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Bill Thompson Slams Christine Quinn For Giving Public Money to Sunnyside Gardens Park

July 24, 2013 Staff Report

Filed from The New York Post (please see below):

Christine Quinn funneled more than $130,000 in City Council discretionary funds to a private park in Queens — a practice that has become an attack point for one of her chief rivals in the mayoral race.

Through a $50 million pot of “member items” Quinn controls as council speaker, she allocated $25,000 this year to Friends of Sunnyside Gardens Park, a nonprofit that runs a 3 1/2-acre playground and recreation space that is open only to members.

Since 2007, Quinn has given the group more than $130,000.

A strategist for Democratic rival Bill Thompson, who has repeatedly criticized Quinn for what he calls abuse of member items, slammed her for giving public money to a private space.

“Chris Quinn has led a slush-fund-driven City Council for eight years, [with] phantom member items and shell groups, doling out taxpayer dollars to members so they could buy influence and pamper themselves with fancy clothes and food,” said Thompson campaign strategist Jonathan Prince. “The continued lack of accountability over public money by Speaker Quinn is disgraceful.”

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112 Comments

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SouthSideJohnny

Sorry, probably missed the space bar in my “angry” state of mind! Good of you to take the time to point this out.

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SouthSideJohnny

What’s it to you? Who’s talking to you? And what to you mean, “We?” Who are you speaking for?

I don’t want to walk way over there until I know the deal. But if I do, and you see me coming, you’d better cross over to the otherside of the street! You know how angry I am!! (JK)

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ME2

So get an application! What’s the problem? Go in. Call them. Ask for one. Enough already. We know how angry you are. Stop talking and do it.

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SouthSideJohnny

Southie, I see the map, but it only covers the historic district of Sunnyside, the “posh” part. I’m interested in the out-of-zone application, as I live outside of this tony neighborhood. Even though I understand it has 160 applicants before me, I want to get my name on it, since they are taking my tax dollars.

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Southie

@SouthSideJohnny on the homepage of their website, there is a menu on the left–zone map is one of the options. The map says 2004 version, but it is probably still accurate.

On the topic of things in writing, does anyone know where the not for profit Friends of Sunnyside Gardens Park operates from? It is from the park office? I would like to view their IRS 990 and 1023 forms.

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SouthSideJohnny

@Sorry- seriously, quit while you’re ahead. Access to the public school system ot to a local church really isn’t comparable to becoming a member of Sunnyside Gardens.

As far as out-of-zone membership, is it available to all residents of Queens, of NYC, or only to residents of Sunnyside? Is it by zip code? My building is in Sunnyside but has a Woodside address. Does this mean I’m inelligible to apply for membership? There is NO discussion of out-of-zone membership application on the website. How does one find out more? In writing? All the website says is this:

“Park membership is open to anyone living within the Sunnyside Gardens zones.”

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Oil, Beef, Hooked

@Sorry

Admit it, you’re upset your handout might be taken away.

Why can’t the park fund itself? Are the Sunnyside Gardens residents really that poor? Apparently some of the board members have plenty of cash for booze.

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Sorry, not sorry.

Public schools and Churches can both deny. You have to be accepted to enter in most cases. Yes some Churches do allow everyone assuming seats are available.

You are also free to apply to the park. Also Catholic Schools are by membership only. They get PLENTY of tax breaks.

The sidewalk remark was a joke.

Anyone is welcome in the park, once you apply and get approved.

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Oil, Beef, Hooked

@Out of Zone

But there’s good news. Those people on the list aren’t out of zone when it comes to paying for the park with their taxes.

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Oil, Beef, Hooked

@Sorry

You are a prime example of the hissy fits people throw when their freebies are threatened.

You didn’t even think your comment through very well. Public schools should be funded by the public – duh.

Same for pavements. You’re free to walk on any of them you want, unlike SGP where you need to be a member to step foot on your scared ground. As for funding churches, examples please.

