Volume 23, Number 4 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | June 4 - 10, 2010
Photo courtesy os Sen. Squadron’s office
State Senator Daniel Squadron (right) has recommended Anthony Notaro (left) to serve on the BPCA Board.
Gov approves Notaro for BPCA, more community input
BY John Bayles
Linda Belfer, chair of CB 1’s Batter Park City Committee, said while they had no specific person in mind, the board has been pushing for more residents on the Battery Park City Authority Board for years.
“Everything that the board does effects us directly because we’re here 24-7,” said Belfer.
On Monday, it was announced that State Senator Daniel Squadron’s recommendation for CB 1 member Anthony Notaro to be appointed to the board was approved by Governor Patterson. Squadron is hopeful he will be able to push the nomination through the senate. The process for appointment is lengthy, as the recommendation first has to pass the Committee on Corporations, then the Finance Committee and, lastly, the entire State Senate. Notaro must have at least a majority vote in all three phases.
In a press release from Squadron’s office Notaro stated, “I am thrilled to be a part of the next chapter of Battery Park City as we move beyond development and toward a sustainable community. I am honored to have been recommended by Senator Squadron and nominated by Governor Paterson, and I look forward to working in a new capacity for the people of Lower Manhattan.”
“The Battery Park City community has advocated for years to add more residents to the BPCA board, and I am pleased that we have taken a significant step toward that goal,” said Senator Squadron. “If confirmed, Anthony will bring an important perspective to help the board better understand the particular needs and concerns of Battery Park City residents.”
Notaro sits on the BPC Library Task Force, the Street Fair Task Force, the Planning and Community Infrastructure Committee and Battery Park City Committee. He also helped found CERT [Certified Emergency Response Team].
Squadron said he is “highly qualified” to be appointed to the board and will work to improve BPC’s quality of life, affordability and its status citywide.
The BPCA is in charge of organizing permit applications for various events, services and projects, such as weddings, birthday parties and construction projects. They also finance leases and land for spaces such as schools and parks. President of the BPCA Jim Cavanaugh said he expects Notaro “to hit the ground running” should he be appointed and that he would be an “easy fit.”
Last March the full CB 1 passed a resolution calling on Governor Patterson to nominate more residents to the board. Belfer said frequently her committee and the BPC community have butted heads on issues. She said all in all the BPCA has been very receptive but that often decisions have been made without first requesting input from the residents. She cited the design of Wagner Park as one example.
“The designer [selected through he RFP process by the BPCA] wanted to build a ten-foot high concrete wall around the park,” said Belfer. “It was really ridiculous. I went to he then president of the authority and he told me, ‘I can’t interfere with the artistic integrity’.”
Belfer said they obviously won that battle, since today there is no concrete wall surrounding the park. But with more residents on the board, Belfer said the plan is not let it get to that point.
“Hopefully, Anthony is the first of many,” said Belfer.
CB1 BPC Committee member Dennis Gault also praised Notaro’s pending appointment. Gault stressed that BPC needs more amenities, such as restaurants and gyms. He mentioned Goldman Sachs owning the Embassy Suites hotel building and said he is wary of whether or not they have the community’s interests in mind. If Notaro is on the board, Gault feels BPC residents will a voice.
“[Anthony] is most helpful to small businesses and residents,” said Gault. “He’s in a perfect position to advocate for us.”