It has come to our attention that there is a $33 million line item for the Ratner proposal in Albany's proposed budget.
Governor Pataki can veto this line item. We ask that you call and email him to tell him to veto it. Calls are best, so please do call and email
Below is his Albany office phone number and his email address:
Click to Email: Governor Pataki
And if you want to fax: 518-474-1513
Here is a sample letter you can copy and paste to email Governor Pataki or you can use as a guide for your own email and your phone call.
Honorable Governor Pataki:
I understand that there is a $33 million line item in the proposed budget for Forest City Ratner's "Atlantic Yards" proposal in Brooklyn.
I am writing to strongly urge to veto this line item when it comes before you.
The item is in an amendment to the Education, Labor and Family Assistance Budget. The budget item is lined "Atlantic Yards Railway-Nets project."
It would be premature, irresponsible, and unnecessary to commit these funds to the Ratner proposal at this early stage. Additionally these funds would add $2.5 million annually to the state’s debt service over thirty years. We do not need to do that.
Some day Forest City Ratner’s “Atlantic Yards” proposal may prove worthy of the state’s investment of the public’s tax dollars. BUT to date their proposal is not worthy of public investment, as wethe public and governmentdon’t know the following about the proposal:
1. There is no comprehensive, independent cost benefit analysis by which legislators can base their decision.
2. There is no General Project Plan (GPP), so we don’t know what the project actually is: How big? How dense? What are its boundaries? What does it look like? What kind of public space? How will infrastructure be dealt with?
3. There is no Environmental Impact Statement so we don’t know the impacts the project would have on our communities or if those impacts would be mitigated (or what the cost of mitigation would be).
4. There is no known cost for “extraordinary infrastructure” for which the state and city will be asked to pay according to the Memorandum of Understanding between FCR, NY city and state.
5. There is no 20-year pro forma financial projection from the developer as required in the MTA’s May 2005 Request for Proposal for Vanderbilt Yards. The Yards are about 35% of the land FCR wants for its project.
To top it off our communities and city council are left out of the process that would decide Brooklyn’s future. And that community is broadly opposed to Mr. Ratner's proposal.
As further illustration why this expenditure would be grossly premature, you can see annotated notes made on a sample lobbying letter FCR distributed to legislators; an exposé that completely refutes FCR’s lobby letter and continuous PR claim that their project “will be an economic engine generating over $6 Billion in new tax revenues over the next 30 years”; FCR’s 20-year pro forma cash-flow statement.
I respectfully urge you to veto the $33 million line item from the budget. Only when you and the legislature have full disclosure and documentation of all of the above can a reasoned decision be made whether or not the project is worthy of our public investment.
Thank you very much.