Port Authority continues its extortion of WTC museum Agency has stopped construction to plunder money from 9/11 nonprofit founda
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Thursday, June 14, 2012, 4:10 AM
President Obama visited the finished WTC memorial on 9/11’s 10th anniversary. Will the Port Authority ever finish the WTC museum?
Two weeks ago, we warned the Port Authority and its masters, Govs. Cuomo and Chris Christie, that they would face “national embarrassment” if work on the 9/11 museum was not resumed before President Obama’s impending visit to the World Trade Center site.
No such luck. The President will inspect the project on Thursday, Flag Day, and the construction crews remain off the job.
Responsibility rests with the PA, led by Christie’s Chairman David Samson and Cuomo’s Executive Director Pat Foye.
They have been negotiating a deal to share construction costs with the foundation that oversees the museum and the Trade Center memorial, with Mayor Bloomberg’s team sitting on the foundation’s side of the table.
Ferreting out who wants what has been harder than cracking the National Security Agency. Eventually, we sifted the misinformation to discover that the PA, which controls the Ground Zero site and is building the museum for the foundation, is behaving very, very badly.
Samson and Foye must, first, get through their heads that they are cutting a deal with a nonprofit foundation set up to construct proper 9/11 remembrances and not with, say, the developer of a retail mall.
Banished from the talks must be thought of asking the foundation for a percentage of revenues from museum admissions or gift shop sales. The concept is so preposterous as to defy belief that anyone could have raised it seriously — instead of as a throwaway bargaining tactic. Get rid of it.
Also to be dropped is any idea that the Port Authority will muscle out the foundation to take greater command of the memorial and museum. The PA must keep hands off.
It is a political agency that has no business presiding over sensitive issues such as how aspects of the 9/11 story will be told. Just as bad, the authority would succumb to the temptation to open the property to speechifying by elected officials.
Finally, the Port insists that the foundation must document where it will raise the estimated $60 million that will be needed annually to operate the museum and memorial.
Resolving that question is high on the to-do list, but not as an immediate requirement for restarting the museum’s long-delayed construction. That goal should be easily accomplished, as the authority and the foundation are said to have essentially agreed on the outlines of allocating costs for past and future construction.
The rest is hostage-taking.