Mayor Cuts All City Contracts With Trump Organization for ‘Inciting an Insurrection’

Photo by Andy Ihnatko.

By Carol Tannenhauser

You won’t have Trump to skate around anymore.

“The City of New York is severing all contracts with the Trump Organization,” Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe. These include contracts for three iconic Central Park attractions — the Wollman and Lasker skating rinks and the Carousel — as well as the Trump Golf Links in the Bronx. The mayor said he was confident that the city has the legal right to do so, and will prevail in any inevitable Trump-instigated lawsuit.

“Our legal team has done an assessment and the contracts make very clear if a company and the leadership of that company is engaged in criminal activity, we have the right to sever the contract,” the mayor said. “Inciting an insurrection against the United States government clearly constitutes criminal activity. So, the City of New York will no longer have anything to do with the Trump Organization. They have profited from these contracts. They will profit no longer.”

But New Yorkers will still skate and ride in idyllic circles, he added. “We’re going to get new vendors to take over and what’s obvious is these are sites that we want to continue serving the public but not with an organization led by a criminal. So, we will get new vendors to come in and take them over quickly. I want to see the service continue.”

It’s not yet clear if they’ll change the prices, which include a $5 “spectator” fee at both rinks.

The city has been taking steps toward severing business ties with the Trumps for years. Local City Council Member Mark Levine has been determined to get The Trump Organization out of Central Park ever since Donald Trump launched his presidential campaign on July 16, 2015, with a speech saying Mexico was sending “rapists” to the U.S. In October, 2019, the Trump name was “minimized” at both skating rinks.

Wollman Rink is in Central Park at 63rd Street. For information click here. Lasker Rink is on 110th Street and Lenox Avenue. For information click here. The carousel is mid-park at 65th Street. For information click here.

NEWS | 61 comments | permalink
    1. good humor says:

      So random that Trump has any connection with ice rinks.

      • lynn says:

        Years ago I took a group of kids (ages 5-6) for weekend skating lessons, and they participated in the Trump Ice Capades, dressed as storybook characters. I remember DT walking through the on-site cafeteria and everyone was so excited to see him in person. Times have certainly changed.

        • Nothing like slanderous propaganda to change the public’s viewpoint.

          • Sharon Katz says:

            If it was slanderous, he would have sued. It’s true, so he can’t. Truth is a defense against libel. Maybe you should wake up and smell reality along with some morning coffee.

            • Boris says:

              Trump is going to sue whom for slander over a silly comment in the WSR? You’re trying too hard to teach the rest of us a legal concept that doesn’t even come close to being applied here.

          • Boris says:

            How can you call a positive comment slanderous? You must be referring to the last line about how times have changed. That’s slanderous? Amazing how people create their own definitions of legal phrases.

    2. charles becker says:

      The author of the article, Carol Tannenhauser conveniently forgets how Donald Trump came to control the Wollman rink. With typical government bureaucratic bungling the ring’s icing system was kaput for six years. Trump fixed it in six months and took control.

      • Mark Moore says:

        Yeah we know, he did one half-decent thing 35 years ago. Big deal.

        • chuck beckster says:

          Fixing the ice skating ring was a big deal to parents and children.
          Government bungling didn’t stop 35 years ago.
          Look at the covid virus rollout under Cuomo.
          Look at the failure of the FBI and the Capital riots, with advance notice all over social media, to prevent the riots.

          Bungling is second nature of government. It is done at the expense of the over taxed residents of NY etc.

          • World Peacenik says:

            Revisionism omits how he stiffed the workers who worked on it.

          • Tam says:

            Fixing an ice rink in no way fixes his soul for what he has since done to this country. Big deal. Your kids got to skate. Lots of kids have been put in cages and separated from their parents. A police officer at the Capitol died. He has cheated million.

            • Sharon Katz says:

              You forgot he bungled the pandemic, called it a hoax, and killed 350,000 Americans. Sounds like some people would rather he said, “Let ’em eat skate!”

          • Bruce Bernstein says:

            reply to Chuck Beckster:

            The idea that government is the enemy and that “bungling” is synonymous with government is false and dangerous. I heard something very similar from the Capitol insurrectionists. And there was Reagan’s statement that government is not the solution, “government is the problem.”

            I work for a government agency, NYC Health+Hospitals. We are the heart of the COVID response in NYC. We saved over 10,000 lives. Every night at 7 PM peoplebanged pots and pans to cheer “essential workers.” Who do you think these essential workers were? H+H employees, MTA, FDNY (EMT), NYPD, others including Homeless Services. A large percentage were government workers. You cheer for us but then when the crisis is over, it turns back to bashing public employees.

            (btw, another large percentage were undocumented, who are the target of even more hate.)

          • Mark Moore says:

            Then it’s appropriate Trump brought his incessant bungling to government, where he’s bungled just about everything he’s touched.

            Nobody cares what he did 35 years ago.

          • Jay says:

            “Look at the covid virus rollout under Cuomo.

            Look at the failure of the FBI and the Capital riots, with advance notice all over social media, to prevent the riots.”

