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New boss at ‘Park’ Conservancy

The Brooklyn Paper
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The Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy tapped its vice president, Nancy Webster, to become the group’s acting director after longtime leader Marianna Koval announced her resignation last week.

Webster now steps to the forefront of the group responsible for coordinating events in the existing portions of a proposed $350-million development that is at a crossroads. The first pieces of the controversial 85-acre condo and park project are scheduled to open by the end of this year, but other key sections are on hold until the city and state allocate full funding for the park.

Webster acknowledged the funding challenges in an e-mail interview with The Brooklyn Paper, and laid out some other potential trouble spots, such as the coming reconstruction of the Brooklyn–Queens Expressway’s triple cantilever portion under the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, and the need to proceed with controversial condo and hotel development inside the park to provide upkeep funds for the parkland.

Those potential hazards don’t discourage Webster from seeking to become the next permanent director.

“I’ll certainly throw my hat in the ring. But in the meantime, I’ll concentrate on continuing the Conservancy’s important advocacy work on behalf of Brooklyn Bridge Park, and helping to ensure that we have a great lineup of free programming in the park this summer.”

Skeptics suggested the position opened because Koval resigned out of frustration with the slow pace of progress, though she said she simply wants to spend more time with her teenage daughter after 10 years with the Conservancy.

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