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, February 24, 2015

The Latest. Oy.

The way this is unfolding you'd think Alicia Boyd had uncovered the Watergate scandal. Her latest (I think we're up to 40 emails of poetry to her weary followers) includes transcript from last week's Executive Comittee meeting. You'll see her attack dog instincts in full effect (below). She pounces on anything she thinks is out of line. However she thinks it went down, let me tell you what actually went into the draft letter to City Planning from CB9 that is now up on the website. I have an insider's perspective of course, and you needn't trust me, but I'm not a good liar anyway.
(Basically the current draft ain't that different than what we originally passed last March. It took a year to get this far, which is, basically, nowhere new. FYI, I'm happy with the draft, because it will start the process from a pretty blank slate, recognizing as we do that the City is interested in considering downzoning and contextual zoning from EP to Clarkson, Ocean to NY Ave for new residential on Empire Blvd. It's really that simple - don't let MTOPP confuse the issue. They don't want new neighbors on Empire, right in AB's backyard. And they've turned it into an issue of the black neighborhood getting screwed. This is absurd, especially since the majority of members of the Board are black and longtime residents who are perfectly aware of what this all means and portends. But little details like that are easily dismissed by MTOPP, which calls those residents Uncle Toms. I won't begin to tell you what they call the Q!)
Alicia is looking for any technicalities that would invalidate the process. It's making everyone on the Board crazy, and we've been internally writing nasty emails to each other ever since she showed up on the scene. Be that as it may, after a whole bunch of community-wide meetings, the ULURP committee wrote a draft, with all members asked to contribute whatever they felt was important. No one, no one, repeat no one, felt that Alicia's point about excluding Empire Blvd from the Study makes any sense at all. Rather than concede that she lost that battle, she's dug in her heels, now claiming that the committee has no right to create a draft FOR DISCUSSION in front of the entire board and community. Apparently she expects that every word should be uttered and entered into the draft in public, thereby making sure she and others have the right to scream and bitch about every utterance. Tonight, it's likely that the draft will be discussed, Alicia will be removed from the auditorium for misconduct, and the draft will be sent back one more time to the ULURP committee for revisions and voting. At least that's what SHOULD happen. 
And no, the draft was not completed before the ULURP committee meetings happened. I know what was being circulated, and it wasn't completed until basically the day before it went up on the website, with the Committee chair Ben Edwards' blessing. We still have some quibbles about language, but that will be worked out tonight and at the next committee meeting where we'd vote and send to the full Board - exactly one year from the original resolution! 

From the Grand Dame of Lefferts:
Please don't forget tonight!
Please come out and demand that the community be involved
in the process of creating a draft and resolution!
Medgar Evers College, 1650 Bedford Ave, 7 pm CB9 general meeting
Don't let Senator Hamilton or Laurie Combo Tenant forum
separate us.  We know what truly displaces communities of color
not individual landlords but huge development that gets
changed with City Planning!
Please find attached and/or below a transcribed statement of
the Executive Board meeting on Feb 17, 2015 at 7 pm
where a "draft" to be presented to the community,
was included in an agenda item.
Meeting of Executive Board, Feb 17, 2015, time 7:30,
Board Members Present,
Dwayne Nicholson, Detritus Lawrence, Evelyn Williams and Jacqueline Welch. 
This is summation of the issues, but please read
the short transcript for yourself.
1. It seems that some Executive board members
believe the draft will just be presented
and Dwayne believes it will be voted upon.
2. The draft was created before the ULURP committees in February met!
3. As Alicia predicted without seeing the draft,
Empire Blvd and Washington Ave would still be on the draft!
4. The draft was created in secret at the CB9 office
with five unknown members of the board!
5. The Executive Board believes it can conduct CB9 business
in a CB9 office, but not obey the Open Meetings Law! 
Meeting of Executive Meeting on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 at 7:30 pm
Sometime at the beginning of the meeting

