Members of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation board were so exercised by the Governor usurping their authority over the International Freedom Center that some of them spoke in public for the first time in months at this morning’s meeting.
“I just find the decision by the Governor to be just indefensible,” said Edward Lewis, a Bloomberg appointee and co-founder of Essence Magazine.
“I regard this as a violation of the principles we have tried to follow,” said Tom Johnson, another Bloomberg appointee and retired CEO of GreenPoint Bank.
Even Governor Pataki’s appointees chimed in. Chairman John Whitehead started off the harangue, questioning whether people the LMDC has to work with would view the board as having the authority to make decisions on its own. Roland Betts, the business partner of Freedom Center Chairman Tom Bernstein, came next: “The ad hominem attacks on Tom Bernstein were so inappropriate and so unfair. I have been Tom’s partner for 25 years and there is nobody who is more patriotic.” Madelyn Wils also took a shot at the Sept. 11th families who fought the Freedom Center: “I found myself being dragged through the mud on the Take Back the Memorial website for calling for a secular vision on the site. How criminal!” (We think she means this reference.)