More talk of rubber stamping, this time from the city

The Willets Point spotlight is now firmly on the City Council following an 11-1 vote by the City Planning Board yesterday and Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration remains firmly optimistic that its redevelopment plan will have no trouble getting the support it needs.

Monserrate holds up the letter signed by 32 members of the City Council at a rally in August

Monserrate holds up a letter signed by 32 members of the City Council at a rally in August

In an interview, Deputy Mayor Robert Lieber said he believes Hiram Monserrate’s coalition of 32 Council members who have signaled their intent to deny the plan in its current form is not as big a threat to the mayor’s plan as it appears. Lieber said the city has met and will continue to meet with Council members regarding the plan, but a full-court press on all of them will not be necessary.

“We’re always talking,” Lieber said. “But when you talk about some of the members who have just stamped their name on it, to say we are making a concentrated effort I think would be an exaggeration.”

City Councilman Tony Avella (D-Bayside), one of the letter’s signers, was miffed by Lieber’s statements but expressed concern.

“That’s actually pretty insulting,” Avella said. “There is strong opposition. My concern is when the mayor and the speaker start to apply pressure on some of the members will they continue to be opposed. I’m not so sure.”

The Council is expected to vote on the project in late November.

For more on this, check out next week’s TimesLedger Newspapers in print or at www.YourNabe.com.

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