It is no surprise to anyone with eyes, good taste, and a working brain. And, it probably isn’t news to Gary McCarthy, who might be relishing the anguish he is causing residents of Schenectady by demonstrating his arrogance and power.
Since Friday, August 28, 2019, the City has been abuzz with negative reactions to the new location given to our Statue of Liberty replica statue by Mayor McCarthy, near the railroad underpass on the southeast corner of Erie Boulevard at Union Street. People have been reaching out with email and phone calls, and crossing the street to voice an opinion:
The New Location is an outlandish choice, an insult to the Lady and to Schenectady. (see our prior posting with more photos and discussion of the Mayor’s Choice, and this link to pdf file of heavily-redacted email, which is the City’s “response” to my FOIL request for documents relating to the choice of location for Lady Liberty ). On the right above is a colorized screenshot of the final results of a Daily Gazette poll placed online from Saturday through Tuesday. Gary McCarthy’s choice could only attract 61 votes, despite all his political suasion, and the favorable poll position and wording. The choice of the Original Location received 130 votes in the poll, 45% of the total.
On August 30th, the Gazette Editorial Board published “Editorial: Lady Liberty’s New Home – try again: Historic statue needs a more appropriate location than busy street corner”. After noting the disappointment of one viewer who gasped, “Oh God, you can hardly see it”, the editorial stated:
Instead, the final placement seems almost like a dismissive afterthought, that in order to shut up the people who were demanding its return, they just stuck it anywhere, hoping that those who cared about its placement would finally drop it and move on.
Well, the only thing that should move on is the statue itself.
Like other observers, the Gazette editors noticed right away the many problems:
. . . Mayor Gary McCarthy — without input from the public or the collective City Council — appears to have unilaterally decided to dump it on one of the city’s most cluttered street corners — uncleaned and unimproved — where it’s difficult to see clearly from either side of the five-lane road, against a thick, ugly metal power pole and utility boxes, and in the shadow of an unsightly train bridge at the end of a parking lot.
In summary, the Gazette opined:
Anything’s got to be better than the manner in which this location was selected and where the statue ended up.
Lady Liberty deserves better.
Of course, here at Snowmen At the Gates, we insist She Deserves the Best: Her Original and Only appropriate Home, Liberty-Gateway Park.
what can you still do? Contact the Mayor and City Council directly:
- Mayor Gary McCarthy – email@example.com – who has not offered any justification for changing (ignoring) an important element of a very important and approved Plan.
- Photo to the right, L to R: J. Mootooveren, J. Polimeni, K. Zalewski-Wildzunas, G. McCarthy, E. Kosiur
- Ed Kosiur – firstname.lastname@example.org, City Council President, who signed the Goose Hill Petition to move Lady Liberty to Steinmetz Park, despite its gross factual errors, and has declared without explanation that “only the Mayor has the delegation” to make this decision.
- John Polimeni – email@example.com, who signed the Goose Hill Petition to move Lady Liberty to Steinmetz Park
- Leesa Perazzo – firstname.lastname@example.org, who sponsored the 2013 Resolution adopting the Implementation Plan, but has been most silent on the topic
- Karen Zalewski-Wildzunas – kZalewskiWildzunas@schenectadyny.gov, who signed the Goose Hill Petition to move Lady Liberty to Steinmetz Park. (Update [Sept. 3, 2019]: According to the Aug. 28 Gazette, Ms. Z-W “liked the location, citing its proximity to the Schenectady Train Station and the Stockade, and thinks most residents will find it to be an acceptable location.)
- John Mootooveren – email@example.com, Chair of the Council’s Health and Recreation Committee
- Marion Porterfield – firstname.lastname@example.org, who suggested in March 2018 we might poll the affected neighborhoods, but has been silent since.
- Vincent Riggi – email@example.com, the only Council member to consistently demand implementing the Implementation Plan and suitably honoring Lady Liberty and her Schenectady history.
And, Mary Moore Wallinger, firstname.lastname@example.org, who changed her mind after designing Gateway Plaza and writing the Implementation Plan and now says Lady Liberty “does not fit in” with Wallinger Plaza’s contemporary theme.