            You must have been a real whiz on the skating rink, as deftly as you are dancing around Trump’s own role in these issues 🙂

          • Tussa McGinn says:

            Hi Chuck, Not a single Fed agency did what they were supposed to do at the Capitol. Not to mention it is documented that some Cap police let the trump insurrectionists inside the building. That’s what happens when a corrupt president spends four years removing professional leadership with integrity and replacing them with cronies and toadies. And to deflect blame from the seditious un-American trump government by complaining about bureaucracy is like defending an armed bank robber by saying the teller gave him the money. (I wonder if trump paid the people who actually fixed Wollman Rink?)

      • Wayne says:

        Agreed. Probably pains some to admit to it, but the Wollman Rink restoration was absolutely one of Donald Trump’s finer moments. Some light reading:

        NYT: WOLLMAN RINK: 6 YEARS OF ERRORS AND DELAYS – 1986/06/17
        https://www.nytimes.com/1986/06/17/nyregion/wollman-rink-6-years-of-errors-and-delays.html

        NYT: THE REGION; Rink Resurrected; Trump Triumphant
        https://www.nytimes.com/1986/11/16/weekinreview/the-region-rink-resurrected-trump-triumphant.html

        • tnic says:

          Trump’s “finer moment”. Anyone who cares to know the real story behind Wollman and Trump should take time to read this good piece of journalism from 2015: hihttps://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2015-09-29/a-1980s-new-york-city-battle-explains-donald-trump-s-candidacy

          Bottom line: the City’s hands were tied in a way that a private company’s were not. Trump’s contribution was to call in a Canadian company to fix it.

    3. chuck d says:

      Happy about this for many, many reasons including that they ran those rinks into the ground.

      • Cato says:

        Of course they ran the skating rinks into the ground. Where else would you put a skating rink? On the ceiling?

    4. Bob Lamm says:

      Hooray. Get Trump and his businesses out of our city in every way possible.

      • Rob G. says:

        Fine, can’t wait for you to help pay for these pandering, idiotic decisions that will push folks out of work and cause our city to fall into further disrepair. All so some people can feel better about themselves.

    5. Balebusta says:

      In the attempts to sadistically punish Trump in any way that can be done as a means to feel vindicated and in control of a person that creates chaos and makes people feel out of control…I have to wonder about canceling the contracts that will affect many others in the process. Trump & his balance sheet won’t be the only one punished with these punitive responses, what about those employed under the contracts — why not “punish” him the appropriate way? Through the correct channels that address his illegal activities?

      • Peter says:

        What are the correct channels to punish a neo-nazi terrorist leader, who happens to be the most powerful person in the world (for another week)?

      • Paul says:

        Whomever takes over the concessions will hire workers just as the trump organization did.

    6. Christine E says:

      Is the city still planning to close Lasker Pool and Rink for years to build that smaller pool that no one wants? If yes, the Lasker contract was worthless anyway.

    7. Erica says:

      I didn’t like that they were a cash-only business in this day and age. And their coffee was undrinkable…and I drink bodega coffee.

    8. Rob G. says:

      Without Trump, there would be no convenient way for our current mayor and his allies to deflect from their own disastrous reign over our city. I’ll be glad when their both gone – they are both cut from the same mold.

      • brandonsos says:

        All politics are local and “resist Trump” doesn’t mean that you are anti-racist, committed to a fair and just city and state. The CD6 candidates should do more than “resist Trump”.

    9. Trump shelter says:

      Will Trump building on wall street be emptied too? Can city government convert it to homeless shelter?

      • West Ender says:

        And the one on Fifth Avenue too!

        Does this mean his name on that Adopt-a-Highway sign can definitely be removed?

    10. Mark Moore says:

      Good and if Trump sues drag it out in court for as long as possible and then refuse to pay any judgment. It’s what he would do.

    11. Ben David says:

      Another fine move by our beloved leader, Mayor Bill de Blasio. As crime rises daily and young children of color continue to get shot, the mayor has now punished Donald Trump. The city is in decline, the virus is raging, small businesses are dying, education is in turmoil … but we can’t skate in a Trump ice rink anymore. What an important accomplishment!

      • EdNY says:

        “The city is in decline, the virus is raging, small businesses are dying, education is in turmoil” – so at least we have some good news in cutting ties with Trump’s businesses!

        • Loss of NYC tax revenue says:

          Another huge loss of NY City tax. Assuming Trump businesses are honestly claiming number of stay in NYC, not abusing business expense as deductible.

    12. Drg says:

      So when DST sues the city for breach of contract…. who do you think will pay the legal bills?
      The city taxpayers of course… you and me!!!
      Very nice, but I would prefer to pass

      • Mark Moore says:

        There’s no bill for the lawyers, they’re on salary with the city and don’t get overtime.

        • Boris says:

          You’re saying that the City already has the lawyers so they’ll do the work. The point is that the City doesn’t need so many lawyers if there were no lawsuits against it.

      • Sharon Katz says:

        You didn’t read. They vetted the contracts and there is a morals clause. There always is. If your business is found to be committing crime — organized or otherwise — your contract can be severed. As the old Public Service Announcement used to say, “Reading is Fundamental.”

