Re: Closing of Fresh Kills Landfill in NYC

John McCrory (
Wed, 01 Sep 1999 15:11:33 -0400

The Monday NYT article on NYC's waste woes might lead one to think that the
Borough President of Staten Island, Guy Molinari, has been running the show in
the planning for Fresh Kills' closure.

But that's just the spin being put out by some people at the NYC Dept. of
Sanitation and in the office of Mayor Rudolph Giuliani -- spin calculated to
deflect blame from themselves when either the landfill doesn't close on time
or its closure causes a lot of pain and costs a bundle.

When the inevitable disaster happens, they are hoping the blame gets hung on
Molinari's neck, not their own. Apparently, the writers for the Times fell for
this line, and it doesn't look like Molinari -- eager to take credit for
closing Fresh Kills -- sees how he's being set up as the fall guy. Sure,
Molinari has more clout in this administration than most other local
officials, but, he doesn't have the Mayor, the Governor, or the Dept. of
Sanitation under his thumb.

The real shortcoming of the Times article was in its consistent failure to
take a larger look at alternative solutions to those proposed by the Mayor.
Someone needs to ask, now that the Mayor's plans have crumbled, what have we
learned from this experience, and where do we go from here?

One lesson is that you can't make a huge infrastructure change like that
required to close Fresh Kills by fiat. New York's official approach is not
much different from that of the town recently in the news: learning their city
was directly over a major fault line, the local elected officials voted to
"move" the fault line. As he gears up for his Senate run against Hillary
Clinton, it seems Hizzoner wants to move a fault line of his own -- from City
Hall to Staten Island Borough Hall.

John McCrory, Publisher <>
333 4th St. #6I, Brooklyn, NY 11215 (718) 499-7460