New York, NY – Today, at a routine meeting of the Battery Park City Authority Board, Dennis Mehiel, the Chair and CEO of the Authority and one of three board members serving with an expired term, announced his resignation. Under two laws enacted in the last six months and championed by Senator Brian Kavanagh, Assemblymembers Deborah Glick and Yuh-Line Niou, and former Senator Daniel Squadron, Governor Andrew Cuomo is obligated to name a resident of Battery Park City as Mr. Mehiel’s replacement. The legislation also requires appointment of another resident for a total of at least two Battery Park City residents on the seven-member board. Two current members in addition to Mr. Mehiel have also been serving with expired terms.
Last week, Senator Kavanagh and Assemblymembers Glick and Niou wrote to the Governor, calling for two residents to be appointed promptly. Today, in response to the new vacancy on the BPCA Board, they released the following statement:
“We would like to thank Mr. Mehiel for his service to Battery Park City over the last six years as both Chair of the Board and CEO of the Authority. Today, Battery Park City is a thriving neighborhood – and Mr. Mehiel's leadership is a big part of this community’s success. We would especially like to acknowledge his work to help this community weather Superstorm Sandy and rebuild stronger than ever.
“Last year and again earlier this year, the legislature passed bills to ensure residents would have at least two seats on the Board, to give them a formal say in how decisions that affect their community are made.
“Now that a seat on the BPCA Board is officially vacant, Governor Cuomo must act immediately and nominate a Battery Park City resident to fill the vacancy. He should also embrace the spirit of the law – which requires at least two members of the board be residents – and nominate a resident to replace another member serving under an expired term.
“In addition to being residents of Battery Park City, these nominees should be chosen with an eye toward improving the racial and gender diversity of the Board.
“When nominations are made, the Senate must take up those nominations promptly.
“We need the Governor and the Senate to act now to ensure Battery Park City residents take their rightful seats at the table.
“This community has waited long enough. The time to act is now.”