|Last month's Community Board 9 meeting|
The big question on many-a-mind: why no zoning conversation on THIS month's agenda? Well, for one, zoning is not the only thing the CB is charged with doing. We're part of a budgeting process that allows us some say-so on how the City's money is spent. Oh, yes, it's largely advisory. But do you think, say, that revamped Parkside Playground just sprang from Mathieu Eugene's loins? (ewww) Of course not. It was long a priority of the Community District to revamp its decrepit parks and play spaces. We'll be voting on Capital and Expense requests to the City tonight. And recommending the approval of some liquor licenses.
Reason two, who wants to invite another fracas? MTOPP, the group adamantly opposed to residential development on two blocks of Empire Boulevard screamed and yelled and generally shut down last month's meeting. Word has reached the Q that last night MTOPP held another strategy meeting to "get what we want" at tonight's meeting. What do they want exactly? Hard to say. It keeps changing. But Alicia hates hates hates Pearl Miles, District Manager. And has nothing nice to say about yours truly or anyone on the Executive Committee. She's alienated all the elected officials and bureaucrats, save one ego-fueled currently elected Democratic Assembly District Leader named Geoffrey Davis, who by the way once stalked another currently elected Democratic Assembly District Leader from a neighboring neighborhood, then his girlfriend, Renee Collymore. (You can't make this shit up. These are the people we get when we're sleeping through Election Day.)
At the end of this post I attach tonight's agenda. And while MTOPP claims to be prepared to "speak out" tonight, they're actually not allowed and will (supposedly) be escorted out if they disrupt the meeting. Because the issue is not on the agenda, there is no requirement to let them speak to a "general" complaint. This rule is intended to keep CB meetings from being gripe sessions. You're supposed to bring your concerns to the District Manager, who in turn works with the Committee Chairs to put your issue on the appropriate committee's agenda. Then after hearing what you have to say, the committee (say, Public Safety, my current assignment) makes a recommendation. If the recommendation is to discuss or vote at the next meeting, then your issue gets on the full CB meeting agenda. Same as it works in Congress and half a million other democratic institutions.
Most of us who work hard, in a volunteer capacity, to do the business of the district are getting pretty tired of being called corrupt and having our precious time wasted by jerks who think they can hijack a process to get what they want. I think it's fair to say that we're all willing to listen to MTOPP's concerns when presented in a respectful manner. Many of those concerns are shared by those of us who care deeply about how real estate development proceeds in the area. But giving in to the loudest voice is not serving the community. It's giving in to bullies. And the Q don't play that game. He's happy to push right back.