In a press conference held outside Kiddy Land at Playland on August 10, three Democratic Legislators, Judy Myers, Bill Ryan, and Catherine Borgia, called for an independent audit of Playland.
By Melanie Cane
In a press conference held outside Kiddy Land at Playland on August 10, three Democratic Legislators, Judy Myers, Bill Ryan, and Catherine Borgia, called for an independent audit of Playland. The trio claimed that troubling inconsistencies and omissions in the data regarding park attendance and revenue figures were being reported by the Astorino administration.
Myers, Rye’s representative on the Board of Legislators, said that the revenue reports do not include monies generated by parking, concessions, miniature golf, or anything outside of ride fees. “Once again, it is obvious that County Executive Rob Astorino and his Administration do not have a handle on the numbers.”
Shortly after Astorino was in office, he made no bones about the fact that the County needed a new and sustainable plan for Playland.
Losses at Playland have been a contentious issue for decades – under both Democratic and Republican administrations. In 2002, Democratic County Executive Andy Spano, who served three terms in office, proposed closing the Ice Rink after the Park lost $2.1 million in 2001. The Spano administration brought forth a new master plan for the park, then the seventh reform plan for Playland since 1961.
County Legislator Ryan criticized Astorino for not getting more money from concessionaires. “The main point is that the Administration has failed to take the necessary steps to realize the full potential of Playland.” Ryan emphasized that the Astorino Admnistration has “done nothing to make this magnificent county resource more attractive to private business.”
Legislator Borgia concluded the press conference by singing Playland’s praises. She talked about the generations of people who love and support the park (both financially and emotionally) and said Playland is a “vital part of Westchester history as well as a resource that makes our county special and contributes greatly to our quality of life.” She also noted that Playland is Westchester’s biggest youth employer.
The County Executive put out a request for proposals for “reinventing” Playland in 2011. He established a citizen’s committee, on which Myers sits, to review the proposals. The County received 11 proposals, three of which it found worthy of further review.
There has been no further news on the proposals for several months.