What is the Gerson-Quinn Agreement?

*“The Gerson-Quinn Agreement” is a somewhat dubious document, drafted by Council Member Alan Gerson and Speaker Christine Quinn, dated October 6, 2005, and sent to Parks Commissioner Benepe.

In the document, the Council Members put forth a framework for “resolving the outstanding major issues pertaining to the renovation of Washington Square Park.”

The only problem is that the outstanding major issues were(are): the reconfiguration of the entire park, the reduction in public space, the aligning and moving of the fountain, the moving of the dog runs, the cutting down of the park’s trees, removing the “sunken plaza” around the fountain, the lack of input from community members, a 4 foot fence around the park, among others. These issues are not addressed in the Gerson-Quinn Agreement in any substantive fashion. Nonetheless, it contains guidelines within it that they ask the Parks Department to adhere to. (I’ll cover some of these in the coming days.)

Basically, the Gerson-Quinn Agreement followed the principle of ‘ask what you think you can get, vs. what you want.’ (Many would argue they just stayed cozily in line with what Mayor Bloomberg and Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe wanted.)

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