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"Why should people get to see plans? This isn't a public project."
Bruce Ratner in Crain's Nov. 8, 2009

From Land Grabs to THE Power Grab
Report From the Big Autocracy

The City Council just voted 29-22 to approve Mayor Bloomberg's bill to extend term limits allow him to spend $80 million to run for Mayor again in 2009 despite two voter referenda in 1993 and 1996 that enacted term limits.

On his Atlantic Yards Report Norman Oder has written about the relationship between the Mayor's term limits power grab and the Atlantic Yards land grab:
Connecting the opposition to Bloomberg's power grab to AY opposition

At the term limits hearing, AY opponents and supporters make their mark

And blogger Michael White wrote on his Noticing New York blog about the nexus of money money money, politics, the power grab and the land grab:
Are the Atlantic Yards Land Grab and City Official Fraud Being Used to Finance Bloomberg’s Bid for Billionaire Term Limit Exceptionalism?

The final debate before the vote featured three Councilmembers who have played a key role on both sides of the Atlantic Yards fight: Councilwoman Letitia James, Councilman Bill de Blasio and Councilman David Yassky.

James (against Atlantic Yards) and de Blasio (in favor of Atlantic Yards) valiantly led the opposition against the Mayor's power grab, while Yassky (still undecided on Atlantic Yards, we guess, who knows?), undecided until the last moment, illogically voted for the power grab after trying to amend the Mayor's bill to require a voter referendum to extend term limits. If that was intended as a fig leaf, the leaf fell off.

Needless to say, it is not a suprise to us that this Mayor who unilaterally took the decision-making power over Atlantic Yards away from the City Council, fostering Bruce Ratner's land grab, took the next step and grabbed the power, today, with strong arm tactics. What is a bit surprising is that the body whose power was usurped by the Mayor for Atlantic Yards allowed him to do it again.
Council Votes, 29 to 22, to Extend Term Limits
NY Times City Room blog
By Sewell Chan AND Jonathan P. Hicks

Updated, 4:40 p.m. | After a spirited, emotional and at times raucous debate, the New York City Council voted, 29 to 22, on Thursday afternoon to extend term limits, allowing Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to seek re-election next year and undoing the result of two voter referendums that had imposed a limit of two four-year terms.

The vote was a major victory for Mayor Bloomberg — a billionaire and lifelong Democrat who was elected mayor as a Republican in 2001, won re-election in 2005 and decided just weeks ago that he wished to seek a third term in 2009 — and for the Council’s speaker, Christine C. Quinn, but the intense acrimony surrounding the decision could come at great cost.

After Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum, who presides over the Council, announced the final result, the balcony erupted in shouts of “The city’s for sale!” and “Shame on you!”

Earlier, at 3:22 p.m. the Council rejected, 28 to 22, a key amendment that would have called for a public referendum on term limits by summoning a Charter Revision Commission, which would schedule a special election. One member, James Sanders Jr. of Queens, abstained on the amendment. (See the end of this article for the full roll call.)

Opponents of the bill to extend term limits without a public vote crowded the balcony of the Council chamber.

As Ms. Gotbaum announced the final vote count on the amendment, groans erupted from the balcony, which was packed with members of the public opposed to extending term limits without a public vote. The Council immediately turned its attention to the main bill, which would extend the limit to three terms from two.

Councilman Bill de Blasio of Brooklyn, who supported the amendment, warned his colleagues that the Council’s legitimacy would be forever tarnished.

“The people of the city will long remember what we have done here today, and the people will be unforgiving,” Mr. de Blasio said. “We are stealing like a thief in the night their right to shape our democracy.”

Councilman David Yassky of Brooklyn, one of the members who introduced the amendment, announced that despite its defeat, he would vote for the underlying bill. He said that term limits were bad public policy and that a limit of 12 years, instead of 8, would help strengthen future lawmakers in the face of strong mayors.

Councilwoman Letitia James of Brooklyn adamantly disagreed. “The city of New York has never, ever in the history of our nation postponed a transfer of power, regardless of the circumstances,” she said, quoting an editorial from The New York Times in 2001, when Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani sought to extend his term by three months in the aftermath of 9/11.

Continue reading

From The Times: Roll Call, 4:35 p.m., on Introduction 845-A, to extend term limits for New York City elected officials to three terms from two. 29 yes, 22 no.

Joseph P. Addabbo Jr. of Queens, no
Tony Avella of Queens, no
Charles Barron of Brooklyn, no
Gale A. Brewer of Manhattan, no
Anthony Como of Queens, no
Bill de Blasio of Brooklyn, no
Mathieu Eugene of Brooklyn, no
Daniel R. Garodnick of Manhattan, no
James F. Gennaro of Queens, no
Vincent J. Gentile of Brooklyn, no
Eric N. Gioia of Queens, no
Vincent M. Ignizio of Staten Island, no
Letitia James of Brooklyn, no
Jessica S. Lappin of Manhattan, no
John C. Liu of Queens, no
Melissa Mark-Viverito of Manhattan, no
Michael E. McMahon of Staten Island, no
Rosie Mendez of Manhattan, no
Hiram Monserrate of Queens, no
James S. Oddo of Staten Island, no
Annabel Palma of the Bronx, no
David I. Weprin of Queens, no

Maria del Carmen Arroyo of the Bronx, yes
Maria Baez of the Bronx, yes
Leroy G. Comrie Jr. of Queens, yes
Inez E. Dickens of Manhattan, yes
Erik Martin Dilan of Brooklyn, yes
Simcha Felder of Brooklyn, yes
Lewis A. Fidler of Brooklyn, yes
Helen D. Foster of the Bronx, yes
Alan J. Gerson of Manhattan, yes
Sara M. Gonzalez of Brooklyn, yes
Robert Jackson of Manhattan, yes
Melinda R. Katz of Queens, yes
G. Oliver Koppell of the Bronx, yes
Miguel Martinez of Manhattan, yes
Darlene Mealy of Brooklyn, yes
Michael C. Nelson of Brooklyn, yes
Christine C. Quinn of Manhattan, yes
Domenic M. Recchia Jr. of Brooklyn, yes
Diana Reyna of Brooklyn, yes
Joel Rivera of the Bronx, yes
James Sanders Jr. of Queens, yes
Larry B. Seabrook of the Bronx, yes
Helen Sears of Queens, yes
Kendall Stewart of Brooklyn, yes
James Vacca of the Bronx, yes
Peter F. Vallone, Jr. of Queens, yes
Albert Vann of Brooklyn, yes
Thomas White Jr. of Queens, yes
David Yassky of Brooklyn, yes

Posted: 10.23.08
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Eminent Domain Case
Goldstein et al v. ESDC
[All case files]

November 24, 2009
Court of Appeals

[See ownership map]

EIS Lawsuit

DDDB et al v ESDC et al
Click for a summary of the lawsuit seeking to annul the review and approval the Atlantic Yards project.

Appeal briefs are here.

Appellate Divsion
Rules for ESDC
What would Atlantic Yards Look like?...
Photo Simulations
Before and After views from around the project footprint revealing the massive scale of the proposed luxury apartment and sports complex.

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Screening Schedule
Isabel Hill's
"Atlantic Yards" documentary
Brooklyn Matters

Read a review
Atlantic Yards
would be
Click image to see why:

-No Land Grab.org

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