Why Is New York City Planning to Sell and Shrink Its Libraries?

Defend our libraries, don't defund them. . . . . fund 'em, don't plunder 'em

Mayor Bloomberg defunded New York libraries at a time of increasing public use, population growth and increased city wealth, shrinking our library system to create real estate deals for wealthy real estate developers at a time of cutbacks in education and escalating disparities in opportunity. It’s an unjust and shortsighted plan that will ultimately hurt New York City’s economy and competitiveness.

It should NOT be adopted by those we have now elected to pursue better policies.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Mayor de Blasio Makes His First Three Trustee Appointments To The Board of Brooklyn Public Library

At the Tuesday, September 29, 2015 Brooklyn Public Library Trustees meeting it was announced that Mayor Bill de Blasio had made his first three appointments of trustees to the board of the Brooklyn Public Library.  Two of the appointments were reportedly finalized the day before the meeting.

This information is not yet up on the Brooklyn Public Library's website, nor does there appear to be any release of this information from the Mayor's office yet.

Two of the new trustees are Rachel Lauter and Patrick Train Gutiérrez.  The third, with only her first name referred to in the information given at the Tuesday, appears likely to be Roseann Paradiso Fodera.*
(*  As of the BPL finally posting an update to its trustee list sometime before December 28, 2015, it is confirmed that Ms. Fodera was correctly identified here as this new trustee.  At the December 15, 2015 BPL trustees meeting- where several other revelations were made- the appointment of another new trustee, Blake Walters Foote, also, very relevantly, on the board of the Center for an Urban Future was announced but is not yet posted as of December 28, 2015.)
Here is more information.

Ex-officio trustee Rachel Lauter

One trustee appointed is the Mayor's new ex-officio appointee.  De Blasio has appointed his new appointments secretary (a powerful and key administration position) Rachel Lauter, who has served as appointments secretary for de Blasio since this spring.  Here is more information about her from the April press release announcing her appointment.
Mayor de Blasio Names Rachel Lauter as Director of The Mayor's Office of Appointments

April 7, 2015

NEW YORK - Mayor Bill de Blasio today named Rachel Lauter as the Director of the Mayor's Office of Appointments. Lauter previously served in the Mayor's Office as Counsel for City Legislative Affairs.

"Rachel brings years of experience in public service and a record of success in this administration. She understands firsthand our commitment to building an administration that boasts diversity and talent. She is an excellent choice to help us promote equity, opportunity and excellence in City government," said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The Mayor's Office of Appointments serves a critical role by recruiting top talent for over 700 discretionary appointment positions at City agencies, mayoral corporations, and commissions. The Office of Appointments focuses on senior-level appointments that represent substantial policy-making and decision-making authority within City government, such as Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner and Associate Commissioner. Additionally, the Office develops recommendations for mayoral board appointments for over 200 city boards and commissions, which execute important decisions in connection with city infrastructure, culture and community priorities.

About Rachel Lauter:

Rachel Lauter previously served as Counsel for City Legislative Affairs. She joined the Mayor's Office in the first month of the de Blasio Administration as an attorney in the Office of Appointments. Prior to joining the de Blasio administration, she served as Assistant Counsel to Governor Andrew Cuomo and clerked for the Honorable Paul G. Gardephe in the Southern District of New York. Lauter is co-founder of the New Kings Democrats, a local Brooklyn-based political club. She began her career in New York City government as a New York City Urban Fellow. She is a graduate of Brown University and Harvard Law School, where she served as President of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, the oldest student-run legal services provider in the country.
Patrick Train Gutiérrez

The next new de Blasio appointee, a regular mayoral appointment, is Patrick Train Gutiérrez who managed to make the September 29th meeting.  Patrick Train Gutiérrez (or Patrick Alan Train-Gutiérrez) is a lawyer who does intellectual property and other litigation at Kaplan Landau LLP, and whose wife (Magda Jimenez Train), also a lawyer is former legal partner and long-time friend (along with her husband of current BPL Chairman Nicholas Gravante (Boise Shiller and Flexner).  She is now working in-house at Barclays as Director, Litigation, Investigations and Enforcement.  Gravante told the BPL trustees that he hoped that Magda's contacts at Barclays (a legally troubled bank) would serve the BPL well.

Roseann Paradiso Fodera

Only the first name, Roseann, of the third trustee was given last night along with the description of her as a lawyer who is a friend of Chairman Gravante’s and, who living in Bay Ridge and practices with her lawyer husband, has been a supporter of the library.  This new trustee is probably Roseann Paradiso or Paradiso-Fodera married to Richard Fodera.  If this guess about Fodera is not correct we will provide aan updating correction when we know.

These appointments come at a time when Mayor de Blasio is not following through on his campaign promise to insist on transparency from the BPL board (NYPL board also) and not to sell waste valuable public assets with an ill-advised sale and shrinkage of the Brooklyn Heights central downtown destination and other NYC libraries. 

No comments:

Post a Comment