        • Boris says:

          The article says nothing about what you’re saying concerning a morals clause. It refers to criminal conduct which Trump has not been even prosecuted for let alone convicted. An impeachment is a charge not a conviction. DeBlasio has made a criminal allegation which does not automatically cancel a contract.

    13. Crankypants says:

      Our inept Mayor has found his latest topic to deflect from his own failed reign. Everything he touches turns to mud, so this is the beginning of the end for the rinks.

    14. EdNY says:

      In the immortal words of Mama Rose (and others): Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    15. DarDarBinks says:

      This is a mixed bag,
      most important point, if you believe Trump is guilty of treason, this action is mandatory not a vendetta.
      but…
      knowing this action has been contemplated for some time (as a vendetta) the city will still disenfranchise all the mid and low level employees, and the real people will be the afterthought typical for our local government regardless of party.

      • EdNY says:

        If you believe that moral standards necessitate this decision, then you have to deal with the negative fallout. And I would question “vendetta” – consider what Trump has done to trash the city, especially comments on the Central Park Five AFTER they were proven not guilty.

    16. tailfins says:

      The Trump contract at Lasker is up in the spring. After that, the Central Park Conservancy had planned to shut down the rink and pool for three years to redevelop the space. If all of that is still the case, who is going to want to take over the concession for Lasker for 3 months?

      • Jane says:

        Now there’s a key point not mentioned in the article. I don’t want to see corporate-named public buildings and spaces anywhere. Even the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse. There oughta be a law.

    17. Sayonara says:

      Just get that name out of my eyesight.
      What a disgrace.
      This low-life and his family always has been in New York ever since I’ve known him from the late 80s.

    18. JS says:

      No question NYC has to get rid of Trump and his businesses in NYC. Why should he run a business in a city that he had recently publicly trashed. Time to cut him off.

    19. robert says:

      Part I
      Except the contract requires that the “criminal activity” be confirmed in a court of law and that all avenues of appeal be exhausted IE unless he is convicted in a criminal court, the city has not legal standing to void these contacts. He will never be convicted by the senate and the investigations into him and his companies are civil jurisdiction.
      Even if they could legally cancel the contracts, they are required to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to Trumps’ companies to get out of the contract early.

      • Sharon Katz says:

        Not true. Criminality does not have to be defined by a court of law to be stopped. If that were the case, how would a killer be stopped? Stop first. Trial later. It’s just an absurd notion. Look how long it takes to imprison mobsters. Property is seized first. Held in escrow for as long as it takes. Then eventually sold off. Same thing.

        • Boris says:

          You’re way off and being ridiculous. There’s never any question about stopping a crime in progress. Your rant about asset seizures has nothing to do with stopping crimes. In Federal cases, you would need a grand jury to determine aspects of that process and the assets seized would have to be earned through the alleged crime. You’re mixing up so many legal elements that your comments are a joke.

          There is an allegation of criminal activity by DeBlasio based on an impeachment article for which no conviction has been effected. That is the line of reasoning you’re using to cancel a civil contract. Weak sauce.

    20. robert says:

      Part II

      If we really want to break city contracts, perhaps we should look at Thrive New York. An organization that has “misplaced” 565 million taxpayer dollars. On that is right it’s the mayor’s wife’s organization she set up and runs. Yet has nothing to show for it and it has been recommended by outside forensic accountants that a full reconstruction was needed to properly file with the city and state charities required filings for nonprofits. Interestingly our sate AG and mayor’s office took the findings “under advisement” early in 2019 and then quietly decided not to act

      • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

        reply to Robert:

        the same lies get repeated about Thrive NYC and Chirlane McCray over and over and over again. I wonder why?

        less than 2 minutes of web searching will find an accounting of all funds, a budget, a listing of programs and much more transparent data.

        is it appropriate for WSR to let people repeat the same lies, over and over again, anonymously?

        https://thrivenyc.cityofnewyork.us/programs

        • nemo paradise says:

          Most frauds — going back to Enron — have audited financial statements and volumes of reports. But we still don’t know where the money actually went, and we certainly can find no evidence or example of even one dollar that has produced a result.

          • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

            reply to Nemo:

            Enron’s accountants went to jail and the whole company (Arthur Andersen) had to be dispanded.

            We DO know where the Thrive money “actually went”. it is all on the link i provided. Your insistence on a massive “fraud” is reminiscent of the Trumpers’ insistence that the 2020 election was fraudulent. Despite all the proof to the contrary, they keep repeating the same lies.

    21. M says:

      DeBlasio rearrangining the deck chairs on the Titanic! And moving the focus off of everything he is NOT doing to help this city. This lame duck is so out of his league!

    22. Wijmlet says:

      Zamboni!

    23. A Q says:

      Insurrection is a heavy lift to prove….as well as proving beyond a doubt Trump was the cause of what took place . In any lawsuit on this matter, Trump will in all likelihood prevail.

    24. Neal says:

      History repeats for those that don’t bother to study it.
      Disappointed to guess what those rinks will look like in 10-years after government (or government selected program) operates them “for the people”