Mayor Noam Bramson
201 Pinebrook Boulevard New Rochelle, NY 10804
July 29, 2013The Honorable Rob Astorino900 Michaelian Building148 Martine AvenueWhite Plains, NY 10601Dear Mr. Astorino,I am writing to advance a constructive discussion about the future of Playland Park, oneof our region’s most valuable public assets. Considering the historic and practicalimportance of Playland to people throughout Westchester, it is essential for the County todemonstrate the highest standards of professionalism in its review of proposals and toarticulate clear goals for the Park’s future.The active involvement of community groups, volunteers, amusement park operators, and investors is a healthy and positive indicator of public interest in Playland, and the recent partnership announced by your office may yet prove to be a promising road forward.Unfortunately, neither decision-makers in County Government nor the general publichave been provided with the information and analysis necessary to make intelligentchoices or to safeguard County residents and taxpayers. Rather than organizing photo opsin an election year, I believe it is incumbent upon your office to answer questions aboutthe agreements you have announced. Three such questions are especially important and deserving of a public response:1)
When will the County conduct and complete an expert analysis of the financialand operational assumptions within the Playland proposals?
Such an analysis must be conducted by experienced professionals who are independent of the teams that havesubmitted proposals and should include, at a minimum, a detailed examination of business terms, financing sources, attendance assumptions, capital costs, and other factorsthat impacts public expenses, benefits and risks. It is remarkable that no such analysis hasoccurred to date, a failure that compromises the integrity of the review process and creates needless and unfair delay for applicants. Such independent analysis should alsoevaluate, for comparative purposes, enhanced administration of the Park under continued public management. When considering major development in New Rochelle, we havegenerally required developers to place funds in escrow, so that the City can retainconsulting assistance. The County should consider a similar model for Playland, so thatoutside, professional, expert assistance can be secured at no cost to taxpayers.
2) By what date do you project that Playland will become financially self-sustainingand no longer dependent upon assistance from taxpayers?
You have repeatedly stated