dominic Recchia, who'd compete on geographic/ethnic grounds (southern Brooklyn/Italian) with Scissura, will run, but may instead run for Comptroller.

Surely there will be several candidates. Scissura--as well as the others--will all lack one key source of name recognition that boosted Markowitz name recognition in his 2001 run: a history of offering free concerts at two locations in the borough.

Some baggage

City Hall News noted that Scissura's political baggage includes his willingness to represent Markowitz when his bought a house--a conflict of interest that led both to be fined this year.

I wrote 4/27/10 about a City Hall News article headlined The 20 Most Influential Unelecteds: That most New Yorkers Have Never Heard Of:
CARLO SCISSURA
Chief of Staff, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz.
...Scissura calls himself the “consigliere” to the colorful borough president, and says his job description is simply “everything.”
Markowitz credits him with helping reach out to communities affected by the Atlantic Yards and Domino developments.
“If we aren’t able to get everyone to agree all the time, Carlo is at least able to lower the heat,” Markowitz said. “Plus, I value his judgment. He has a great ability to present all sides of an issue.”
Scissura's surely an able aide and amiable fellow, I noted, but lowering the heat? Remember his June 2009 testimony before the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, channeling Markowitz? One of the lines was so classic Markowitz that it deserved its own excerpt.



"As we all know, the Borough President would never support anything that is not in the interests of all of Brooklyn and all Brooklynites," Scissura declared.

Questions for Scissura

Let's ask Scissura if he agrees with Markowitz that Brooklynites are "1000 percent behind Atlantic Yards," as Markowitz claimed in a video aimed to recruit immigrant investors to help Atlantic Yards developer Bruce Ratner save money.



And if he doesn't agree with Markowitz, does he think his boss was right to lie?

Comments

  1. Is there any kind of campaign to get rid of borough presidents? what a waste of money those jobs are!

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Forest City acknowledges unspecified delays in Pacific Park, cites $300 million "impairment" in project value; what about affordable housing pledge?

Updated Monday Nov. 7 am: Note follow-up coverage of stock price drop and investor conference call and pending questions.

Pacific Park Brooklyn is seriously delayed, Forest City Realty Trust said yesterday in a news release, which further acknowledged that the project has caused a $300 million impairment, or write-down of the asset, as the expected revenues no longer exceed the carrying cost.

The Cleveland-based developer, parent of Brooklyn-based Forest City Ratner, which is a 30% investor in Pacific Park along with 70% partner/overseer Greenland USA, blamed the "significant impairment" on an oversupply of market-rate apartments, the uncertain fate of the 421-a tax break, and a continued increase in construction costs.

While the delay essentially confirms the obvious, given that two major buildings have not launched despite plans to do so, it raises significant questions about the future of the project, including:
if market-rate construction is delayed, will the affordable h…

Revising official figures, new report reveals Nets averaged just 11,622 home fans last season, Islanders drew 11,200 (and have option to leave in 2018)

The Brooklyn Nets drew an average of only 11,622 fans per home game in their most recent (and lousy) season, more than 23% below the announced official attendance figure, and little more than 65% of the Barclays Center's capacity.

The New York Islanders also drew some 19.4% below announced attendance, or 11,200 fans per home game.

The surprising numbers were disclosed in a consultant's report attached to the Preliminary Official Statement for the refinancing of some $462 million in tax-exempt bonds for the Barclays Center (plus another $20 million in taxable bonds). The refinancing should lower costs to Mikhail Prokhorov, owner of the arena operating company, by and average of $3.4 million a year through 2044 in paying off arena construction.

According to official figures, the Brooklyn Nets attendance averaged 17,187 in the debut season, 2012-13, 17,251 in 2013-14, 17,037 in 2014-15, and 15,125 in the most recent season, 2015-16. For hoops, the arena holds 17,732.

But official…

At 550 Vanderbilt, big chunk of apartments pitched to Chinese buyers as "international units"

One key to sales at the 550 Vanderbilt condo is the connection to China, thanks to Shanghai-based developer Greenland Holdings.

It's the parent of Greenland USA, which as part of Greenland Forest City Partners owns 70% of Pacific Park (except 461 Dean and the arena).

And sales in China may help explain how the developer was able to claim early momentum.
"Since 550 Vanderbilt launched pre-sales in June [2015], more than 80 residences have gone into contract, representing over 30% of the building’s 278 total residences," the developer said in a 9/25/15 press release announcing the opening of a sales gallery in Brooklyn. "The strong response from the marketplace indicates the high level of demand for well-designed new luxury homes in Brooklyn..."

Maybe. Or maybe it just meant a decent initial pipeline to Chinese buyers.

As lawyer Jay Neveloff, who represents Forest City, told the Real Deal in 2015, a project involving a Chinese firm "creates a huge market for…

Is Barclays Center dumping the Islanders, or are they renegotiating? Evidence varies (bond doc, cash receipts); NHL attendance biggest variable

The Internet has been abuzz since Bloomberg's Scott Soshnick reported 1/30/17, using an overly conclusory headline, that Brooklyn’s Barclays Center Is Dumping the Islanders.

That would end an unusual arrangement in which the arena agrees to pay the team a fixed sum (minus certain expenses), in exchange for keeping tickets, suite, and sponsorship revenue.

The arena would earn more without the hockey team, according to Bloomberg, which cited “a financial projection shared with potential investors showed the Islanders won’t contribute any revenue after the 2018-19 season--a clear signal that the team won’t play there, the people said."

That "signal," however, is hardly definitive, as are the media leaks about a prospective new arena in Queens, as shown in the screenshot below from Newsday. Both sides are surely pushing for advantage, if not bluffing.

Consider: the arena and the Islanders can't even formally begin their opt-out talks until after this season. The disc…

Skanska says it "expected to assemble a properly designed modular building, not engage in an iterative R&D experiment"

On 12/10/16, I noted that FastCo.Design's Prefab's Moment of Reckoning article dialed back the gush on the 461 Dean modular tower compared to the publication's previous coverage.

Still, I noted that the article relied on developer Forest City Ratner and architect SHoP to put the best possible spin on what was clearly a failure. From the article: At the project's outset, it took the factory (managed by Skanska at the time) two to three weeks to build a module. By the end, under FCRC's management, the builders cut that down to six days. "The project took a little longer than expected and cost a little bit more than expected because we started the project with the wrong contractor," [Forest City's Adam] Greene says.Skanska jabs back
Well, Forest City's estranged partner Skanska later weighed in--not sure whether they weren't asked or just missed a deadline--and their article was updated 12/13/16. Here's Skanska's statement, which shows th…

Not just logistics: bypassing Brooklyn for DNC 2016 also saved on optics (role of Russian oligarch, Shanghai government)

Surely the logistical challenges of holding a national presidential nominating convention in Brooklyn were the main (and stated) reasons for the Democratic National Committee's choice of Philadelphia.

And, as I wrote in NY Slant, the huge security cordon in Philadelphia would have been impossible in Brooklyn.

But consider also the optics. As I wrote in my 1/21/15 op-ed in the Times arguing that the choice of Brooklyn was a bad idea:
The arena also raises ethically sticky questions for the Democrats. While the Barclays Center is owned primarily by Forest City Ratner, 45 percent of it is owned by the Russian billionaire Mikhail D. Prokhorov (who also owns 80 percent of the Brooklyn Nets). Mr. Prokhorov has a necessarily cordial relationship with Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin — though he has been critical of Mr. Putin in the past, last year, at the Russian president’s request, he tried to transfer ownership of the Nets to one of his Moscow-based companies. An oligarch-owned a…