BY RORY LANCMAN
Flushing Meadows-Corona Park is an important part of Queens’ identity. For decades, the park has been a premier destination for Queens residents and tourists alike, who are eager to utilize its vast open space and visit its world-class sports stadiums and Queens Museum.
Two years ago, in order to support Queens’ largest park, the city formed the Flushing Meadows-Corona Park Alliance, a public-private partnership created with the noble goal of bringing sorely needed funds and maintenance to Flushing Meadows and improving the park for generations to come.
Stakeholders from every community need to be involved in writing Flushing Meadows’ next chapter. Unfortunately, the alliance’s board of directors, as originally constructed, did not include representation by all council members whose districts overlap the park—as is required by city law. This unjust governing structure left numerous council members, myself included, unable to make an appointment to the alliance’s board and without input into consequential park matters.
In order to ensure fair representation on the alliance’s board, I filed a lawsuit against the city last year. My rationale was clear: Flushing Meadows is a public park and every elected official who represents a portion of the park should have a say on the park’s future.
All of our constituents use and care deeply about Flushing Meadows. We all have an interest in making the park great.
I am very pleased to report that recently we reached a settlement with the city over the makeup of the alliance’s board. Under terms of the settlement, all council members whose districts overlap or border Flushing Meadows will be granted representation on the alliance’s board.
The resolution of the lawsuit is a major victory for Queens residents and all those who utilize and value Flushing Meadows.
Fair representation will ensure proper oversight into how Flushing Meadows functions, and make certain that all portions of the 900-acre park have needed funding for maintenance, projects and programs. No section of the park should be excluded from access to public resources as a result of nonexistent representation on the alliance board.
I look forward to working with elected officials and community leaders to bring resources to Flushing Meadows to make it the exceptional park it is meant to be.
Rory Lancman represents District 24 on the City Council.