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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Wait and See or Wait and Let the City Do Whatever it Wants: A Note from the CEC3 Meeting

The PS 191 community - parents, neighbors and school administration are solidly opposed to the ECF proposal and they are speaking up about it.  PS 199 community residents are very much opposed to the proposal, the parents from what we hear are split, the PTA leadership is taking a wait and see approach.

One PS 199 parent spoke last night in favor of the proposal saying that she hoped to get a new middle school.  We hear this a lot from parents who are following the lead of the PTA. That is certainly a much needed  resource in our community.  However, being silent about it, taking a wait and see attitude, allowing the ECF/DOE/City to think that you have no objections to the current proposal is not going to get them to do anything about a middle school.

The question we posed last night to those who are waiting and seeing is:  what is the downside to speaking up now?  No one answered this directly. And, to the contrary, elected officials who spoke last night said waiting for an RFP or whatever the next step will be is too late.

If you don't ask for what you want you're not going to get it!  The good and right thing does not just happen when money and politics are involved.  The good and right thing happens when people speak up and demand what they want from their elected officials.

Bottom line: The needs of the community can be solved with less disruption, less impact on infrastructure, less destruction of treasured property, less dissipation of the public trust through the unwarranted sale of public assets - if the ECF/DOE/City focuses on building new schools instead of tearing down and rebuilding existing schools.


  1. Missed the meeting, but think that those with a wait and see attitude have no idea about how things work in the city. It is truly outrageous that the city wants to sell school and playground property to build hi rise apartment houses which will enrich the real estate industry while creating an enormous loss to the children in those schools. I spent many years lobbying Albany for new high school seats back in the sixties. It took them two decades to provide any new seats although the need had been apparent twenty years before the West Side Action Committee started its lobbying. So, 40 years with overcrowded schools: mine was on so many sessions that we ended up by playing hookey because no one could arrest kids in Manhattan for not being in school because we were all there at different times of day.
    Did anyone care? No....
    The schools in this city have often been run by elites because the poorer people didn't have the time or energy for the job as they were working a couple of jobs to stay alive. And the same elits don't really give a damn about the kids.
    When you break up one of the best schools in the district you lose the kids in that school for the duration of their elementary school years. There is no excuse for this.

  2. This generation of parents have never really had to fight for anything and obviously most of them are new to New York City and don’t realize how bureaucracy works. You cannot wait and see, before you know it they will be breaking ground. Let them wait and see, but that should not stop the other residents of the Upper West Side from pursuing their own issue and that is protecting their real estate value. Most of you bought apartments for the location, schools and to live in one of the best neighborhoods in the city. I think fighting for your investment is reason enough to get the ball rolling right now. The schools are a separate issue altogether although of equal importance