Daniel Gorodnick on Parks

Daniel Gorodnick for City Council

Daniel Gorodnick

Part 1 – Yes/No Questions

1. Maintenance

a. Will you work toward committing at least 1% of the overall city budget to the Parks Department’s expense budget over the course of your term? YES
     > If so, would you dedicate revenue earned through park concessions to parks maintenance and operations, without simultaneous decreases in baseline funding? YES
b. Will you establish objective, publicly accessible maintenance standards for all park properties in all five boroughs? YES
c. Will you provide in your Mayor’s Management Report park ratings by borough and community board in addition to the citywide level? YES
     > Will you make the official Parks Department “property list” that specifically delineates all 1,700 properties available online? YES
     > Will you make publicly available details of the private funding that helps to maintain and operate many of our public parks? YES

2. Capital

  • Will you require that every capital parks project be accompanied by a plan for ongoing maintenance and/or funding? YES

3. Crime

a. Will you support legislation that requires regular NYPD reports to the City Council on crime in parks (ie. Intro. 470)? YES
b. Will you work toward making parkland part of the city’s CompStat system? YES

4. Alienation

  • Will you support more laws that require public notification and input when a park will be used for non-park purposes, to afford parks the protection they need from development or use by other agencies? YES

5. Open Space/Natural Areas

  • Will you work toward creating, with significant community involvement, a comprehensive open space plan that will guide the overall acquisition, restoration, improvement, and maintenance of parks, natural areas, playgrounds and athletic facilities in the five boroughs? YES

Part 2 – Open Questions

1. Maintenance

a. What specific actions would you take to ensure that every park in every neighborhood has green ball fields, working water fountains and open bathrooms?
How would you fund your actions?

"I will take the initiative to work with community leaders and park advocates to take an immediate inventory of capital needs of parks. I would then aggressively allocate discretionary capital money to repair the parks as needed – and push the Parks Department to match my allocations. This is particularly critical in my Council District, which is ranked 58th of 59 community board areas in open public space. Using discretionary monies to fix parks will be a top priority for me."
b. What would be your plan to move from roaming crews to fixed crews for parks maintenance?

c. What funding / programs would you use to increase the full-time parks maintenance staff?

"I will make funding allocations from the City’s expense budget to increase the numbers for maintenance crews, and create full-time parks maintenance staff."

2. Recreation & Youth Programming

· What specific actions would you take to revitalize the recreational and amateur sports programs that have been decimated by years of budget cuts?

"We need to ensure continued city funding for recreational and amateur sports programs. Sports programs are critical for city residents and fostering a sense of community. I will look for partnership funding opportunities through the private sector – such as a sports-oriented company – to complement public funding that I am able to secure."
· What specific actions would you take to enable a much higher level of collaboration among the Parks Dept., Dept. of Youth & Community Development and the Dept. of Education?
"These entities urgently need coordination. I will create a working group comprised of top representatives of the agencies in my District, and meet with them monthly to check progress and ensure high levels of coordination. I will also use the oversight power of the City Council to push these various administrative agencies. As a trained litigator who knows how to draft interrogatories and take depositions, I am equipped to ask the hard questions of the various mayoral agencies, and push them toward a common goal."

3. Olympics

· If NYC is awarded the Olympics in 2012 or 2016, what specific actions would you take to ensure that parks that are changed, altered or improved as Olympic venues are properly funded and maintained after the Olympics are finished?
"I support reserving certain revenues earned from the Olympics, and putting them into a trust fund to support park maintenance."

4. Community Gardens

· What specific actions would you take to reduce the cost of the annual insurance premiums that community gardeners must pay?
"I would investigate pulling together several community gardens and seeking to bargain collectively for insurance to drive down costs. Alternatively, if the garden is City property, I would look into whether City funds could be used for this purpose."

5. Stadiums & Amateur Sports

· What specific actions would you take to require that professional sports organizations assist in maintaining and operating public parks near their facilities?
"Builders of new stadiums – such as Shea and Yankees Stadiums – seek a benefit from the City, and must in return maintain and operate open public park space near their facilities. Indeed, the City carries significant burdens for this type of development – from roads, to sewage, and even zoning changes. If the builders want this infrastructure support from the City, they should pledge to maintain open space in return."

· How would you provide more multi-purpose facilities for amateur sports and recreation?
"As a lawyer representing the business community on the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit, I understand the need for multi-purpose facilities – particularly in public schools. I support using some of the CFE dollars to building such multi-purpose facilities that can be used not only for a public school and its gym, but also for amateur sports and recreation."

6. Waterfront Parks

· How would you improve upon recent investment in the NYC waterfront?
"The East Side needs what the West Side has – a beautiful, green pathway right along the River for people to enjoy. Every community benefits by having improved access to waterfront. This is particularly critical in my Council District which – as part of the former Con Edison Waterside site – is about to undergo the single largest development project in Manhattan since Battery Park City. In exchange for zoning changes, this area needs to include access to the waterfront. For improving investment, I will work with park advocates to consider appropriate commercial enterprises that could create revenue that would be reinvested into protecting the waterfront."

· What are your plans to ensure that citizens in all five boroughs have access to waterfront parks?
"I would use the oversight authority of the Council to aggressively push agencies to move salt piles, cars that have been towed, and sanitation trucks off the waterfront. The waterfront is a valuable public good, and should not be used for those purposes. In my alternative proposed plan for the Con Edison Waterside site on the East Side, I suggest re-mapping 38th and 39th Streets to allow for public access and sight-lines to the East River, connecting to a beautiful Esplanade modeled after Carl Schurz Park."

· How would you fund the especially costly maintenance of waterfront parks?
"As noted above, I would make funding a priority. Then I would work with park advocates to consider appropriate commercial enterprises that could create revenue that would be reinvested into maintaining waterfront parks."

7. National Parks

· What steps would you take to promote the use of and access to our city’s national parks (ie. Gateway National Recreation Area, National Parks of NY Harbor)?
"Our local elected leaders need to take steps to raise visibility and awareness of our city’s national parks. I would be happy to lead groups of public school children, conduct any publicity campaigns, and raise the general visibility to ensure their success."
· What is your vision for Governors Island?
"The primary emphasis should be to have open public space, recreational facilities, and a conference center that could be used to generate the revenue necessary to protect and maintain Governors Island. This should be an accessible, self-sustaining place, and ferries should make it accessible and easy to visit."