For Immediate Release

Friends of Brook Park
Director Harry J. Bubbins
Information at www.friendsofbrookpark.org

Community Groups Denounce Continued Privatization of Randall's Island;
Calls for City Council Hearing on Franchise and Concession Review Committee

Community groups are outraged over a plan that would allow private schools from the Upper East Side to dominate ball fields on Randalls Island. Under a proposed agreement between the Parks Department and a group of Manhattan private schools, more than 30 fields will be for their exclusive use.

"Here we go again. With the proposed destruction of park land that the private water park would require, the Administration is scrambling for schemes to make up for it. This is an unfortunate indication of how out of touch they are. Clearly, all New Yorkers have to be aghast at the prospect of our public park lands being handed over to the elite. Students from East Harlem and the South Bronx deserve equal access." said Harry J. Bubbins Director of Friends of Brook Park, a local group of advocates.

Opposition to the continued elimination of public access to Randall's Island is shared by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, who said "Before we create a big privatized deal that will last for 30 years, we have to have more discussion." Stringer said he will vote against the plan when it comes before the Franchise and Concession Review Committee this afternoon.

"Our communities are being duped." Mr. Bubbins added. "When they wanted cover for the water park, they promised jobs and access to East Harlem. But they didn't go to the Community Boards about this one."

Contending that the Administration is using the Mayor appointed FCRC to circumvent public scrutiny, many groups are demanding City Council hearings regarding concession and privatization schemes like this one on Randall's Island. Groups will also be in attendance at the November 9th NYCIDA hearings where the aquatic park developers are seeking $215,000,000 in bonds, for a project said to cost $168,000,000 just a few months ago.

Note: East Harlem Preservation has endorsed this initiative.