Volume 22, Number 21 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | October 2 - 8, 2009
City eyeing Governors Isle contol
The city is making a renewed bid to control Governors Island, arguing that the island needs a more certain funding stream.
The state and city currently split the responsibility for funding Governors Island and they share control of its board. But it can be difficult to wrest operating funds from the state each year, because the state’s overall budget is so large and has so many competing interests. This year, Gov. David Paterson did not put Governors Island in the budget at all, but after months of protests, local elected officials succeeded in getting the necessary funding included.
The city’s proposal of taking over the island first surfaced during that budget uncertainty, and Nazli Parvizi, commissioner of the mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, repeated the idea at a meeting of Community Board 1’s Waterfront Committee last month.
“Everybody liked the idea,” said Bob Townley, chairperson of the committee. Since every city elected official has an interest in supporting Governors Island, it will be easier to get multi-year funding commitments from the city than from the state, Townley said.
The community board has not weighed in officially because the city had not spoken to state officials about the proposal. Paul Goldstein, district director for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, said the city had not brought the issue up again with Silver since the island money was put in the budget.