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Mary Caulfield

@ Oil, Beef, Hooked

A discussion of public money and private places is fine. Name calling, gossip and unsubstantiated allegations do not rise to that level. That kind of discussion belongs in the gutter where it can be washed away by a good rain.

I don’t see where snobbery comes into it. But perhaps it does.

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SuperWittySmitty

But these churches, streets, and and schools are available to everyone in the community. You (and your kids) have access to them, just like everyone else. Sunnyside Gardens is private, for members only. I’m not allowed to go in and enjoy its facilities. So its expenses should only be paid for my its members.

Is this little detail something you haven’t considered?

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Sorry, not sorry.

Please cut off public money to: Churches, fixing pavement on streets I don’t walk on, public schools (since I no longer go to them), etc.

Yes! All you complainers! Your kids are getting free lunch on my dime, you get to pray on my dime, you get clean streets on my dime.

You want to pay for everything yourself? Oh you can’t afford to? I thought so…

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Oil, Beef, Hooked

@Mary Caulfield

The park made it a public discussion by taking public money. Be a snob and call this comment board the virtual gutter if that makes you feel better but this is where the people whose taxes help fund the park make their opinions known.

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Luvu2

This is a slush fund from Quinn to van Bramer. Seeing snotty attitude from park members who r taking my tax dollars

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Mary Caulfield

I wish park members would discuss park business in park meetings not in the virtual gutter.

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SuperWittySmitty

Some have said they they are very tight, politically. If there is confusion, that might be the cause. This topic has been under discussion all summer- have you read the original article? It implied that JvB was involved in some way. Imagine he were to actually contribure to this discussion? Or is that inconceivable?

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iamdisappointed

Konfewshuss-
Very true, Quinn is the source, but JVB is guilty of putting his hand out for the park.

It’s funny how some Sunnysiders act all high and mighty when it comes to “the Gardens”, but at the end of the day they’re like well-fed welfare recipients leeching off the rest of us. Have some class like your better half in Gramercy Park and keep it COMPLETELY privately funded…

I don’t recall seeing anti SGCA stories on this blog, but I do recall members of the broader community at large protesting the handout the park receives. It’s completely hypocritical and downright sleazy to take public money in handouts yet exclude these same people from your park.

Let’s be honest here, Quinn basically buys her vote and support from JVB with her doling out of funds to his office. Don’t believe me? Just look at what happened to Peter Vallone in Astoria and Elizabeth Crowley in Middle Village. There isn’t any money being funned to their districts by Quinn…

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Oil, Beef, Hooked

@Me2

If what you say is true, then the city is giving money to a park run by obnoxious drunks who like to use it as their own personal outdoor drinking grounds. The story just gets better. I wonder if the NY Post will follow up with that angle.

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SouthSideJohnny

What’s going on inside this club: the conditions of the park, the behaviour of the members, the attitudes of the people, even the condition of the sand in the sandbox is irrelevant, since most of us are NOT memebers of this private club. This is NOT the discussion at hand- let them deal with their problems internally.

The issue is that many people in the community do not think that our taxes should be funneled to this private concerns- maybe it’s legal but it looks wrong. Let’s hope our local politicians are listening and that they stop this practice in the future.

Something tell me this discussion is never going to end- I’m sure there are still some voices that don’t think they’ve said enough.

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comma

Ew, public funds going to a private park? What the hell? What an outrage. That’s completely unacceptable. How about since everyone loves their precious private park so much, they pick up their own goddamn trash before they leave or pay their butlers to do it for them instead of leaching off of the greater community?

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Mrs. Ramrod Jones

I guess jimmy (sic) Sullivan doesn’t know what he means by what he says. Too bad, I was looking forward to a meeting in which we could clear up all misunderstandings.

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Native NYer

Sorry, Not Sorry: You hit the nail right on the head. Had the courage to say what I’ve been thinking since I’ve read these anti-SGCA stories.

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Me2

When the board members in charge of security are the drunkards it is hard to get support for that policy. Half the time the people in charge have no idea how they are supposed to proceed because they don’t follow written procedures. They just push their weight around and wait for someone to go to the trouble of having them brought up on charges.

