Bloomberg, Cuomo strike deal on Ground Zero Museum

Rick Moran
The two egomaniacs finally put their differences aside and have come to an agreement on funding the Ground Zero Museum, as well as who would administer it.

New York Times:

After nearly a year of discord and delay, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo reached an agreement on Monday to resume construction of the Sept. 11 museum at ground zero in Manhattan.

In negotiations over the weekend, aides to Mr. Bloomberg and Mr. Cuomo resolved longstanding disputes over which government agencies would pay for the costs of the museum and which officials would oversee it. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey then agreed to the arrangement.

Mr. Christie and Mr. Cuomo share control over the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, while Mr. Bloomberg heads the Sept. 11 foundation, which oversees the national memorial and museum at the former World Trade Center site and the annual commemoration.

"I'm very gratified that on the eve of this important anniversary we are able to announce an agreement that will ensure the completion of the 9/11 museum," Mr. Bloomberg said in a statement Monday night. He added that the agreement ensured that construction "will be restarted very soon and will not stop until the museum is completed."

The tentative resolution involves additional cash payments from the Sept. 11 foundation for construction costs, closer coordination among the parties and the creation of an advisory committee to resolve disputes.

The museum, dedicated to documenting the attack and honoring its victims, had been scheduled to open in a formal ceremony on the attack's 11th anniversary on Tuesday, but construction work largely stopped after the 10th anniversary. Both sides say they are now hoping that the museum, which sits seven stories below street level, will open by the end of 2013, as Mayor Bloomberg's term ends. Construction is expected to resume by the end of the month.

Why has it taken 11 years after that horrible day to build a museum documenting the attacks? Why will One World Trade Center - formerly known as the Freedom Tower - take nearly 14 years after the attacks to fill out the New York skyline again?

This is ridiculous and we should have been making a bigger stink about it all along. The problem -- surprise, surprise -- is too much government. Not only the city and state, but the Port Authority, the state of New Jersey, and the burrough of Manhattan have wrangled, clashed, delayed, obfuscated, and finally achieved paralysis over plans for the site. Things appear to be rolling now but the fact that it took more than a decade for the issues to be resolved is nearly incomprehensible to anyone who lives outside of the political cocoon of New York.

No doubt the site will be both magnificent and inspirational. But it shouldn't have taken so long for these politicians to put aside their egos and come to an agreement on something so fundamentally important to the city, the state, and the country.


The two egomaniacs finally put their differences aside and have come to an agreement on funding the Ground Zero Museum, as well as who would administer it.

New York Times:

After nearly a year of discord and delay, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo reached an agreement on Monday to resume construction of the Sept. 11 museum at ground zero in Manhattan.

In negotiations over the weekend, aides to Mr. Bloomberg and Mr. Cuomo resolved longstanding disputes over which government agencies would pay for the costs of the museum and which officials would oversee it. Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey then agreed to the arrangement.

Mr. Christie and Mr. Cuomo share control over the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, while Mr. Bloomberg heads the Sept. 11 foundation, which oversees the national memorial and museum at the former World Trade Center site and the annual commemoration.

"I'm very gratified that on the eve of this important anniversary we are able to announce an agreement that will ensure the completion of the 9/11 museum," Mr. Bloomberg said in a statement Monday night. He added that the agreement ensured that construction "will be restarted very soon and will not stop until the museum is completed."

The tentative resolution involves additional cash payments from the Sept. 11 foundation for construction costs, closer coordination among the parties and the creation of an advisory committee to resolve disputes.

The museum, dedicated to documenting the attack and honoring its victims, had been scheduled to open in a formal ceremony on the attack's 11th anniversary on Tuesday, but construction work largely stopped after the 10th anniversary. Both sides say they are now hoping that the museum, which sits seven stories below street level, will open by the end of 2013, as Mayor Bloomberg's term ends. Construction is expected to resume by the end of the month.

Why has it taken 11 years after that horrible day to build a museum documenting the attacks? Why will One World Trade Center - formerly known as the Freedom Tower - take nearly 14 years after the attacks to fill out the New York skyline again?

This is ridiculous and we should have been making a bigger stink about it all along. The problem -- surprise, surprise -- is too much government. Not only the city and state, but the Port Authority, the state of New Jersey, and the burrough of Manhattan have wrangled, clashed, delayed, obfuscated, and finally achieved paralysis over plans for the site. Things appear to be rolling now but the fact that it took more than a decade for the issues to be resolved is nearly incomprehensible to anyone who lives outside of the political cocoon of New York.

No doubt the site will be both magnificent and inspirational. But it shouldn't have taken so long for these politicians to put aside their egos and come to an agreement on something so fundamentally important to the city, the state, and the country.