Despite pressure, Adams won't commit to funding for field reno
by Andrew Shilling
Mar 12, 2014 | 1144 views | 7 7 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Father Joseph Hoffman asks Adams to allocate funding to rebuild parks
Father Joseph Hoffman asks Adams to allocate funding to rebuild parks
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Borough President Eric Adams
Borough President Eric Adams
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Father Joseph Hoffman
Father Joseph Hoffman
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EBC baseball coach Alex Broz and his team
EBC baseball coach Alex Broz and his team
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Cracked blacktops and outdated athletic facilities have become the norm for the kids practicing and playing throughout many of the communities of east Brooklyn.

The East Brooklyn Congregation and Metro Industrial Areas Foundation (EBC) invited nearly 1,000 members of their 26 congregations, schools and homeowners associations in East New York, Canarsie, Brownsville, Oceanhill and Bushwick to St. Paul Community Baptist Church on Hendrix Street last week to rally behind their plans to renovate parks in those neighborhoods.

Father Joseph Hoffman of St. Barbara’s Roman Catholic Church, 138 Bleeker St. in Bushwick, presented the nearly $4 million plans to Borough President Eric Adams, who also attended the meeting with hopes that he might promise to make funding possible.

“President Adams, you have the capital funding to make these projects a reality,” Hoffman challenged the newly elected borough president. “How much money are you willing to commit to each of these projects?”

Adams rejected claims of funding in his budget to allocate to renovation projects, and said he would not make any promises until he received the final figures.

“I’ve been in office eight weeks and Marty [Markowitz] was here for 12 years,” Adams told the room of young athletes and parents. “I don’t know what my capital budget is, I don’t know how much money I can give and I would be doing a disservice to this entire community to commit a dollar amount that I don’t know.”

Although the congregation continued to press the borough president for a commitment, he responded that they would just have to wait.

“I will put money into this once I know the number that I will have,” he said. “I won’t write a check that my behind can’t cash.”

Adams left the church to cheers for his honesty and promise to reassess following his capital budget, after which, Assemblyman Rafael Espinal agreed that he too thinks it was too soon to ask for funding.

“I think it’s too soon to fully commit to any project,” Espinal said. “I think we need to do the right thing and fix the parks, but we can't commit until we know that we are going to repair the park.”

Following the forum, Alex Broz, teacher and baseball coach at EBC Bushwick High School at 1155 Dekalb Ave., said he hopes there would be funding in the future to repair the fields.

“We have to go to Crown Heights to play our home games because we don’t have a field,” he said. “We have to practice in the gym a lot and the fields just aren’t playable in the neighborhood.”

While the team currently practices on blacktops, he said they would continue to advocate for better facilities for all of the sports at their school.

“Everywhere across the city has a lot nicer fields, so it’s frustrating for us because we feel like we’re playing with one hand behind our backs,” he said. “We’re always going to be hopeful that they are going to be able to fix something.”

Comments
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Natalia A.
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March 15, 2014
The community has a need and they want their children have a safety place and also in good conditions . I hope all of the politicians listen to the community because community has been working very hard and they want to work each other . I hope all of politicians have the same thought in maintaing the children occupied and motivated a doing sports in a nice place .
Concerned Parent
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March 13, 2014
Didn't you hear Bushwick is changing to East Williamsburg. Therefore, making money by replacing our empty lots into building apartment complex... How about creating recreational fields/buildings for our children to play safely and for our schools in "Bushwick" to have their home games.
carlos n.
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March 12, 2014
our kids are thousand times better practicing a sport rather than being on the streets involved in gangs or sitting down playing video games.
Michael Reilly
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March 12, 2014
Why doesn't Adams want to fund these improvements??? It's pathetic that students have to travel so far outside the neighborhood for a good park. Adams and all the other elected politicians should support this. Otherwise, stop pretending that you support our neighborhoods and out kids.
T Roberson
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March 12, 2014
We need better parks in Bushwick! The ones we have are not suitable for our kids. I'm glad someone is doing something to make this happen. I hope those politicians get behind this.
fred D
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March 12, 2014
This dream come be true if all these politicians get together and work as a team. Stop promising and let fix these parks the right way
Emma2014
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March 12, 2014
Eric Adams should put some money into our local parks! Our kids need a place to play that's nice and safe. It takes money to make that happen and we need leadership not just words from the Borough President's office.