Very few people go to so much trouble. When it has happened in the past they are treated like any whistle blower: shunned, branded a trouble-maker, gossiped about in slanderous terms.

Many times the place is no better than an unsupervised school yard, as far as the adults bullies are concerned anyway. The list of unpunished malefactors grows by leaps and bounds. Most of the time it comes to nothing because children outgrow the park and the parents go on to cause trouble in schools or local teams and other youth-centered organizations. But there have been quiet resignations and lawsuits. They are bound to happen often enough.

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Hoof Hearted

Is alcohol allowed in the park? Why are people who are visibly drunk allowed to remain? Perhaps SGP needs to hire a security guard to toss out the booze hounds. How about revoking the membership of these hooligans? There are plenty of bars in Sunnyside for them to get loaded in.

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Walleye

Novak was treasurer, and a damn good one. Not the president. The president he worked under was invisible, did nothing, and has long since moved on to even greater obscurity.

The issues fifteen years ago were vastly different, but the fundamentals remain the same. The place exists because the developers of Sunnyside Gardens decided to make one block of the land they bought a place for everyone in the development to form community.

It was a fabulous idea that each wave of people in Sunnyside define for themselves. Having seen many of these waves I can say this current one is like a tsunami full of piranhas. They hit hard, ate everyone else alive and want to keep the whole place for themselves.

It is a shame one sliver of thick-skulled lame branes with booze for blood have such a big influence, but it goes a long way toward explaining the blunt force trauma many members are experiencing. Alcoholics don’t think straight.

Personally, I find the current president a marvel and a wonder to behold. Smartest leader they’ve had in a long, long time. Love her. A gem shining from the mud all around.

@Sorry, not sorry Have you been awake at any point during the last thirty years? Ever heard of diversity? Hello? Do you know what the word “community” means? The word “all” means not just you and those you pick as friends. It means, everyone. Sorry to burst your bubble.

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vjo

I was upset before, but the fact that SSP is getting money from the city makes me even more. Don’t get me wrong I love the park, but where is the money??? not only members are charged around 360$ a year there are so many that the park has a waiting list. And now that I see the park received over $100,000, I question myself

1. where is the promised upgrade to the sprinkler, they had some pictures up last year , evidently nothing was done ?

2.Not only know people is allowed to smoke, but they are also leaving the tails all over the rocks , who is cleaning that up?

3. why are the bathrooms so dirty at 10:00am (that’s the opening time)

4. why is the sandbox so dirty?

I don’t know , as I said I don’t mind the donation, but it would be nice to see the progress that money made.

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iamdisappointed

Juniper- excellent point regarding the need for more options for residents who are struggling-you are correct. I never thought of it that way but you are right-we should be helping those in need-children and the elderly-before this private park receives public funds.

If the park members are as “well off” as some have alluded to, then they should have no problem kicking in more $$ for upkeep.

Thanks for giving me a different perspective on this issue.

And to all the readers who think we should “move on” regarding this issue, face it-you don’t like the criticism you’re receiving regarding your greed. And make no mistake, it’s pure greed to take everyone’s money when you only want a select few in your circle.

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Juniper

Novak was the Park President years ago people.
FYI – the park is actually at times full of drunks with alcohol use spreading into the area where the toddlers are. The new board is trying to stop the public drinking, but it does continue. Many of these drunks are either the ones running the park or related to the ones running the park. It is quite the Peyton Place.
The park is only open to the public for fundraising events where the park generates revenue. A sidewalk was added on Barnett, but those funds were paid out directly by the city as another project.
Ask yourselves how this little places deserves all this money when there are families in the immediate area who cannot afford daycare and other critical things. Shame.

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iamdisappointed

@Sorry, Not Sorry

Not sure where you’re getting your facts re: park members paying more taxes than non-members; I for one know a handful of high earning families (over 200k/year) who are not members, and the few families I know who are members are renters with limited income and limited tax contributions.

