Home > Uncategorized > After Selling Out State Parks, Some Environmental Groups Now Slither Onto the Liberty State Park Bandwagon

After Selling Out State Parks, Some Environmental Groups Now Slither Onto the Liberty State Park Bandwagon

Chutzpa Award Goes To Ed Potosnak of NJ LCV

salamnder

[Update below]

[Intro Note: an astute reader notes a conflict between my rhetoric and image, with this note:

This is not a salamander (amphibian)…but a reptile…more specifically a Five-Lined Skink… Eumeces fascialus…and appears to be a juvenile female.

It looks like some real opportunistic bastards have misled and used the good people of the Jersey City Parks Coalition.

Check this story out:

Not only are they very late to the Liberty State Park parade, but the opportunistic move reeks.

The Jersey City Parks Coalition letter to Governor Christie – which I obviously support and have been urging  – was signed by three environmental groups who, as members of the Keep It Green Coalition (KIG), virtually defunded State Parks.

Specifically, as readers here surely know, the NJ League of Conservation Voters (LCV), NY/NJ Baykeeper, & Environment NJ supported theft of the entire State Parks capital budget ($32 million/year) and $3.8 million/year from lease/concessions revenues that parks relied on for operating funds, as a result of passage of the Open Space Ballot Question.

Liberty State park was particularly hard hit by loss of $800,000/year in operating funds (in addition to loss of planned capital upgrade, repair & maintenance funds).

KIG members didn’t give a rat’s ass about State Parks, and selfishly and unforgivably threw them under the  bus.

During the course of the debate on Ballot Question #2, Ed Postosnak of NJ LCV, wrote an Op-Ed that smeared DEP, falsely claiming that they abused funds by using them for staff salaries – see my reply to that:

As  the Director of the NJ State Parks Service, Mark Texel wrote, on the KIG Facebook page on 11/5/14:

As the Director of the NJ State Park Service now coping with the reality that our entire Parks capital budget will be completely eliminated beginning July 1, 2015 as a result of the YES vote I can say this is the darkest day I have faced in my professional career. Worse than Superstorm Sandy. 440,000+ acres of preserved open space, 52 historic sites, 39 parks — used by 8 million visitors each year — all managed by my agency and now with no funding plan in place for stewardship beginning in just 7 months. This is not a bad reality TV show. This is New Jersey’s Inconvenient Truth hidden from voters throughout this campaign.

After the dust had settled, when they could no longer deny and lie about the impact of the Open Space ballot diversion, when they had the chance to apologize for their mistake and try to fix the damage they did, upon reflection, these same groups did not support restoration of Parks funding during the December 8, 2014 Senate hearing on Open Space ballot Q implementation legislation.

[*Read KIG testimony, where they recommend 10% –  or just $7.1 – $7.8 million – for parks capital budget and fail to even mention loss of parks operating funds resulting from diversion of lease/concession revenues. This line of BS is really outrageous, given the KIG made those choices and they duped the public about them. KIG claims:

difficult choices had to be made and many programs won’t be funded at sufficient levels   ]

Did Potosnak inform the Jersey City Parks Coalition about his role in stealing Parks funds, particularly for Liberty State Park, and apologize?

I find it despicable and the height of hypocrisy for Ed Potosnak & some KIG members now to try to slither out from under the rock they’ve been hiding under by using the Liberty State Park controversy and the good people of Jersey City Parks Coalition as some kind of penance or resurrection.

[Update – 1/11/15  – an angry reader correctly criticizes my failure to hold Mr. Potosnak accountable. The reader correctly notes that Mr. Potosnak is a full time paid Trenton lobbyists for many Keep It Green groups and that it is his job to work on urban parks & Meadowlands issues and that he failed to monitor the legislation and missed the LSP stealth amendment. Criticism accepted and the flaw is corrected here in this update.]

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