Statement from FOLSP president Sam Pesin condemning story's quotes by NJ Future director 

I must condemn the sugar-coating/white-washing by the executive director of NJ Future, in their quotes (in the 11/8 JC Reporter story) - which ignored 39 years of the broad public consensus against LSP privatization/commercialization and collaborated with Governor Christie's administration which wants to commercialize/privatize LSP (and other public lands). NJ Future took $120K for a commercial development plans search and according to the DEP, every inch of LSP was shown. The 1/6/15 NY Times story had the DEP stating that one proposal was a commercial concert venue - which would severely harm LSP public access on spring and summer weekends , inevitably causing traffic jams and the confiscating of free parking spaces.The NJ Future director now says "he does not want a public park like Liberty State Park to be turned over for economic development," but he took grant money to facilitate the search for commercial proposals.

Free park programs and periodic weekend festivals like All Points West and Tough Mudder are fine but not renting out a concert venue shell in a long term lease to a private company. The DEP "privatizer-in-chief", Lou Valente indicated to me that they were also considering a hotel where the Terminal train sheds are. They need restoring but not at the expense of seizing it for a hotel - hotels should be built in JC. Lou Valente also spoke about some sort of private marina at LSP's peaceful south end. The Governor's warped philosophy is to make parks "sustain themselves" but Parks serve the Public Good and should be supported by tax revenue and Green Acres funds, etc. and the park actually brings in $1.5 million a year from the marina, two restaurants and ferry lease, etc. The clear message from the last nine months and from the Nov 1 protest event and the last 39 years is that the overwhelming majority want a free and green open space park behind Lady Liberty, no matter what revenue is promised from commercial leases for chunks of our priceless urban state park. Park supporters are ready to fight to protect our park for us and future generations!. 

In an 11/13 email  to Sam Pesin, the Executive Director of NJ Future, Peter Kasabach, stated that the reporter didn't include his full description of what is in his report, and wrote, "To be clear, I have consistently said that the study includes development, infrastructure, programming and concession ideas."