Friday, May 22, 2015

My Newsday op-ed: Nassau must be wary about plans for Coliseum

My op-ed in Friday's Newsday is headlined Nassau must be wary about plans for Coliseum. The message--hardly radical--is that Bruce Ratner's record is worthy of scrutiny.

Consider one episode that didn't make the piece, as I wrote last September, regarding the split between Forest City and former partner Skanska. An affidavit from Skanksa's Richard Kennedy detailed an increasingly contentious relationship regarding blame for the delay in producing modules:
In early 2014, Skanska Building attempted to engage in constructive conversations with Forest City to resolve issues. Forest City's responses ranged from hostile to inattentive and accusatory. For example, at a meeting on January 28, 2014 when William Flemming, the President of Skanska Building, mentioned that design issues existed, Bruce Ratner's response was to use a vulgar street epithet followed by "I don't care if it costs you fifty million to finish the project ... I'll see you at the grand opening."
No wonder I wrote in Newsday, "The developer seems affable, but former partners portray him as cutthroat."

Yes, as some commenters, including Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano, inevitably point out, Newsday can be accused of animus to Ratner, because its parent company also owns Madison Square Garden, which lost out on the Nassau Coliseum renovation. 

But it was the New York Times, for example, in a news story, that cited Ratner's "reputation for promising anything to get a deal, only to renegotiate relentlessly for more favorable terms."

3 comments:

  1. http://www.newyorkislanderfancentral.com/2015/05/how-hard-will-dolans-medianewsday-work.html

    Dolan took you to school. If you cannot do this exactly the same for everyone why bother?

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    1. I don't have to defend Dolan's deal to be critical of Ratner.

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  2. That's true but if you only pick one person to criticize for their bid what's the point?

    The documents from Nassau are clear, Dolan wanted real estate rights, Ratner did not. Dolan wanted more taxpayer exemption money on the Coliseum and the Plaza, Ratner only wanted them on the Coliseum.

    And Dolan's editorial board and his media shills at Newsday as usual are doing Dolan's bidding same as they did in 2011 to put out tons or negative articles to defeat the Coliseum referendum or Mangano taking himself off the hook for not closing the door a doing a deal to renovate Nassau County's arena.

    Sadly you just became a voice for them without writing about the truth of Dolan's part of this and his culture of cheating.

    Dolan's getting 54 million dollars a year from the taxpayers for the cablevision garden, the only private company in the entire state not to pay property taxes since 1982 after getting a two hundred million dollar renovation in 1990 from the taxpayers and free electricity from Con Ed.

    Convicted Felon Steinbrenner 1.5 billion from the baseball mayor and the destruction of McCombs Dam Park and you can bet they want a soccer stadium on the site of the real Yankee Stadium on the taxpayer dime.

    Fredo Wilpon got 600 million from taxpayers and his boy Mario Cuomo high fiving him outside court as his Madoff settlement hearing and they want Shea site and Willets Point for development on the taxpayer dime.

    And we all know Dolan's boy Shelly Silver defeated the west side stadium and would never allow a vote (with Andy Cuomo) for Dolan to stop getting his taxpayer checks.

    Come on Mr Odor, take a stand for everyone, not just one against Ratner.

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