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.

Friday, February 5, 2016

CB9 Chair Removes the Q For...Being the Q

It is with both surprise and relief that the Q is here to tell you just how disappointed and oddly elated he is. I am. I've been removed as Chair of Transportation, after enduring an evening of blatant lies about my character. I was particular struck by LMA President Ben Edwards' harsh words. He barely every speaks at all, and apparently he holds me in extremely low regard. Perhaps his miserable work as ULURP Committee Chair last year plays into it? To date, I've not knocked any members of the Board personally, and I'll continue to try as best I can to take the high road. Ben blew me off when I looked for LMA to weigh in on the Empire Reconstruction Project. As in he didn't say "no." He just never responded.

I'm not feeling anything yet. BUT, I did send the below to anyone and everyone. I joined the Board in part to shed some light onto its inner workings. Why stop now? 

Chair Demetrius Lawrence:

Okay. This is very disappointing. I believe that the members last night have internalized all the nasty things that Alicia Boyd and Karen Fleming and their group have been saying about me. They are false, and personal. No one who knows me, or has read extensively of my writings, could conceivably call me a racist. I take great offense, and will continue to call out people who take quotes out of context to skewer me.

The content of last night's meeting was clear. The Board is unable to contain a virus that has spread through the membership. It is poisonous, and it is vicious. Rather than stand up to it, and support your fellow Board member, you decided to capitulate.

I do not agree at all that members of the Community Board cannot be activist members of society in general. The Board's assertion that we must somehow remain silent and passive while people in the community hijack our meetings is offensive to the hundreds of people who have signed petitions to the contrary. Look around you - on other Community Boards you will find countless members and officers and chairs who could easily be called activists and outspoken critics of politics. This is not a fault - it's a plus! If anything I fault board members for NOT taking stronger positions against housing injustice, City planning, greedy landlords and developers, and broken City agencies.

Today you did a great disservice to the community. By once again caving to the outrageous behavior of MTOPP, you have shown that you do not have the resolve to stand up to Ms. Boyd.

Mr. Chairman, I think you are trying to be all things to all people. That is NOT leadership. You have alienated a giant segment of our neighborhood in order to appease a few.

And I will not be silent as CB9 continues to mock the very idea of community by removing hard working, caring and passionate members of that community. To remove someone for breaking a rule or law - that's one thing. Today, you cut me loose because a few members of the community don't agree with me and set out to "destroy me," in the worlds of Alicia Boyd.

With respect to you personally, but not to your actions today,


P.S. I will not remain on the ULURP committee. Chair Liburd has done a tremendous job trying to run the meetings in the face of MTOPP's behavior. But the meetings themselves have become a farce. After twice voting for a Planning Study, the Board continues to drag its feet. 

On Fri, Feb 5, 2016 at 10:38 AM, Demetrius Lawrence <> wrote:

Good morning. 

I want to first Thank you for attending last night’s special executive committee meeting. 

We appreciate and Thank you for your service as Chair of the Transportation committee, however at this time as Chairman of this Community Board 9 and in accordance with our by laws; Article VII sec. 8.2 (The committee chairpersons shall be appointed members, shall be appointed annually by the Chairperson of the Board and shall serve at the pleasure of the Chairperson of the Board), I will remove you as Chair of the Transportation committee effective immediately.

Myself or another executive committee member will be chairing next weeks transportation committee meeting. Please share with Terri and myself any additional information for the February 10th Transportation committee meeting.

Tim as you offer a wealth of knowledge and information to this board, we would like for you to remain as a member of our ULURP committee.


Demetrius Lawrence
Chairman - CB9 


Nostrand F said...

Extremely sad & frustrating to hear of this decision. I assisted to my first Transportation Committee meeting last month. Couldn't believe how uninformed and ignorant some of the members were. Ignoring facts because "those numbers don't sound right to me". Dragging a vote for a simple project that would have been voted in a long time ago in any community board that truly valued safety.

Again, disappointed of this action, but that means that we as a community have to fight harder, and let the people in this community board know that, above everything else, we put safety first.

Andre said...

Clearly the leadership of CB9 has succumbed to Alicia Boyd and MTOPP who have successfully hijacked our community as their own.

Anonymous said...

I attended an MTOPP meeting recently and they said they were going to take you down. I don't think there was anything they would not have said to achieve that goal. I guess Lawrence thinks they speak for us all.

MikeF said...

I wonder if some more pedestrians may need to die or be injured before CB9 is ok with the traffic islands.

I am not certain that would do the trick.

Nora Rawn said...

How appalling. I'll be sending a message to the chair via his website. Is the goal to have a new transportation committee head who will refuse all safety measures, block DOT improvements, and put parking above all else? Or is it to pretend that giving in on every. single. issue to MTOPP while somehow magically stop them asking for yet more?

