In June of 2017, Washington Square Park was on the Community Board 2 Parks Committee meeting agenda after a long absence. Also on the agenda was the (controversial) private Washington Square Park Conservancy.
At that meeting, the boundaries crossed as then-newly hired New York City Parks Department employee and WSP Administrator George Vellonakis was not quite up to speed and so Washington Square Park Conservancy staffer Sheryl Woodruff answered public questions about the park, instead of the publicly-paid park administrator. It was confusing.
The community has long fought to keep the reins of this very special Greenwich Village park in the hands of the city Parks Department vs. a private entity as the responsibility has been handed over to private entities at too many of our public parks, leading to many problems.
After WSP Blog commented to Community Board 2’s Parks Committee some confusion for the public in the way things transpired at that June meeting, the Community Board was responsive, and is attempting to make a clear delineation of the two entities at the upcoming meeting.
(To make things even more confusing, Vellonakis, the redesigner of Washington Square Park – 2007-2014+ – is also “Executive Director” of Washington Square Park conservancy. This clearly should be considered a conflict-of-interest. Search ‘privatization’ at this blog for more information.)
At the meeting Wednesday, January 3rd, Washington Square Park will be discussed, and also Washington Square Park Conservancy will talk about what that private organization – which, again, does not run or manage the park – is up to* and will hopefully involve the public in these discussions.
COMMUNITY BOARD 2 PARKS/ WATERFRONT COMMITTEE
Wed., January 3rd @ 6:30 PM – NYU Silver Building, 32 Waverly Place, off Washington Square East, Room 401
1. Update on previous year activities and upcoming year plans by [New York City Parks Department] Washington Square Park Administrator, George Vellonakis
2 Bi-annual update on previous year and upcoming activities by representatives of Washington Square Park Conservancy.*
* for more on this private organization, Washington Square Park conservancy, visit Private Conservancy Watch.