BY GREG B. SMITH NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Wednesday, May 4, 2016, 10:40 PM
Dozens of neighborhood groups Wednesday assailed what they see as a “pay-to-play” culture by Mayor de Blasio’s team favoring developers over humble neighborhood residents.
The group, including representatives of 32 groups mostly from Manhattan and Brooklyn, made the charges amidst a swirl of investigations into de Blasio’s fundraising tactics.
From Tribeca to Bushwick, they claimed the de Blasio administration routinely ignores community concerns to grant developers who steer money the mayor’s way whatever they want.
“The fix is in,” says Kate Wood of Landmark West, an Upper West Side watchdog group. “What is the point of a so-called public process if the public doesn’t matter?”
The coalition produced a 25-page list of developers seeking City Hall approval for their projects while writing checks far in excess of the $400 limit imposed on those who do business with the city.
“Our findings suggest a pattern: the developers and their lobbyists who use these kinds of techniques are then given preferential access to decision makers,” the group stated.
The group cited several examples revealed over the last weeks by the Daily News, including 100 Franklin St. in Tribeca, where DDG Partners gave $10,000 to the mayor‘s Campaign for One New York days after winning approval of a crucial zoning change to build luxury condos opposed by the neighborhood.
In downtown Brooklyn Pier 6 developer RAL gave $10,000 to Campaign for One New York a week after being selected by committee with mayoral appointees to develop huge apartment towers with mostly market-rate units in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
And on the Upper West Side, after parents opposed to a 20-story nursing home on a parking lot next to PS 163 won in court, the city law department filed a friend of the court brief siding with the developer against the parents.
The developer and lot owner have been represented by Kramer Levin, the lobbyist law firm that’s now representing the mayor in the campaign fundraising probe.
The nursing home is also supported by 1199 SEIU, a union that contributed $250,000 to Campaign for One New York as the dispute unfolded.