The information you are requesting leaves no room for redirection or obfuscation should that information be released to the public. Sad but true , I wouldn't hold your breath while waiting for those answers .
Regarding the statement about the 2 million dollar surplus . Just what are we to imply about that ? Are the residents of Avalon secretly paying the costs of their children's education out of pocket ? If we convert all of the housing in NR to senior housing wouldn't we eliminate all "costs associated with the children's education" ? Why , we could actually get rid of the whole school system and cut our taxes by 70 % (assuming seniors won't have any more school age kids). Every family in New Rochelle is providing a revenue surplus by not having another child . Such a deal !
Isn't it ridiculous ? Besides , the 2 mill dollar surplus fantasy is more than offset by the huge Tax abatement given to these sites , meaning we are actually getting nothing in revenue from the properties ? Approaching a BILLION dollars in development (Avalon 1&2 , Trump , New Roc) and the city is struggling . Revenues basically the same as pre development and this was true before the economic downturn .
Crazy ? Sure, and that's what happens when you selectively choose data to represent a political position . You could state "when the Lofts at New Roc reach their potential, there will be another 100 children enrolled in Trinity School representing a 2 million dollar burden equaling a .6% tax increase from this building alone" . The Capelli group is actively using the schools to attract new tenants to the Lofts . How do you control who moves in ?
The information Mr.Galletta is asking for isn't top secret , nor should it be . Transparency and a willingness to engage the public can only help all involved . That's not to say the public should be making all of the decisions , however , shutting out public opinion and not accepting the chance to address fair criticism suggests an "I know what's best for you " attitude . Considering nobody is right all of the time , these questions are completely in order and deserve to be acknowledged , answered , and explained . Asking city leaders to explain their actions or statements is fundamental to living in a free society and not much to ask for when you think about who's paying the bills . As a stakeholder , what's wrong with asking to take a look at the "books" as it were ? This asks the question - should we be suspect of the data being presented by a city official ?
From an article in Curious Cat called Data Can't Lie comes " If there is a lack of understanding of data then people can manipulate the data (chose the data that supports their claim, use false data, mislead about what the data really represents) to support their “political” end." You can't blame the mayor for wanting to put the best spin on the state of New Rochelle's affairs , but it's a fine line between showing your best side and misleading the taxpayer . So let's see the data requested . If the projects are as successful as we are led to believe ,they will stand on their own merit. If not , there will be more questions . It's that simple . Perhaps if we get to look at the "books" before Lecount and Echo Bay and North Ave begin , criticism will become accolade . We can all get behind that .
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