We Come Back Stronger!

2018-08-06T10:25:08+00:00 Vol. One, Issue No. 15|
Updated: 08/06/18

Photo: Karen Simon | www.simondoes.com

The stand-off between the Port Authority and the 9/11 Museum Mayor is getting dramatic. As a New York Post editorial observed: “The governors also insist that the PA maintain day-to-day control over the entire WTC site.” It really is a battle of titans. The rapport between the two Governors, as reported in the “Capital Tonight” column, is no surprise. A string of flawed and compliant governors was replaced with two men who govern by the force of their characters — while the Mayor imposes his will by the force of his bank account. His my-way-or-the-highway approach has run into one BIG roadblock.

The New York Times | “Cuomo and Christie Request Federal Financing for Sept. 11 Museum

NY Executive Chamber | “Governors Cuomo and Christie Request Financial Support from the U.S. National Park Service

The Wall Street Journal | “Governors Ask for Federal Help on 9-11 Memorial

Capital Tonight | “Cuomo And Christie Team Up On Sept. 11 Memorial

The New York Post | “A more modest museum

The New York Daily News| “Obama at WTC: President visits World Trade Center to review rebuilding, sign steel

The Record | “Obama joins NJ, NY leaders to reflect on progress at WTC site

Does the President really believe we have come back stronger?

The New York Daily News | “Port Authority continues its extortion of WTC museum

It is disturbing to see how lacking in balance the Daily News editorial writers are when it comes to the 9/11 Museum controversy. The mayor took over at the foundation in 2006 to control costs when the tab had reached a billion. It is now easily 30% higher. At the end of 2010, an executive was given a $300,000 severance package. Last week’s tatement by Governor Cuomo and statements by the “9/11 Parents & Families of Firefighters and WTC Victims” showed that there are sound reasons to oppose the current museum regime, but the Daily News takes no notice. After all, it’s just money. Their unwavering support must make the mayor happy, but it is impossible to take such a hyper-partisan position seriously.

The New York Times | “1 World Trade Center Is a Growing Presence, and a Changed One

As is so often the case, the public’s comments show that people are pretty good at seeing through the hype.

The Village Voice | “9/11 Family Group Wants National Park Service to Take Over WTC Memorial

CBS New York | “911 Families Call For Feds To Take Over Memorial, Museum

Following on their statement in support of Governor Cuomo’s position last week, rejecting what would amount to a public bail-out of the 9/11 Memorial, a core group of of 9/11 families ratcheted up their opposition to the management of the 9/11 Memorial Foundation. The full text of the press release that was sent out yesterday reads:

9/11 Parents & Families of Firefighters and WTC Victims Renews Call for National Park Service
to Administer and Operate 9/11 Memorial Museum at Ground Zero

“In a June 9th, 2012 New York Times article (“In Latest Phase of Ground Zero Building Dispute, a New Call for Oversight” by Charles V. Bagli) the disastrous financial condition of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum was highlighted. In light of this information, 9/11 Parents & Families of Firefighters and WTC Victims reiterates our call for the National Parks Service to assume complete control of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. (We first issued this request February 3, 2012). The National Park Service operates numerous national memorials throughout the US, including the Shanksville, PA Flight 93 Memorial. It is the only federal organization which can bring transparency, effective management, and fiscal responsibility to “America’s Memorial” which has developed into a memorial-industrial complex characterized by gross mismanagement, bloated salaries, and out- of- control spending.

“The dysfunctional Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which was reportedly owed $300 million from the private 9/11 memorial museum foundation, was able to receive only a “commitment in which the foundation agreed to pay the Port Authority roughly $50 million over many years.” We must ask: “What happened to the remaining $250 million? Why are toll payers and the public being expected to pick up the tab for the cost overruns by a private foundation? If the 9/11 memorial museum foundation is so adept at fundraising, why can’t they pay their bills on time and in full? Why didn’t they have the foresight to see that a $1.3 billion enterprise is not appropriate, now or ever?

“Shortly after the tenth anniversary of 9/11 this past year, bills were introduced into the US Senate and House of Representatives to provide an annual $20 million payout to the private foundation representing the 9/11 Memorial and Museum – with no strings attached! These Congressional bills would allow the 9/11 foundation (with its incredibly highly paid staff & golden parachute policy) to continue to run the memorial and museum, and the federal government & taxpayers would essentially be responsible for the mortgage into future decades. What’s wrong with this picture?

“Shortly after the tenth anniversary of 9/11 this past year, bills were introduced into the US Senate and House of Representatives to provide an annual $20 million payout to the private foundation representing the 9/11 Memorial and Museum – with no strings attached! These Congressional bills would allow the 9/11 foundation (with its incredibly highly paid staff & golden parachute policy) to continue to run the memorial and museum, and the federal government & taxpayers would essentially be responsible for the mortgage into future decades. What’s wrong with this picture?

“Many 9/11 families are opposed to the current version of this bill – they do not feel the federal government should pay for an enormously expensive memorial and museum in which the federal government – as well as the families of the victims – had virtually no role in the burgeoning $1.3 billion design and construction. Taking ownership of the memorial & museum and annually funding a large portion of its annual $60 million annual operating costs – with no controls whatsoever – will be a permanent albatross around the neck of the American taxpayer unless the highly respected and experienced stewardship of the National Parks Service is mandated.

“If the 9/11 Memorial is supposed to be a “National Memorial” which deserves federal funding, then it is obligated to operate with fiscal responsibility and honor. It should be given the respect, patriotism, budgetary responsibility and time-honored stewardship of the National Park Service. The lives and deaths of nearly 3,000 people, and the American public who honor them deserve nothing less.”