By Josh Williams
BATTERY PARK CITY — Bill Thompson, the former mayoral candidate appointed to be the Battery Park City Authority's chairman, doesn't live in the neighborhood.
Turns out, only one member of the authority's board of directors does. The rest live in places like Harlem, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Community Board 1's Battery Park City Committee wants to change that, and passed a referendum Tuesday night to require at least three of the authority's seven board members to actually live in the neighborhood.
The referendum follows the recent resignation of two board members and, given the recent scandal engulfing Gov. David Paterson, who appoints board members, residents are worried more strangers will be placed in the open slots.
“This is essentially going to be a different board, and there should be some members on the board who live in the community,” said Jeff Galloway, a committee member, at the hearing.
"My taxes are going to go up $4,000 a year forcing me to move out of the neighborhood and none of the people that make the decisions are elected," said Eric Wallace, a Rector Street resident.
The referendum, unanimously approved by the committee, will go to the full Community Board for approval on March 23, during a 6 p.m. meeting at Borough of Manhattan Community College.
Leticia Remauro, vice president for community relations for the authority, said if the referendum is passed, it will do little to change things on the board and in Battery Park City.
“This body has successfully built two schools, a ball field, and a library," she said. "It has a tremendous amount to be proud of.”