Sunday, January 29, 2012

Seen but not heard: the mayor's new emissary on Atlantic Yards issues

Lolita Jackson, director of special projects at the mayor's office and described (probably over-described) as an ombudsman to oversee quality-of-life issues regarding the project--attended the January 26 meeting--her first--of the Atlantic Yards District Service Cabinet, which includes agency and governmental officials.

She was introduced by Sam Pierre, Brooklyn director at the Mayor's Community Assistance Unit. (Pierre was formerly an aide to Rep. Ed Towns, as well an officer in the powerful Thomas Jefferson Democratic Club, both of which have favorable postures toward Atlantic Yards, as does the mayor.)

“Lolita’s role will be to assist some of the work we're already doing here, working with city agencies, so that we can improve quality of life issues around the project," Pierre said. "We’ll be working with Carlo [Scissura, special advisor at the Brooklyn Borough President's Office], and Arana [Hankin, Director, Atlantic Yards Project, Empire State Development], and Forest City. We've had conversations, we’re going to be working together to make sure that we have our agencies work together... so that the project can be done.”

Jackson spoke individually to several people but didn't address the group. She had arrived at the 9:30 a.m. meeting--which normally starts ten minutes late--on time, despite a trip from the Upper East Side. You have to wonder what she thought about the delay in the Transportation Demand Management plan.

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