I have no desire to be a member of the park, but I wholeheartedly agree with my neighbors on this board who point out that the park-and its members-can’t have it both ways. “Private” should equal no money from the city, public should equal money from the city. The other private park in NYC, Gramercy Park, does not accept public money-that’s the classy thing to do.

I think JVB has done a good job overall, but his close association to Christine Queen may work against him when she is defeated in the mayor’s race. And his decision to champion for money for the park when it isn’t public is a misstep on his part, because as you can see from the activity surrounding this topic, it offends many of your Sunnyside neighbors.

I question how long you’ve lived here if you think the park is a “safe community with like minded people.” You are aware of the issues with robberies and theft on both sides of the boulevard, correct? You do know that Sunnyside, although changing rapidly, is still a long way off from even being the next Astoria, right?

I find it laughable that all these parents are buying their “privacy” with this park membership, thinking it gives them bragging rights! Get a grip people, this isn’t Park Slope or Brooklyn Heights. Heck, we’re not even Astoria! Sunnyside is a hipper Jackson Heights at best. I would really love to hear a parent’s perspective on this issue-I think all the parents in the park should save their membership money for private or parochial school for the little ones once they hit school age, because everyone knows the schools here are a joke. That’s why I am interested to see how this all plays out, because the newbie families who have moved in to Sunnyside (after getting priced out of Brooklyn) aren’t thinking long term-like kindergarten to 6th grade-you don’t want to be zoned for Sunnyside if you have school age children.

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Sue

@Sorry, Not Sorry
Ouch. The implications are your comments are very offensive. Your phrasing implies that poor people and old people are, by definition, “drunk, disorderly and potentially dangerous,” and that paying more taxes makes you *deserve* greater access to public goods.

I understand that you want a safe, positive environment for your children and keeping up a private park is one of the ways you’ve decided to create that- that’s fine. Insulting broad swathes of the population- not okay.

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Sorry, not sorry.

Plenty of public money gets spent on private institutions that are inclusive. I am going to go out on a limb and make an assumption that the average tax money from a Sunnyside Park Member is much higher than someone complaining about it as well. There is a reason the park has a membership. So we dont have drunk, disorderly, and potentially dangerous people around the children.

Please stop using the private argument as a way to make yourself feel better. We know you are poor, bitter, old, and miserable. People who go to this park want a safe community with like minded people.

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JulieJ.

What is Jimmy doing about the rat problem in the 52nd Street dump of a park that is infested with garbage and bums?

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Sycamore

@ HH Glad to hear your opinion. We are all entitled to one and deserve the respect of others, even when they don’t jive.

In some ways I agree, the SPost does an admirable job. I’m delighted it is here, but it deserves as much scrutiny as any other community institution. The press needs a watchdog, too.

Where are the critical articles on other issues in the neighborhood? Some of the stories hit nerves with community residents and businesses, which is great, more power to the people.

But is the SPost on every institution’s case, or just SPark’s? Go investigate funding elsewhere. Turn over rocks south of the boulevard, I’m sure there are big issues that need airing.

If you think I’m wrong, bring forward the evidence. I’ll admit error when I see I’ve made it. Until then, let the discussion continue.

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SunnysidePostHatesMe14

every few months I see hipsters move out of my building. Eventually Hipsters will move out of Sunnyside and you’ll be left with over priced rent nobody wants to pay for and store after store closing because of all the jacked up rent.

Hipsters are locusts..

I just thought I’d add that.

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Hoof Hearted

Sycamore

This is a local news website, they don’t have the resources the Washington Post or the NY Times have. I think the SSP does an admirable job keeping us informed about local matters and events.

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Melissa

Why does Jimmy VB’s office seem out of touch and tone-deaf when it comes to this issue? since voting him in we’ve got a nice dog run and lots generous support for a private park which is great but where is the long requested green space for the general public? It’s really not that hard, I’m no genius but it seems to me Torsney Park could be further enhanced/redesigned in that dead space by the entrance with the installation of additional chess tables and chairs, benches, shady trees, bbq grills and perhaps even a small garden for ALL ages and demographics to use and enjoy. It’s really long overdue. We can even call that space Van Bramer gardens park as part of his legacy.
WIN-WIN – Honk if you agree.

