Volume 74, Number 50 | April 20 - 26 , 2005

Gerson vows he’ll be tough with Parks on square project

Councilmember Alan Gerson says that by this time next week he will come out with a full “list of requests and demands” regarding the Washington Sq. Park renovation project. Gerson has been meeting with various interest groups concerned about aspects of the plan and will next meet with Parks. The information that Gerson provides to Parks he will also make public, he said. In general, Gerson said he thinks the resolution that was passed by Community Board 2’s Parks Committee on April 6 in favor of the project is good, especially because it leaves some leeway for ongoing modifications to the plan. The full board of C.B. 2 will vote on the plan at its April 21 meeting.

The resolution, Gerson said, “gives me the support of the community board to continue to pressure the Parks Department for necessary changes.” As for his “list of requests and demands,” Gerson said, “We’re in the process of formulating it,” and did not go into further detail. However, if Gerson isn’t satisfied with Parks’ answers, he said he may pull whatever discretionary funding he has allocated for the project that he is still able to pull, and would work to block further City Council funding.

Gerson said he’d like the park’s renovation to go forward, but that “it’s dependent on Parks being flexible.” Asked for his position on the proposed fence for the park, Gerson said, “I’ve expressed a lot of doubts about the fence as proposed.”

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