Whereas New York’s Governor David Paterson’s leadership abilities have proven to be less than effective, he’s now involving himself in a project that has proved itself a spectacular chasm of ineffectualness: the rebuilding of the World Trade Center.
The governor will be personally involved in the ad nauseam talks between the developer and the owner of the WTC site: the intriguing Larry Silverstein and the equally provocative Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Silverstein had threatened a binding arbitration yesterday which prompted the governor’s intervention; hence, curtailing yet another legal snafu with which these two high rolling profiteers have, for the past eight years, cavalierly rolled over Ground Zero.
Governor Paterson met with Silverstein and, while the two parties are no closer today then before they first met, the governor hopes that his nascent arbitration will be of some help.
“We thought that the conversations were effective enough that we have postponed the binding arbitration date, basically indefinitely, but at least for a couple of weeks,” he said, “to give us a chance to have direct negotiations between Larry Silverstein and the governor’s office.”
Nonetheless, Paterson doesn’t plan to move away from the Port Authority’s position (the core of the dispute) which compels Silverstein or a similar plutocrat to come up with $625 million to over $1 billion to build the WTC’s two main towers. Back in the day when flags were waving, vigils were flourishing, and “God Bless America” was echoing throughout the land, this was the “Symbol of Freedom” that was to be built in less than two years. Nearly a decade later, there’s not much to show for our patriotic swaggering; in fact, while NYC enjoys the most lucrative construction boom in its history, no one’s able to come up with one billion bucks to symbolize America’s purported freedom.
If Paterson came to Ground Zero to perform his swan song, he couldn’t have chosen a better locale: this has become the burial ground for many real or fictional claims to fame and final moments in the sun.