With 7 Days to Go Before Westchester County terminates the Standard Amusements Playland Agreement County Executive Appears to Stand Firm:
WPCNR COUNTY CLARION LEDGER. Statement by County Executive George Latimer on Playland from the Westchester County Department of Communications. May 21, 2019:
“The County elected to terminate this contract because Standard did not engage in the ongoing process to resolve its breaches of the Playland Agreement. We outlined in detail ovCounty Executive With 7 Days to Go Before County Terminates the Standard Amusements Playland Agreement Appears to Stand Firm:er a year ago the basic problems we had with the original deal, and more recently, the failures of Standard to honor its commitments in the manager’s investment.
We wanted to work toward an amicable termination of the contract; later in the process, we offered an opportunity for Standard to provide consulting services in partnership with the County to reposition and strengthen the park.
Those meetings, held between counsel for both Standard and the County, was the opportunity for there to be a new construct of our relationship that could be beneficial to the park, and to the people of Westchester.
“Subsequently, Standard has embarked on a campaign to undermine public confidence in park health and safety, working to purposefully injure the County’s ability to operate Playland. This is disappointing behavior from a company that claims to be focused on the best interests of Playland.
“Standard’s public relations firm has also been falsely accusing the County of a lack of transparency. But it has been Standard that has failed to be transparent.
Our Administration met publicly with the Board of Legislators for 2+ hours to answer questions and outline our position. We have held press conferences answering all questions from the press about this matter.
On the other hand, Standard has not been forthcoming about the source and terms of the investment it claims is available to the company to satisfy its obligations to invest $27.75 million in Playland.
Standard has refused to allow the County to complete its audit of the amounts Standard claims to have invested in the park.
We already know that the vast majority of those amounts cannot properly be claimed as part of the company’s contractually defined Manager’s Investment.
Standard has yet to publicly answer questions about its investors, its specific plans for the park, the specific projects it would use its capital to fund, and a wide range of legitimate operational questions.
And financing an on-line petition that seeks to get people – who want to simply save Playland – to endorse their private takeover of the park, is deceptive.
“We all want what is best for Playland, and we agree that a public private partnership can accomplish that mission – but this deal with Standard Amusement is not a partnership; it is a giveaway of authority and responsibility of a precious public asset to a private organization whose motives and processes are at best, unclear, and at worse, deceptive.
“We would be derelict in our public duties to simply accept a bad deal struck by others, and meekly acquiesce to the end of public management of Playland for the benefit of the people of Westchester.”