BrooklynAve said...

What sad and unfortunate news! AB is a tyrant! I am convinced that she works for developers, they are the only ones benefiting from her tantrums and filibustering.

Bob Marvin said...

My condolencesTim, although I think you may be well put of it. Still, shame on theCB 9 exec board for being so spineless.

Unknown said...

Dear Tim,
For the past week I have been able to safely cross at the intersection of Parkside and Ocean without ANY threat of being clipped by cars making a right hand turn onto West-bound Parkside. This is the first time in 7 years.
This is because of your leadership.
This change and other very important traffic improvements made to this intersection clearly demonstrates that you are a thoughtful and effective collaborator with city agencies. (no small feat)
In light of the Chairman's gross undervaluation of your commitment to our community please allow me to say with great sincerity THANK YOU. Your hard work is noticed and appreciated.
Jo Ann Brown

babs said...

Tim, you are well rid of them. But what is next for us, the rational majority who make up the residents of this community board? Do we revolt outright? If so, how? Do we start with Eric Adams (I'm writing to him this weekend, expressing my disappointment and anger at how our community has been disenfranchised by the hijacking of our CB by AB & Co.)? Maybe this is the beginning of the end for the CB system entirely - not necessarily a bad thing.

Maybe we could start our own parallel community advisory board, to express our opinions directly to the BP, City Council (although that's a waste where ME is involved of course), and the Mayor.

Anyway, thank you so much for being a voice of reason among the nutjobs (of all colors).

Anonymous said...

I drive and walk around our neighborhood and can only think that we have Alicia Boyd and her evil cronies to thank for all the new unbridled development. Way to go Alicia, make sure that our neighborhood is unaffordable for most. But what does she have to worry about her property values will continue to go up. Trust me she does not speak for anyone but herself. She is disgusting and vile. And the sheep that follow her, i have no words for...

Anonymous said...

Disgusting. Of course, her and her ilk will use this as some sort of propaganda, declaring it a "victory" for their cause. I have read nothing but reasoned, rational arguments on this blog, appealing to common sense and decency, but if you couldn't be bothered to read it and only listened to Doily, you'd think a LOT differently.

Full disclosure, I think a great deal of my frustration and anger comes from the fact that I was initially on board with MTOPP. I marched with them in 2014, I listened to her and others give impassioned speeches about what they hoped for Empire, but after the circus they've put on over the last year and a half and all of the lies and vitriol, I couldn't want any less to do with them. She and MTOPP have single-handedly derailed some of what could have been extraordinary opportunities for the community to experience grown and change on their terms, but now we are stuck with whatever we get.

And to be fair, I never thought her vision of Empire as being dotted with mom-and-pop shops would have an ice cube's chance in hell because I am not a fool. Those former auto shops have sat empty for the past three years and look empty as far back as 2007 in Google maps. That's almost a DECADE without a tenant. I expect more of the same for the foreseeable future, unfortunately.

Creepy Burger King said...

Although Creepy Burger King is known for a particular continuous subdued laugh, Creepy is a little sad today. Sir Tim, a Renaissance man in his own right, was removed from CB 9 Transportation Chair and resigned from CB9 ULURP.

The Animal Farm played out its own Crucible.

Creepy was introduced to Gangstas Making Astronomical Changes (GMAC), located on Church Ave, by the Q at Parkside. GMAC helps empower minority youths and keep our streets safe. Creepy has read many articles on the Q which detailed the struggle of the black community. Lets not confuse being politically incorrect with being disrespectful or racist. Freedom of speech includes the right for both Sir Tim and AB to speak their mind and publish.

WHY DIDN'T THE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE GO IN TO EXECUTIVE SESSION LIKE IT DID WITH PEARL? I guess it just came down to a matter of the color of one's grey hair.
Creepy recommends Just for Men Mustache and Beard for future CB meetings.

Creepy Burger King hereby Proclaims:

1) Sir Tim is saluted for his valiant work
2) Awards No Small Fry Award for service to one's community
3) Recognizes A Community Icon with significant contributions to the culture of Crown Heights
4) Hopes to see you as CB 9 Chair in 20 years.

Creepy Out

Dave 'Paco' Abraham said...

The tenure may have been short, but it was really solid. I appreciate your leadership of the Transportation Committee and hope you continue to be an activist in your many ways… and that eventually CB9 is transformed. In the meanwhile, DOT please do not bother coming to the area with your facts. They don't seem to care about safety and so you should not care about the board's opinion. Install life saving safety enhancements on all our streets. You have the moral high ground. Use it.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Ah thx y'all. I think in the end what did it was not one, but two votes on the committee in favor of safety and infrastructure changes on Empire. When Alicia and Karen Fleming felt they weren't getting their way, they put the hit out on my head. Not that there was any love lost before that. Really wretched people, those. Never had to breathe so much air with a-holes in my life. Ewww. That sounds awful!

