Battery Park City Authority is governed by a board of seven unelected bureaucrats that are appointed by the Governor. Many get their seats by donating to the Governor (see Aug 2022 NY Times article / past NY Times article 2018) and have little to no ties to the Battery Park City community.
There has been a trend that that people get appointed to the board by being large donors [See NY Times article for one example] to a Governor. Hence, they tend to not have ties or connections to the local community.
One of the board member that lives here, Martha Gallo, is out of touch with the community.
In 2017, legislation passed that required two of the seven board seats be filled by Battery Park City residents. However, it did not stipulate that it has to be their primary residence. In 2022, legislation passed to increase the board to nine members and require five - a majority - to be primary Battery Park City residents. It passed with overwhelming majority.
On June 3, 2022, the New York State Legislature passed a bill, with an overwhelming majority, that will require BPC residents compose a majority of the Authority board. The then Authority hired a lobbyist to silence the community, deprive us of our fundamental democratic right to fair representation and ensure that we do not have a seat at the table.
Then, the Authority re-adjusted their contract on October 28, 2022. Unfortunately, their lobbying was successful and the Governor vetoed the bill on November 21, 2022.
The three major non-profits in the Battery Park City, including the Homeowners Coalition, are aligned on the fact that the Authority is out of touch with constituents and is failing in its mission. We are aligned in the need for a full governance transformation of the Authority.
Until we, as Battery Park City residents, have an institutionalized voice in how we are governed, we will continue to face issues like #PausetheSaws and #SaveWagner Park.
There is significant friction and mistrust between the Authority and the community.
Because the Authority is not accountable to the community is serves, decisions are consistently made that ignore the interests and voices of the community.
We believe that all people should have a voice in all decisions impacting their community.
2016 Daniel Squadron Squadron Comments to Battery Park City Authority Board\
2016 Broadsheet Advice, If Not Consent