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, October 24, 2017

Alicia Boyd and Lorraine Thomas Claim Victory Against...You

Short version. Your community attacktivists Alicia Boyd (she of MTOPP) and Lorraine Thomas (the MTOPP mole actually ON the Board) are claiming victory over your Community Board, which is essentially like claiming victory over YOU. Because your CB9 is comprised of 50 of your neighbors, who have been held hostage and bludgeoned by Boyd and company for the better part of three years, often unable to accomplish even the simplest of tasks as mandated by the city charter.
Alicia Boyd in action; yours truly checking his phone while showering in her spit.
Background: MTOPP filed a suit over a year ago claiming the hiring of new District Manager Carmen Martinez did not conform to the letter of the law. This was after MTOPP managed to lead the charges against the former DM Pearl Miles. MTOPP's constant attacks and lawsuits against her and former Chair Jacob Goldstein got both of them canned, basically for little to nothing at all. Eric Adams didn't help, by replacing half the Board in the middle of the ruckus. MTOPP harassed the  board chair Dwayne Nicholson into resigning, then chair Demetrius Lawrence into resigning, and hasn't let up against the latest chair Musa Moore.

And now they claim victory, having "won" the removal of Carmen Martinez, who by all accounts has been doing a terrific job running the office. Regardless of how you feel about the various people involved, or how they were hired, or the machine behind the puppetry. Mizzes Boyd and Thomas and some truly mean-spirited others have torn your one City-mandated representative body to shreds. Boyd is clearly deranged, but she's no dummy. Were she on the side of justice and all that is right, I dare say she'd be a hero. As it is, she's a goat, an unruly goat at that. ready to "Keep Empire Blvd Shitty" to the detriment of all that is good and possible vis a vis le Great Experiment known as New York City.

What is a Community Board? To hear the critics rail, you'd think it was a bunch of faceless, corrupt bureaucrats out to take away your civil rights and force you to endure unwanted changes and development in your precious neighborhood.

Don't believe the hype.

Your CB9 is a bunch of your neighbors. Period. They come from all walks of life, and they're generally lifelong committed and engaged citizens looking to make sure their nabe gets its fair share of city attention and services. That's it. It has very little actual power. BUT, a well-functioning board is well-situated to advise the city on matters of importance. When it is respected by city officials, for its willingness to work with city objectives and personnel AND for its well-reasoned and well-organized operations, shit gets done. Look no further than CB6 across the park. Park Slope gets the job done. It's safer, cleaner, better responded to than "our" side. It's CB meetings are efficient models of hyper-local democracy. Sure things get heated sometimes. But the City listens, and the City abides.

Ms. Boyd, I hope that your next ride on the H-Train is one-way, and that your metrocard privileges are revoked. You have ripped the guts out of the body politic in Lefferts/CrownHeights, and yet somehow you claim victory. Even the judgement itself shows how hollow were your howls. Back to square one, for both board and neighborhood. The waste of time and effort knows no bounds.

(if you're the sort that likes to see the full rendering of court case and verdict, shoot me an email and I'll send you a copy)


Alex said...

Good. More reason for city agencies to ignore CB9.

Daniel said...

My experiences with these "neighbors" include a CB9 board member at a transportation meeting who told me about his urge to kill me and my children whenever he saw one of us on a bicycle. Several other board members who shouted me down when I talked about how the death of my daughter had affected my outlook on recent needless deaths right outside the building we were in. I also recall another board member, who later became chair of the transportation committee, _complaining_ about pedestrians being "emboldened" to cross at crosswalks during the walk cycle by repainted crosswalks.

My experience with CB9 convinced me they not only should community boards be dissolved but those of who were involved in them and so lent them legitimacy must carry all the needless deaths in our community that 'community boards' have caused as dark marks on our souls for the rest of our days.

Bob Marvin said...

Well said Tim, although IMO (as a former member) CB-9 has never been especially well run and, even thye best-run CBs are toothless, by design.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

Daniel has good reason to be pissed. I personally witnessed his struggle, and can't imagine how horrible that must have felt.

To Bob's point - I actually disagree, a bit. A good CB brings people together to effectively discuss and decide issues of mutual importance. It can be a terrific opportunity to learn about each other and reach consensus. And when there IS a fight worth fighting, a cohesive board can make it's opinions known and use the bully pulpit to influence elected officials.

But none of this works if you don't have an effective Council person. Elect Brian. At least he'll show up once in a while.

Anonymous said...

All this silly dithering and ranting and raving at these public meetings. Colossal knuckleheadedness accomplishing nothing that matters. In a couple more years, when development has driven real estate prices further into the sky, one of the only undeveloped large stretches of property will be Empire Boulevard.

When the real estate tide is high enough, larger powers in the city will step in and open the door to a sale and whatever zoning changes are necessary for large-scale projects.

Much like Barclays Arena and the surrounding development. It will happen. Public displays of Alicia Boyd's psychosis will make no difference. Maybe her madness will end with a Rachel Corrie finale? Or some time in a psych ward.

Anonymous said...

I am no fan of Alicia Boyd but Carmen Martinez was NOT doing a great job running that office. Did you ever go over there? It was a hot confused mess!

Clarkson FlatBed said...

For someone who was never officially hired, the meetings were happening with regularity and on-time. Trying to stay positive here...