Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Jason Kidd's fine, the missing Independent Compliance Monitor, and the Culture of Cheating

As those following the Brooklyn Nets and NBA basketball know, Nets coach (and former star guard) Jason Kidd was fined $50,000 last week for creating an unofficial timeout at a time when his team had run out of them: Kidd picked up an open cup of soda, mouthed "hit me" at a player, and then "spilled" the soda, thus delaying the game for a clean-up.

The video replay was pretty blatant. And though some in the sports world praised Kidd for doing "what he had to do" to win, and Kidd surely learned such a sly tactic from other coaches over the years, the NBA had to fine him.

It's notable that the "Culture of Cheating" gets more sanction from a sports league than do other aspects of Atlantic Yards.

What about the Independent Compliance Monitor?

Consider developer Forest City Ratner's continued failure to hire the Independent Compliance Monitor required in the "legally binding" Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) the developer and supporters like Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio have so regularly touted.

There's no enforcement, because the only parties able to enforce the CBA are the eight signatories, all of which have some financial or business relationship with the developer, and some of which are moribund or even disbanded.

So we were never told how the job training component of the CBA was going--not until former participants filed a federal lawsuit, which is ongoing.

And Forest City and its partners continue to tout "2000 jobs" at the arena without specifying the hours and pay of the part-time jobs, and even misleadingly suggesting the latter are "living wage." (They once said there would be 1240 FTE--full-time equivalent--jobs, but that hasn't since been confirmed by any independent source.)

We don't even know how many FTE construction jobs there are, since the developer has said the modular factory would have 125 union jobs. Last month I quoted one account of the current modular plan
Last year, FCR revealed the plan for B2, which now will dedicate 50% of its 363 rental units to [subsidized] tenants and will eventually employ 125 union tradesmen during construction (it currently has 72).
How does that compare to the 15,000 construction jobs--1500 a year, for ten years--originally promised?

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