State Senator Carl Kruger is attempting to prod the mayor to step in and protect Coney Island’s boardwalk businesses, which are being kicked out by the new amusement operator, Zamperla USA.
New York Post reports:
State Sen. Carl Kruger – a longtime critic of the Bloomberg administration’s plans to revive Coney Island – was back on the fabled boardwalk today, this time saying he hopes to work with the mayor to help keep eight longtime boardwalk businesses from having to shut down.
… Kruger (D-Brooklyn), who met the business owners and members of the press, said he wanted to try and broker a deal with Zamperla and the city to save the businesses.
“I think what we are talking about is David taking on Goliath,” said Kruger (D-Brooklyn), on why he wanted to help the underdog merchants.
“Thank you for being the first politician to come down here and try to help,” said Anthony Berlingieri, owner of the Shoot the Freak attraction and sandy Beer Island, told Kruger.
The business owners want to remain on the boardwalk and plan to fight the evictions in court.
Whether the mayor and Zamperla will listen to Kruger is another story.
Kruger and the mayor have historically been at odds over a variety of issues – especially Coney Island.
In 2007, he paid to have 500 people bussed to a Coney Island meeting to oppose the mayor’s area rezoning plan. The meeting had to be cancelled because there was not enough room.
He also threatened to holdup the rezoning by blocking a necessary transfer of state parkland before a deal was cut last year in which developer Joe Sitt, a generous Kruger campaign donor, agreed to sell the city the land it needed to move forward with the mayor’s plan to revive the seaside area.
“I don’t consider my relationship with the mayor tense,” said Kruger, adding that he believes he could still get a deal done if all sides are willing to come and negotiate.