Battery Park City residents’ democracy lesson for King Cuomo

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Battery Park City residents just proved that New Yorkers can indeed stop dictatorial overreach by pols like Gov. Andrew Cuomo: They just forced him to back down on a plan to swipe precious park space in their area for a memorial to essential workers.

The memorial, of course, was a fine idea: The city would’ve never made it through the pandemic without its essential workers. Yet the spot Team Cuomo chose would’ve cost locals cherished green space — and it came as a complete shock: Neighbors were never consulted.

After fierce opposition, Cuomo & Co. caved this week, agreeing to pick a new site, this time with local input. The gov’s point person even apologized for failing to solicit input.

Of course, the possibility of a lawsuit likely played a key role: Cuomo rushed to have the plan completed by Labor Day, but court action could’ve delayed that. So why not include locals in a new decision, avoiding litigation — and bad optics — in the process?

But there was never any reason to exclude people who live in the area in the first place; it’s just that after 15 months of near-total COVID “emergency” power, the gov has come to see himself as New York’s sole ruler, capable of imposing his will, without scant regard for anyone else.

Good for Battery Park City locals for reminding him this is a democracy and New Yorkers’ voices still count.

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