$560,000 Budget! $45,000/month – and they could not tell us how they arrived at that number and who was getting it!
$240,000 Administration COSTS – HOLY CRAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 120K for marketing?
We were greeted with a vague presentation of how great a BID is and how it benefits us all. No details on exact services, no metrics for success – all we heard was emotion and nostalgia of how it used to be and how we MUST address this crisis or we will have other opportunity to fix it. They filled 80% of the time with members of BID’s that have been “successful” – Park Slope and 5th Ave. They spoke like it was a done deal and the people that ran the Third Ave Merchants want a BID at 3-4x the cost to property owners – which in turn –the cost will be passed down to tenants.
EVERYONE should TAKE NOTICE when a group of people want to take our money with another TAX (they call it an assessment – but it is not optional and if you don’t pay it the City can put a lien on your assets, charge you interest and sweep your accounts for payment – I call that a tax) and tell us it’s a crisis that MUST be solved. They don’t define what IT is – but they feel sweeping the streets and putting up holiday lights and holding street fairs will fix IT. Historically that’s double speak for – “we are taking your money, don’t ask questions and we don’t care what people that don’t agree think because it doesn’t fit our narrative.
To that point, during the presentation, the PERCH presenter, PERCH is the consulting company overpaid with our tax dollars to ram this BID down our pockets, was his usual, nasty, vague and demeaning manner to anyone against the BID. He told a 3rd Ave merchant in essence that if she did not like it she can LEAVE. We all were shocked at his nasty retort to a fellow merchant with a successful business on 3rd ave for years being told to LEAVE by a paid vendor!
A Vendor receiving OUR tax payer money with a nasty demeanor on a loud microphone actually told one of our own 3rd ave members to LEAVE! – we all were outraged, not shocked as we have had such experiences with this PERCH company treating any dissenter as the village idiot and dismissing our concerns.
The entire steering committee, including the head of this BID push, said nothing! Yes my fellow merchants and business owners, the same committee that says we need this BID, we care – stood by and allowed this to happen without so much as a whisper of dissent or an apology to us – the people they want to tax to fund this debacle.
Questions were asked about why we were not given handouts to the budget. We were answered with silence. The tables were full of 4th grade color folded brochures for the failed 5th ave BID.
We were told these marvels of paper advertising were the 5th ave BIDS culmination of achievements after spending over $4 million dollars of our money since its inception. It was stated that anyone with Microsoft word could have produced this in less than 10 minutes. Think we are exaggerating? pick one up for review.
To repeat, the 5th ave BID, after many years and $4 million dollars + produced a childish color brochure! They all patted themselves on their backs for a job well done!
Further into the meeting we heard a presentation by someone that is involved in the 5th ave BID downtown Brooklyn by the Barcley center – again more vague generalities and when pressed for numbers and metrics on how they “know” the BID improved their area we were met without metrics, just feelings. Side note to this individual – after the meeting, we were casually speaking to him and he stated the 5th ave BID from 86st to 65st was a massive failure with MANY MANY problems – We jumped on this statement and asked why he did not tell us this in his presentation – you heard birds chirp with his answer.
More into the meeting 3 shills – for those that don’t know a shill is a planted person that makes believe they are there for us but works for the opposition (definition is in this context)
Shill 1- I walk down 3rd ave and am shocked how dirty it is – how filthy, yet 5th ave is SOOOOOO clean. We all looked at each other and wondered where her spaceship was parked.
Shill 2 – contractor – angrily advised that no one cares that a property owner will be charged the most money for many properties – need we go on?
shill 3 – business on 20th ave – BUT he wants to move to 3rd ave because of the walks and festivals and he is looking to rent and move – He was offered a 3rd ave store, same rent he pays now with 2 months free and help moving if he will moves next week – he was not ready to move! So he was full of you know what.
We were told that there is a CAP of $560,000 budget – it cannot go up – insert pregnant pause – unless it’s voted upon and approved – hence NO CAP. Comments were made by others involved in several BIDS proving they always get increases approved and citing his experiences with massive increases to their BIDS.
A CAP is nonexistent – the budget is a starting point.
Finalizing the night, most if not all participants offered an alternative solution – we take over merchant association and work to make it great again – an alternative no TAX solution that was met by critics from the BID committee and how we are in a crisis with a BID being the only solution.
FUNNY how only an EXPENSIVE TAX is the solution – remember Di Blasio stating congestion pricing is the ONLY WAY to help the MTA – only to find 3 days later the MTA found billions in waste and extra money. – Yea more money is always needed.
After the meeting, quite a few stayed and discussed the BID and alternative plans – having an extra hr. of discussions on this hot topic that affects their businesses – we were all engaged in discussions EXCEPT…………….
On the other side, the entire steering committee, PERCH 2 of the shills, were speaking alone, by themselves, not even remotely interested in helping 15+ of us to understand better this contentious topic of the BID – they were un-concerned, indignant, disconnected from realty, and not interested in any of us because we were opposed.
We made it clear by all turning and pointing to them about this – they were so clueless they did not even understand our criticism or offer to come over and engage.
DONT ALLOW THEM TO RAM A EXPENSIVE FAILURE DOWN YOUR POCKETS
We have an alternative, we need your thoughts