Vote for Melissa!!!

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Angray

Wow Mike Novak isn’t demanding Wawa to post under his/her real name or the typical name calling of coward. I guess he only does that to people who have a difference of opinion.

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Sarah

@Sycamore – believe you are confusing SP with that old relic The Woodside Herald that thinks covering monthly luncheons at Daisy’s counts as news. doubles as great bird cage paper though

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Newcomer

@ Sue You sound like a lovely person. Welcome to the neighborhood. I’ve been here just a few years myself. There is something for everyone.

From what some nice people working on Barnett Avenue told me on my way to the store most of the landscaping is paid for by city money. I like it. Thank you, city money.

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O'shea

@sycamore
Methinks you would like to run the SSP or tell em how to run their paper.
Get your own paper. Most people come here for community news. If it is juicy then fine. Not every paper has the cash and time to do the leg work.

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jimmy Sullivan

Mrs. Ramrod Jones, do you really think anyone in the Park or friends of parks would take a request from you seriously?

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Sycamore

@Karl Gefhar Lots of things are true that are not published. because they are not juicy. The SP doesn’t do much legwork. Just cover the regular meetings, get pics of cute dogs and political photo-ops and take a hit on SSP any time they can, even when it is old news.

I don’t see any furor over the post story, except here. And its the same ten people rehashing the stuff they said last time.

End of news splash.

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Carlos Danger

@Mike Novak

You say the “hate” has not come from you. But several comments back you wrote:

“For those of you who are just plain haters and whiners, I will pray for your souls.”

Thanks for the praying and all but I’d rather you just stop calling people “haters” when you disagree with them (although “whiners” is a fair enough. Plenty of people fall into that category, including myself at times.)

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Sue

@WaWa- That’s very helpful context, thank you for your comments. I’m a relative newcomer and would enjoy access to the best greenspace in the area, as would most of the other residents of Sunnyside. I wasn’t aware that people outside the catchment zone could at least be on the waiting list- if that’s true, it makes me feel a bit more positively towards SGP, (although I won’t be getting a membership). I understand having an area of preference for membership, but not even letting people onto a waiting list if you don’t live in the right area feels much more exclusionary.

Much of the city’s discretionary funding goes to non-profits and community groups that are open to the public, but with caveats. It doesn’t completely horrify me, but I think the process should be more open and transparent.

I do appreciate the plantings that SGB has on the streetside- they’re lovely. Thank you to those who put in the labor to keep it nice. I’d also say- keep up the public events! A group that has a membership at capacity but still gives back to the larger community will draw much less criticism.

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Native NYer

@Mike: My guess is that you DIDN’T take any Spanish in school? Charlie Peligroso – I’d be shocked if this isn’t a take off on Carlos Danger!

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Mike Novak

@Wawa….THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU.

@ Charlie P….I have not been a park member for a few years now, but I still think its a gem, flaws and all.
Yes, there have been rumors circulating that older adults have been told “its a park for people with kids”.
The “hate” has not come from me, but from the newbies in Sunnyside who read all about hip Sunnyside is, moved in, and can’t understand that they just cannot show up and join like some trendy gym.
And no, I am not a Republican. Rights are paramount with me.
Thank you for posting with (I am assuming here) your real name.
I wish more people would.
Have a nice day.

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Asbury Jukes

@SouthsideJohnny Yep. If you keep your eyes and ears open and let information penetrate into the brain, then you think about it, you do learn things. Wonderful, isn’t it?

The thinking about it part is key.

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Petition

There is a MoveOn petition circulating to tell the park to stop accepting public money. Check it out.

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SouthSideJohnny

It’s Bloomberg’s fault that Sunnyside has become more popular? He’s to blame for the “waxing” waiting list to join? Wow, you learn something new every day.

