City Councilman Allan Jennings (D-Jamaica) this week threw a high hard one at Rudolph Giuliani, accusing the former mayor of playing games with the citys finances in his late-inning pitch to secure stadium deals for the citys baseball teams.
Jennings, along with four other council members, planned to introduce a resolution during Council hearings Wednesday condemning Giulianis actions.
The mayor in my opinion did something that was fiscally irresponsible, Jennings said in an interview. [Saying] if you dont build a stadium then the Yankees or Mets can move out of New York in 60 days is treasonous at best.
Three days before the expiration of his term, Giuliani entered the city into tentative agreements with the Yankees and Mets to build two $800 million stadiums. The city was to shoulder half of the debt service on bonds floated to finance construction.
In his first days in office, Mayor Michael Bloomberg discovered that Giuliani had provided the two clubs with escape provisions in their current leases if the teams believed the city was not following through on the tentative stadium agreement.
One of the clauses in Jennings resolution reads, Whereas, the former mayor provided these fiscally burdensome deals to these very wealthy and profitable teams at a time when the city is in recovery from a massive and heartbreaking disaster that has placed its budget in a $4 billion deficit.
Charging the former mayor with engaging in a reverse Robin Hood syndrome by robbing from the poor and giving to the rich, the resolution called on the City Council to condemn Giuliani for his surreptitious negotiation with the citys baseball teams ... at a time when the city is in fiscal crisis.
Jennings said the city has needs such as education, health care and housing that are far more pressing than new stadiums.
The resolution, also sponsored by Tracy Boyland (D-Brooklyn), Helen Foster (D-Bronx), Hiram Monserrate (D-East Elmhurst) and Larry Seabrook (D-Bronx), requires a majority, or 26, votes to pass.
If there were objections, it would then go to the Economic Development Committee, chaired by James Sanders (D-Laurelton) for review.
Reach reporter Daniel Massey by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 156.
©2002 Community News Group
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