Council Member Foster Calls on Mayor to Respond to Times Article

Submitted by George on July 8, 2005 - 3:59pm.

From the New York Sun
COUNCIL MEMBER UPSET BY PARK REMARK

A City Council member from the Bronx who is the chairwoman of the Parks and Recreation Committee, Helen Foster, called upon the Mayor to publicly respond to the comments made by the Parks Commissioner and reported in the New York Times. The article reported the Commissioner said it would be "a waste of money" to actively maintain a 3.3-acre strip on the Bronx shore of the Harlem River, University Woods.

Helen Foster
Helen Foster

Ms. Foster told The New York Sun yesterday that Mr. Benepe's remarks were "out of touch and out of line." According to Ms. Foster, the Bronx's double-digit un-employment and high HIV rates have distracted city officials' attention from qualitiey-of-life issues such as parks. She said that her committee would hold hearings this fall to investigate whether park funding is distributed equally across the five boroughs.

A Parks Department spokesman, Warner Johnston, declined to respond to Ms. Foster's comments, but said that the city's parks "are cleaner and safer than ever before"

The parks commissioner during the Koch and Guiliani administrations, Henry Stern said that University Woods was never intended for public use. "Although it is not attractive, you probably need higher fences or chicken wire to make it more difficult for trespassers to enter," Mr. Stern told the Sun.

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