I’m glad SSP is covering this contentious issue that is happening in their own back yard. I think the NYP is a junky paper and I wouildn’t bother to read it- it’s a good, local story! More interesting that people who do not clean up after their dogs!

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Karl Gefahr

Wawa, thanks for the insight to the current situation. It certainly does seem that the hip, new crowd coming into the area the last few years are a bunch of know-it-alls who look down their noses at people who’ve been here a lot longer as irrelevant, old farts. Heaven forbid the old timers try to convey some of their accumulated knowledge and experience for the benefit of all. They just get labelled “haters” and “stuck in the past.” Well, the Johnny-come-latelys got their way with public funding, let them deal with the consequences.

Until they open the park to the public or stop accepting government subsidies, I hope they keep getting grief over this.

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anonymous

The park has a waiting list & anyone can join, people joined from all over Queens for years. That being said, it has become extremely popular in the last few years & is currently @ capacity. Anyone who lives in the Sunnyside Gardens park “zones” are given priority regardless of who is on the list. That’s a rule from when the park was set up in the 20s before there was much other development in Sunnyside. Therefore, it can take a really long time for anyone else on the list to be able to join. That’s the current situation, no malice intended towards anyone who is not in the zones.

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Sycamore

The SP is a typical news organization–destroy anything necessary to get a juicy story. Even if the NYP got the scoop they didn’t have the sources for.

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Wawa

Over the years the popularity of the park has waxed and waned. Fifteen years ago they were begging for members. They even accepted one person from Brooklyn, just to help pay the utilities. No one wanted to join because Sunnyside was not hip, there was no money except dues and the job of running the park was horrid–you worked your tail off just to be slaughtered by a handful of of nasty alcoholics who never lifted a finger themselves except to make a list of your faults.

The blast of publicity Bloomberg brought to the neighborhood to boost tax revenues sucked people out of the woodwork. They were all anxious to ride the hip new Sunnyside Gardens bandwagon. Membership jumped from the mid 200s to near 500. The management structure couldn’t handle it. So they closed the membership list.

The brash news members overwhelmed the wise older members who had learned from years of diligent attention what worked and what didn’t in the specific spot called Sunnyside Park. New members found their fabulous shiny plans so exciting they didn’t stop and think. In their arrogance they believed no one before them had been as brilliant and able as they. They sought and got public money, which was strictly against 80 years of acquired wisdom.

And you see the result. A nasty little knot of trouble.

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Karl Gehfahr

Whether or not the membership is open to people outside the gardens is irrelevant. The fact is, that only people who are members can use it. It’s still a members only club, that ALL taxpayers fund.

Open the park up to the public at all times and the controversy goes away.

Somehow, I don’t see that happening. I don’t see SGP giving up their welfare freebie either.

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SouthSideJohnny

Mike- is this true? I am a tax-paying resident of Sunnyside and would like to put my name on this waiting list. Should I walk over there (I live near Celtic Park) or can I register online?

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Mrs. Ramrod Jones

Investigate Friends of Sunnyside Gardens Park. I asked for their paperwork years ago and they put my request in the circular file. They’ve never come out front and answered any of these accusations, just keep letting the filth fly all over the children’s faces. Cowards.

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SuperWittySmitty

Mike Novak- Is it true that anyone can join, or is it only for Sunnysiders who live in one small section of our neighborhood? If membership is open to all taxpayers, then that would change the entire tone of this discussion.

I pay all of my taxes but I live on the south side of Sunnyside. How can I get on the waiting list? When you’re not busy praying for all of of souls, please let us know.

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rook

Thompson kinda has a point if it is about best use, but it is not unusual for council members to give funding to nonprofits that benefit a good portion of a community. This funding basically does acts like “bribes” to the city, but usually within the community district (kinda like Federal earmarks). Thompson is unlikely to get rid of the “slush fund” if he were mayor. If anything, it is nice to see that Quinn thought of Sunnyside over other NYC Communities (including her own district).

