New York Daily News

April 26, 2005

Green light for Mike on stadium $

Daily News Exclusive

BY MICHAEL SAUL DAILY NEWS CITY HALL BUREAU

Bloomberg is entitled to dip into a multimillion-dollar fund for any pet project - including the proposed West Side stadium, the city's top lawyer wrote in a letter obtained by the Daily News.

In a two-page March 22 letter, Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo defends the Bloomberg administration's position that the mayor has the sole authority to funnel millions of dollars in funds from PILOTs - payments in lieu of taxes - to finance a $300 million city contribution to the stadium.

Cardozo is scheduled to testify on this matter before the City Council today. Council Speaker Gifford Miller (D-Manhattan), who has proposed legislation attempting to block the mayor from spending this money without Council approval, is expected to pepper Cardozo with questions.

In the letter, Cardozo said Miller's legislation would be an "impermissible curtailment" of the mayor's powers.

Steve Sigmund, a spokesman for Miller, said, "The mayor seems to want a thousand slush funds to bloom, while Speaker Miller thinks every public dollar should go through the city's publicly elected legislature."

Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association, issued a statement yesterday opposing the use of PILOTs for the stadium.

Meanwhile, the Hell's Kitchen Neighborhood Association and four state assemblymen filed suit against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, opposing the agency's March 31 decision to award its West Side railyards to the Jets.

Cablevision, the stadium's chief opponent, also launched a new TV ad blaming Bloomberg for giving away millions in taxpayer money for the stadium. Jets supporters called the ad "desperate."