Think how many job training programs this money could fund? How many New Yorkers could be kept in their homes? How many meals can be provided to out of work City residents? Would you close a city shelter to justify a park?
Are these statements alarmist? Perhaps not. Both Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Paterson are predicting the worse is yet to come. Each has already called for massive cuts in existing and prospective budgets. So I ask each of you now how can we keep in the City's and State's budget $8 milion dollars for a park even if the intent is to honor as great a president like FDR? The answer is we can't and we should not.
PS: The $8M is only for Phase 1 of the park's construction and is dependent on FERI matching the $8M. The projected costs for the complete memorial is in excess of $40M and you can bet if the park is started and FERI can not raise the additional funds they will be looking to the City and State to bail them out and to pony up additional funds.