The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Send Jesse Hamilton A Note

Wondering how MTOPP and their Empire Study Group got on tonight's CB9 agenda in the first place? Granted once the Board recognized its mistake and sent them to the committee first. Did they have to? No, the Exec could've kept them on since no vote was required. They were just going to show us their plans for Champs-Élysées BK. Well, it turns out that Jesse Hamilton, your NY State Senator, sent a note to Chair Demetrius Lawrence asking to give her the floor, without fully informing him of who was behind it. Assuming it was Kosher, Demetrius followed Jesse's lead, only to find out that Boyd Co. were behind it. The same folks who'd made such a stink about how "everything must first go to committee." Now MTOPP is asking its followers to send Hamilton a note demanding that the item be placed back on the agenda.

GUESS WHAT? Despite some prancing and lofty accusations, the meeting was relatively calm. Though pretty much anyone with a beef against the CB got their licks in. Remind me why I bother? I guess because I'm not a quitter and I have a high tolerance for pain.

So why's Hamilton getting on board the Boyd Train? Beats me. But I do hope someone on the Empire Study Group will figure out how to keep her in check. My guess is that Jesse thinks he can play all sides, especially since longtime pal and endorser Eric Adams is being sued by she-who-shall-not-be-named. Actually, don't count out Pearl Miles just yet! Her suit seems to making headway, and apparently aims to take down a lot of people AND...the nuttiest part. She's demanding her job back. Do not, I repeat, do NOT count out Pearl Miles. She may get rich AND another chance to be surly! (Yeah, I miss her. And I can now see why she was so grumpy. This is HARD work and people can be really effing rude.)

After tussling with Diana Richardson, Laurie Cumbo, Eric, PLGNA, PPEN and getting Pearl Miles canned and many resignations from the Board, and souring the entire Board to the prospect of trying to find consensus around issues of import - I feel like Jesse should know better. I'm frankly really disappointed - stepping in to help MTOPP when they already dominate the meetings. Let it play out Senator. But don't take sides. And don't feed the beast.

While Cabia Doily asked her followers to cut and paste her anti-CB9 message to the Senator, I respect your intelligence enough to ask that you share with him whatever's on your mind. If he's going to step into the Empire Blvd debate, he should know it ain't one-sided.

Oh, and the Empire Reconstruction Project? Back to square one. Why? Beats me. Someone seems to think it's our job to know the project better than DOT and question every detail. They asked for a letter of support. Fine. Check back in a few years when the Committee all gets its advanced degrees in Urban Infrastructure. I still think consensus is impossible and it's time to move on.

Oh and we voted to send a letter to DOT asking them to make it possible for observant Jews to prepay the meter on Friday afternoons. Why, you might ask? Because if you're of the Chabad faction - the crowd that lives near Kingston Ave - you're strict about Rabbinical Law. You don't handle money after sundown, so you get a ticket when you're parked at a meter. So tonight we won one for Sandy Koufax!

The gentleman who was there tonight admonishing us to get our acts together and fight unwanted development - nice. He noted that housing advocates are no longer going to support the 80/20 or even 70/30 model for affordable housing. They want low income housing, and goddamit that sounds about right. Here's a query for you though. Would MTOPP support building ALL affordable low income housing on Empire Blvd? Even with a cap of, say, 10 stories? Of course not. Because this has never been about housing for them. They'd never let anything as ghastly as Tivoli or Ebbets rise now. And, it should be pointed out, that's a hell of a lot of rent stabilized units. Hypocrisy is best served raw.

Oh, and that address again. (And no, there will be no free tickets to "Hamilton" given away. Just the knowledge that you've engaged in civic discourse with your elected leader! Isn't that better than tickets to a Broadway show? Isn't it? Okay of course not. But


Anonymous said...

I don't live in the PLG' CB district, so you can tell me it's none of my beeswax, but I have to ask: You sent a letter asking DOT to give Chabad people the right to take up a metered space for more than 24 hours?!?!?!?!? Are you kidding? It's up to them to move their cars BEFORE Shabbos starts. They don't get to take metered parking for longer than anyone else can. Come on! The very reason we have alternate-side-of-the-street parking rules suspended for an increasing number of days (and I am grateful for every single last one of them that doesn't fall on a Wednesday or weekend) began with Orthodox Jews' inability to move their cars on a holiday. Now they want metered spaces too? No way, Jose! And for the record, I'm Jewish too, but this is nonsense.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Whoa tiger! The meters were only for M-F to begin with. They wanted to prepay for a few hours on Friday. That's all. I made the joke that we should make them active on Sunday then. No one seemed to think it was funny - neither the Orthodox nor the rest of the car owning public.

btw pretty much all the businesses are owned by religious jews too.

i doubt very much that your parking rights will be impacted in the slightest.

Anonymous said...

I sent my email to Senator Hamilton, letting him know that I have a voice and also votes.

Let see what his response will be!

Anonymous said...

Nothing coming up under Pearl's name on any of the court websites. Unless you can provide evidence to the contrary, where are you getting the intel about her case "progressing?" Not trying to be an ass.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

I don't know enough about the law to know whether I'm allowed to name him. I know he's been deposed and knows everyone involved in the suit very, very well. As in for decades. That should be enough to identify deep throat, no?

I was told I'd be asked for a statement at some point but not yet. The things I would attest to:

1. Pearl kept an immaculate office with terrific records.
2. Pearl was respected by her fellow DMs.
3. Pearl could be a very grumpy and unpleasant face of the Board office. That was certainly her downfall.
4. Pearl probably had good reason to be annoyed by some of the people in the neighborhood who were constantly out to "get" her. She was defensive, let's put it that way. Excessively so, perhaps.
5. Pearl always responded immediately to my concerns and questions
6. Pearl possesses a terrific intellect, and when you crossed her she could cut you down to size.
7. Most elected officials hated her and had it "in for her," even saying so publicly. Letitia James once railed on her, so did Jessie Hamilton, plus Eric Adams' longtime aide Ingrid Gordon.
8. I'm fairly certain the accusation is true that an elected said publicly, at an open meeting, that she was too old and it was time for her to go.
9. Her pay rate, dictated by seniority, was knocked by a lot of people as excessive.

What else? It was my perspective, and I voiced it, that there was not enough concrete reason to fire her and that she should have been given a stern warning on behavior first anyway. I voted to keep her, one of maybe 8 out of 35 folks, can't recall exactly. From my perspective, she was nearing retirement age anyway. I know everyone was feeling urgency, but look what it's accomplished? We're still sitting on everything anyway.

By the way she did write the first resolution for a Planning Study and it was absolutely terrific, and more specific than Planning was used to. That's why were put at the top of the list (plus we had Empire to develop, or so we thought). She sent it around for comment and I told her it was great. Whether other Board members were listening or paying attention or going to the Community Outreach meetings? That's on them. The vote was legal, it was nearly unanimous in favor. That's why we should be nearly done by now, with a forward-looking plan for development. Oops.

We will look back on this as one of the great missed opportunities in our lifetime (for the nabe anyway). That's my prediction and I'm sticking to it. Cabia Doily and her group will be long dead and we'll still be feeling the effects. (We meaning the community. I don't expect to outlive the mighty Doily. I believe she has some sort of force field around her, possibly not of this earth.)