Monday, February 18, 2013

Daily News editorial: a "great mayor" means a city where businesses risk capital; is that the story of new sports facilities?

From a Daily News editorial yesterday headlined The stuff of a great mayor: The Democrats running to replace Bloomberg have shown zero willingness to make tough choices:
It’s not whether the city will go on, it’s what kind of city we’ll have.
One with rising crime, or one with only 400 murders annually.
One in which new business are willing to risk capital, or one in which companies stagnate or, worse, flee.
One where employment grows, even in the boroughs, or one that falls behind the national trend.
One of rising, vibrant neighborhoods, or one that sees the return of urban blight.
Far too casually, de Blasio and Democratic rivals Christine Quinn, Bill Thompson and John Liu dismiss the possibility that New York could go into decline. They campaign with collective amnesia about how hard it was for the city to climb up from ashes and lawlessness, and they take for granted that all will live happily ever after.
Tough choices and risk capital

Another excerpt:
Over these past 12 years, it was not through the path of least resistance that thousands of illegal guns were taken off the streets.
Or that the city has been kept safe from terrorism. Or that a private developer brought the Nets and a great new arena to Brooklyn.
Or that Columbia University is expanding uptown while Cornell is building a high-tech campus on Roosevelt Island.
Or that the No. 7 subway line will soon run all the way to 34th St. and 11th Ave.
Or that a new neighborhood will sprout from the miasma of Willets Point, Queens. Or that the Yankees and Mets have new stadiums.
(Emphasis added)

Whether or not you agree with the editorial's challenge that the candidates should take risks, it's flabbergasting to think that "new business [sic] risk capital" has anything to do with the deals negotiated by the backers of new stadiums and that "great new arena." (Don't forget that the Daily News is a sponsor of the arena plaza.)

That "private developer" wouldn't have "brought" the Nets and the arena without a whole lot of public support, some not even calculated by anyone official. My estimate: perhaps $124 million in free city land and public streets.

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