Dear Mathieu "inside the flag" Eugene:
It started off so hopeful, and we had some nice times together. But for my sanity and for the sake of the 40th Council District, I think it's time we start seeing other people. Oh the heck with it...I'm breaking up with you, and here's why.
When you came into office, you cost the taxpayers roughly $400,000 because you failed to move to our district in time to get the election certified. You refused to state under oath that you lived here. Why exactly did you do that? Was living in the district you represent that unimportant to you, that you failed to cross your t's and dot your i's, and um, live here? And exactly how much time have you spent at the apartment in Flatbush, the one that you apparently have trouble paying the rent at? By the way that Ditmas Corner article I just linked to noted that you're occasionally seen taking your kids to school. I won't touch that one, but frankly I rarely see you out and about. Most council members spend a great deal of time getting to know their constituents. I mean, it's not like you're in Albany most of the time. You're right here in NYC. I see State Assemblywoman Rhoda Jacobs more often than you. Where are you most of the time? I'm shocked to say it, but I'm quite sad not to see more of you. Your reelection campaign website cites 2011 information. You have next to no presence ANYWHERE on the web. Google you then google Jumaane or Tish or Lander. It's bizarre. You're the only person I know who's able to hide from the internet!!
But now I hear that you're not even playing by the rules in your current reelection campaign. Why, Mathieu, did you send out a brochure trumpeting your achievements in the Council within 90 days of the Primary Election? Did you forget that this was absolutely against the law? It's called a "blackout period," during which you're not allowed to utilize your office or its funds to campaign. I wonder if the Campaign Finance Board has been alerted to this. Surely they, and the Council itself, must frown on such illegal activity. Very disappointing indeed. Is it true that your reelection campaign team (basically run by your well-compensated brother) had listed your district office on Linden Boulevard with governing authorities? Did you not know that this is also illegal? It's important to at least APPEAR to separate your office budget (that we all pay for) and the budget of your campaign, that frankly we all pay for too, but you have to at least raise 1/6 of it yourself from friends and supporters. Wait a second. You haven't been approved by the Board to receive matching funds. Why is that? Doesn't every candidate want 6 times their war chest? Or is there something preventing you from getting that taxpayer money? Poor planning maybe, or poor accounting, or maybe spending too much from the wrong kitty. Either way, it was a very big oversight, Mathieu. It's disappointing to be sure, but par for the course I'm afraid. You're just not interested in such thorny details.
Maybe someone whose job it is to look at such things will complete some sort of audit of your books. I'd be surprised if they didn't find more irregularities. You're just not very careful, at best, and perhaps even willfully negligent or criminal, or more likely, just plain incompetent. I've begun to suspect the latter, because I'd like to assume you're a nice guy who means well.
But Mathieu, meaning well is not a qualification for reelection. Don't take it hard; I still like you. But you're unfit for office, and certainly unfit to represent the people of Flatbush, or more accurately the various Flatbushes, since each micronabe and cultural community deserves to be recognized, respected and represented. There is just one community that you've shown interest in, and even the Haitian community deserves better than your generalized statements and much ballyhooed use of your office for immigrant information, a service that's provided to you pro bono anyway and would be to any councilperson living in an immigrant rich neighborhood. I suspect any of your challengers would do as well if not better at championing the causes of the Haitian diaspora.
My opinion of you went from disbelief (that any elected representative could speak with such vapid platitudes - check out this absurd video about domestic violence) to shock, when I sat around a table with some of my fellow members of CB9 to discuss the budget. You showed up late, but hey, you showed up. When we asked you whether you'd even read the Community Board's requests to the City, you clearly had never bothered to read it. We sent it to you Mathieu. It contains your districts most important needs and concerns. We voted on it as a neighborhood. You wouldn't have even had to come to an actual CB9 meeting (though you occasionally do to claim victory for some budget priority that you had little to do with getting). You could have read the document from your Campaign Office, er, District Office, or even at your primary residence in Canarsie. And you seemed to have NO IDEA how the City budgeting process works. That's, like, your most crucial job as City legislator. Six years in and you still don't know how the budget works?
Feel free to have your people contact me to verify or deny any of the things I've said here. I'm quite confident you won't, because frankly Mathieu, you don't have much to be proud of at this point, and much more to lose than to gain by picking fights.
Some of the newer or less politically minded folks in your district might wonder how you got elected at all. It's pretty simple really. The old council person Yvette Clarke, and the council person before that, her mother Una, hand-picked you to be their successor. Here's what Una had to say about you at the time. “I think he will make an excellent and competent council member" and “Yvette and I are sparing no effort to help someone who will build on our legacy and do better than we did and that person is Mathieu Eugene."
I'm cc'ing you on my open note to Una: Hey Ms. Clarke, it's never too late to admit you got it wrong. Please, please use your clout and expertise at getting out the vote and endorse someone else, preferably Saundra Thomas, who actually has a website and a passion to lead the district. For the sake of the 40th that you love so much, please consider the good you'd be doing!
But Mathieu, here's hoping I see you again soon, back practicing as a doctor and not pretending to know what you're doing in public office. Actually, I've heard you don't know what you're doing as a doctor either, and have actually keeping up a ridiculous facade that you're even licensed to practice, but let's not go down that road.
See you in the 'hood! Flatbush that is, not Canarsie.
- The Q