I find it disheartening, but not surprising, that in order to get their way MTOPP has accused black folks who don't agree with them "Uncle Toms," Jews who don't agree "politically protected" and whites as racist. It was repeated so many times, this oft repeated yarn about how I had written a post called "Bye Bye Black Brooklyn" that clearly no one had read, or they would have known it was a lament not a glory cry. A Board member whom I quite respect noted that I was culturally insensitive when I said the "lunatics have taken over the asylum." Who was this culturally insensitive to? The lunatics? The asylum workers? It's a friggin' expression. Meaning MTOPP took over the Board. Sheesh!

Another person said I was racist when I said "those people" one time when referring to Alicia and her cronies. Big mistake on my part. I know better. "Those people" is a loaded phrase and I thought I'd banned it from my vocabulary. But given the fact that MTOPP was made up of both white and black members, I guess I thought it was exempt.

Another noted that I had a habit of speaking derisively about black folks. That's simply not true. I have spoken derisively of a lot of people, but never on the basis of color!

Bottom line, Demetrius is in a tough spot. But he wasn't brave. He is planning on running for higher office; he told me just the other day in fact. He must listen to what his groomers tell him to do, and they themselves walk a tricky line between gentrifier and gentrified. It's fascinating to watch, but deeply disturbing. Since what I'm really watching is core Brooklyn become more insulated rather than reaching out. Longtime residents, whom one would expect to rally round each other, are actually imploding, when they could and should be gaining strength. I had hoped to lend a hand, but clearly my style of help was not wanted.

support said...

i have followed your blog for a while now and watched many cb9 meetings on youtube and attended in person.

as a resident of crown heights, it's simply appalling that ab and her group are allowed to get away with what they are doing. it's unfortunately a demonstration of the bullying you can get away with if you grant yourself victim status.

it's unfortunate but many who agree with you will not speak up because it's too toxic. they secretly hope that this woman will just go away. it's very disheartening.

i have seen how history was manipulated about events in ch back in 1991. there will not be a public support of you because that's the new rules. but there is a silent majority who supports you and just wants to end this bullying.

Anonymous said...

In the end, it doesn't really matter what AB and her posse do because once those two new apartment buildings are full of people who will pay for new restaurants, grocery stores, dry cleaners, etc on Flatbush the transformation of the neighborhood that they and to some extent, you are so hellbent on avoiding will happen anyway. The Wendy's corner across from the Park, Garden and express subway station is just so prime that once developers are comfortable that Empire is no longer the start of the 'hood they'll develop it. And you know what Tim? I'm really fucking happy about that. You and AB will continue to wage your narcissistic battles with each other while PLG hums with new construction and renovation. Management of CB9 will turn over in due time and your reasonable transportation changes will be accomplished.

Anonymous said...

You deserved it you pro gentrification fool. Go cry somewhere else!!!!! And you do have a problem with blacks asserting themselves. How many times have we seen you behave like an asshole in those meetings? And when they have a voice that is bigger than yours, you get offended. Now here you are, playing victim to your stupid core of fans who are just as ignorant as YOU.

Anonymous said...

One more thing Mr Thomas, WE, MTOPP, HAVE WON THIS BATTLE AGAINST YOU AND WE WILL WILL THE WAR. OUR FEARLESS LEADER, ALICIA BOYD, IS A WONDERFUL WOMAN. You can now go back and write about your stupid musings on how much of a loser writer you are.


Anonymous said...

Fixed that for you.

I'm north of Empire, and from what's happening along the Franklin Avenue corridor south of Eastern Parkway, I don't think MTOPP will win the war. #justsaying

Let's fast forward 10 years and see who's right.

bfires said...

Wow, Anonymous, you're really hateful. I know very little about MTOPP, but your comments make me want to stay far away from the entire organization and everything you guys do. Asserting yourself does not require spreading hate.

Carmen said...

This is really unfortunate for our community.

The continual positive reinforcement of the ongoing disrespectful behavior by MTOPP is going to seal our fate in becoming exactly what we're trying to avoid.

Alex said...

By letting MTOPP run the show, CB9 is basically making its way toward obsolescence. DBD and city agencies will cease to take their advisory opinions seriously at all. Can't come quickly enough if you ask me.

brklyn718 said...

Tim, this news is really unfortunate. I live at Parskside and Ocean and the work you did to make that intersection safer was much appreciated.