By the way, that wait list for the park is a joke. I’ve been on it for years and keep getting bumped back on the list everytime somone within Sunnyside Gardens is interested in the park.

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Charlie Peligroso

@Mike Novak

Did you really just bring out the hate card for this?

People who have an opinion on how their taxes are spent are “haters” now? You’re hilarious. Next you’ll demand their names, addresses, social security numbers and a DNA sample and have them put on a homeland Security watch list.

BTW: nowhere did anyone say that people without kids weren’t allowed to join. Nice try at trying to muddy the issue.

I get it, you want your park to keep getting all that free money and you’re upset that some people want to derail your gravy train. It’s all about the money for you. Tough luck, pal.

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Sunnyside Native

@ Carlos Danger who is a weiner – I was addressing Webley regarding his comments about the new dog run…

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JOR

There’s an ambiguity about this issue which I believe has never been cleared up. The public monies go to the not for profit Friends of Sunnyside Gardens Park and the organization makes use of the money. I don’t know if the allocation of public monies is conditioned or limited to payment for direct park improvements or maintenance, for example to purchase new swing sets or for clean up on the Barnett Ave. side. Or is the money given to the Friends organization and they decide how it will be used? Has there ever been an audit of the allocation of public monies over the past several years?

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Mike Novak

The park is not just for people with kids.

If anyone said that, they are either lying or ignorant of the facts of membership to the park.

Any adult of any age can join.

Seniors pay a discounted rate.

Yes, there may be a waiting list to join because of the great expansion of memberships by all the newbies with babies in Sunnyside, but if you want to join, get on the list like all the rest of the “Johnny-come-lately’s”.

For those of you who are just plain haters and whiners, I will pray for your souls.

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jimmy Sullivan

Leave JVB alone.
Hes helped Sunnyside, LIC, and Queens in General.

BTW I was christen James Thomas Sullivan, and proud of it.
No need to hide behind false tags like some of the welfare cheat commenting about this site.

JVB helped allocate funding to the Friends of Sunnyside Gardens Park, a nonprofit. Not to Sunnyside Park.

Clearly some of you complainers do not know the difference..

do you know whom JVB beat in the last election??

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Mrs. Ramrod Jones

JVB is not a member of this park. JVB has not given money to this park in two years. I heard him say so yesterday.

Is this article a plant from Weiner? He’s desperate to deflect attention from his own problems.

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O'shea

The best NY has to offer.

-A pure thug/ bully who lied and cheated her way to stay in office.
– another one who fakes campaign contributions in China town.
– a former comptroller who slept at the city time wheels.
– an overfat cat who shakes you down immediately you enter one of his markets
– a couch burning sexting maniac
– Bill de boorishsio
– a mini bloomberg who thinks he knows everything.

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the REAL Carlos Danger!

you cant trust ANY politician, and once again I would like to apologize to my lovely wife. She is truly an amazing woman.

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Adam Smith

Jimmy,

Your name is like John Doe… so you are hardly identifying yourself.

Also, Sean Hannity comes on at 9 pm. I guess that is the one thing you do know.

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jimmy Sullivan

Jimmy Van Bramer is not afraid to use his, he put it on the Ballot, bet most of you do not vote.

So why are all you complainers afraid to use your real names ?probably because you would identified as the layabout, lazy welfare cheats that you are. always complaining and whining about taxpayers money.. bet none of you even pay tax…

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Mace

So roughly 20k a year to keep the area around the park clean and “beautiful” I’ll do it for 15k! Maybe even 12k. Actually I’ll do it for 10k a year. Im sure someone out there would do it for less. What a joke.

Let’s assume for a second that 130k since ’07 is a fair price. If the park didn’t get public funding would they leave the surrounding area in a state of disrepair or would they reach into their pockets?

