A letter from Councilman Bill Green in today's Daily News about the Rick's Steaks controversy has drawn a harsh response from Councilman Frank DiCicco.
In the Daily News, Green writes that he has been reviewing the ongoing dispute between Rick's Steaks and the Reading Terminal Market -- after a drawn-out legal battle Rick Olivieri has agreed to vacate his longtime cheesesteak stand in the market -- and says more oversight in such situations is needed. He goes on to say that the market fight is an example of "people entrusted with preserving public assets apparently abusing their positions of authority to advantage their friends and associates."
(Green also mentions that he went to grade school with Olivieri.)
His remarks didn't sit well with DiCicco, who serves on the board of directors for the market. DiCicco today sent Green a scathing letter. Here are some key quotes:
"I read with interest your letter in today's Daily News and continue to marvel at you inexperience, your political naivete and your inability to see an issue for what it truly is."
"In future I would encourage you to focus on the issues themselves rather than merely attempting to grand stand and gain public notoriety."
"Most upsetting about yout letter is your statement that the Market is an example of "people entrusted with preserving public assets apparently abusing their positions of authority to advantage their friends and associates." Following this bold and accusatory statement, you admit a close relationship with Olivieri. Of course this relationship has nothing to do with your interest in this topic."
At the close of the letter -- which was cc'd to the Mayor, all of City Council and the market's board -- DiCicco tells Green that he should "alter his tactics and his tone."
Asked about the letter, Green played it cool. "I appreciate Councilman DiCicco's experience," he said. "I remain hopeful that Councilman DiCicco and I can work together to ensure that prized public assests are appropriately protected and managed."