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Southie

In August, 2011 I emailed JVB’s office regarding his gift of discretionary funds to the Friends of Sunnyside Gardens Park. The email I received in response stated, in part:
“Council Member Van Bramer allocated funding to the Friends of Sunnyside Gardens Park in the same way he allocates funding for the Friends of Queensbridge Park and many other local non-profit and community park groups. The total amount allocated from the Council Member’s discretionary funding was $22,600 for crucial renovations of the park house on the grounds to fix significant damage to its structure, providing a safe, clean area for the thousands of children and families who use it. The park house will also be available at the festivals, concerts, and special events, which are open to the public and do not require dues or membership. ”
I disagree strongly with public funds being used for a private park, and I am clearly not alone. I wonder if Sunnyside Post would be able to interview someone in the Friends of Sunnyside Gardens Park non-profit organization and provide a follow-up article from the perspective of the organization.

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JulieJ.

Oh, please, superfastreader! This payoff is a bribe to Jimmy to make sure he gets the voters out for Quinn.

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superfastreader

The $$ that goes to Sunnyside Gardens Park is only allocated for use OUTSIDE of the park. It goes to cleanup and beautification efforts on Barnett Ave and the other surrounding streets. None of it goes to the amenities inside the park for members only–it all goes into take care of the public space that surrounds the park.

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carolc

The dog run which is PUBLIC was funded with public money and donations and private fund raising. Only after a petition, ralling from the community and a few years of battle. It can be used by anyone As it should be. The Sunnyside Gardens is PRIVATE was funded public money, private donations and private funding. No community input. No community approval. No community use. Just funneling of public funds to a private club. Not the same and not ok. That 130, 000 could be used for summer programs or a pool or a few extra teachers. If any elected official feels public money can be used for any project THEY want they are no longer serving the public. No longer doing their jobs.

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Carlos Danger

Suunyside Native,

Uhm, the crucial point of the article is Sunnyside Garden Park, not the new dog run or Lou Lodati Park.

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Micky

At least the money is not being stolen for personal use like Thompson’s cronies are doing in other parts of Queens,this guy is a total clown.

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Sunnyside Native

For every naysayer who whined and complained about the building of the S.U.D.S. dog run, as you can see it is packed every night. Similar to the way the upper Torsney Park is packed with children. Jimmy Van Bramer saw a need, so he addressed it. We have met people from all over come to the dog run, people from the south side of Sunnyside, Woodside & Jackson Heights. The dog run is serving its purpose and was money well spent. The prior Lou Lodati Park had two basketball courts and they replaced it with two net new basketball courts. Try sticking to the crucial points of this article. Enough said…

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Carlos Danger

I really hope this becomes a huge headache for the park, more than the money was is worth. Take the public’s money, they get a say in your affairs.

Does anyone know if Van Bramer is a member of this park?

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JulieJ.

This is the Van Bramer payoff for supporting Quinn. She wants to make sure that the Sunnyside Gardens elite vote for her for mayor. She will be a disaster. Quinn should have been shut down years ago. Private park = private funding. Or open it up to everybody.

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Harry

@Lenny’s – that is the crux of the issue. It’s a nice park, but not with public funds.

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Webley

Crooks? Now we know she cares about our park, vote for her everyone! Maybe she will build another dog run and spend millions to remote two basketball courts and put back the same two with a huge empty area..

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Michael Kilpatrick

Public money should equal Public park! If the park wants to be private, then they should be able to provide the funds to be so.

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Lenny's Pizza Sux

If public money is going to be spent on this park, then this park should be open to the public. Simple.

The park owners are basically giving the finger to the rest of us saying, your money is welcome here but you are not.

Gee whiz, I wonder why people might have a problem with that.

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86Mets

@Wesley

It’s not that it’s a kid’s park, but a members only kids park, a fact that you conveniently forgot to point out.

And please enough hysterics. You mean to say without the taxpayer handouts, the park’s only alternative was to pave it over and put up a dollar store? Drama queen.

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Wesley Dumont

Yeah. F$$k public money going to kids parks. Doesn’t benefit the neighborhood anyway. Lets plow it over and put in a 99 cent store or a pizza joint. That’s what queens really needs.

Reply

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