Alicia: Who created this draft?
Dwayne: ULURP Committee members and other Board members
Alicia: When?
Dwayne: Two weekends ago
Alicia: Two weekends ago you created a draft two weekends ago?
Dwayne: From the information that was gathered at the ULURP meetings
Alicia: How many people were at that meeting when you created that draft?
Dwayne: I don’t know five, what was it.
Suki’s Husband:  Two weekend ago predated the first ULURP meetings.
Alicia: Thank you, Thank You
Demetius Lawrence: This is a draft that we started from awhile back, we started this from last year,
Alicia: Two weekends ago, how many people were at that meeting?
Dwayne: We had a hundred some people at the ULURP meeting?
Alicia: Yes but I’m talking about the creation of the draft.
Dwayne: Oh right it was it five of them?
Alicia: Five people and who were these five people?
Dwayne: People who were on that committee.
Who basically took time out of their day,
to put up their time their personal time they came up together
and wrote up the document.
Alicia: Okay so they came together
 and when did they write this document.
Dwayne: That weekend!
Pearl Miles begins to interject! Can’t understand what she is saying, but she is objecting.
Alicia: Excuse me Pearl, Excuse me Pearl,
I’m talking to Dwayne, obviously it must be completed and being presented.
Alicia: Excuse me Pearl, Excuse me Pearl, I’m asking a question.
So you are still working on this draft without the community
Jacquline Welch:  We are going to have a draft to be presented to the board
to get their feedback whatever,
 then we are going to come back and work on it some more.
Alicia: So you again went into a meeting with five board members
and you created a draft, did you notify the community of this meeting?
Dwayne: We don’t have to.
Alicia: No you don’t have to.  You can just create drafts.
Pearl: Yes
Alicia: Excuse me Pearl.
Pearl:  It was done in this office, this is my office, I can speak, this is my office
Alicia: Excuse me, it was business, is not a draft business? Do you have a copy of this draft?
Dwayne: No I don’t have it no.
Alicia: Does anybody have a copy of this draft?
This working draft, because it is still a working draft right?
 Does anybody have a copy of it?
Dwayne: We are going to vote on it next Tuesday.
 First we are going to talk about the capital fiscal year 2015
then the drafting is going to be presented and then they are going to vote on it.
Alicia: Vote on what?
Dwayne: On the Draft resolution that is presented
Alicia: What does that mean you are going to vote on the draft resolution?
Evelyn Williams: Let’s move on.
 Alicia: I just want to be clear about what he is asking.
Dwayne: We already knocked out number 1. (agenda item fiscal year)
Alicia: So what you are saying is you got a draft that you created two weeks ago,
with five board members that is still in process,
that the community is still not a part of
and you are going to present it on Tuesday.
Dwayne: Where do you think we get the information from to create the document?
Alicia: How do we know we haven’t seen the draft,
we don’t know what’s in that document, do we? Who has this draft?
Dwayne: I haven’t seen the draft either.
Alicia: Who has this draft?
Dwayne: I’m not sure
Alicia:  Who is responsible for the creation of this draft
Dwayne: The ULURP chair
Alicia : The ULURP chair, so he’s responsible for the creation of this draft
and who will be sitting with him when they create this draft?
Dwayne: Those other people who were working with him.
Alicia: And who were these people working with him.
Dwayne: I’m not necessarily going to name names
Alicia: You are not going to name names
Dwayne: They volunteer
Alicia: They are volunteers so they are going to go back create a draft
that you now think you are going to present on Tuesday to be voted ,
and we don’t have any idea what that draft looks like.
Dwayne: At this point I don’t have it.
Alicia: You don’t have it, nobody else has it,
Demetrius Lawrence: To my understanding
Jacqueline Welch:  We are not voting on a draft.
Demetrius Lawrence: To my understanding this draft is being formed
and created with community board members,
who are a part of the community.
Alicia: What about the residents, what about the non-board members?
Demetrius Lawrence: I hear you Alicia,
But then at the community board general meeting ,
we are going to present that draft to the community on all the points
that were put into at the ULURP community meetings.
Alicia : Yes, but he (Dwayne) just said he was voting on.
He said there was going to be a vote!
Jacqueline Welch:  We are not doing a vote.  Alicia we are not doing a vote!
Demetrius Lawrence: To my understanding as an executive board member
we can’t vote on the final resolution, if I’m speaking out of turn,
please let me know, we can’t vote on a final resolution,
if we don’t present it to the community first to show them draft of the input
that everyone has placed inside of this resolution. 
So in fairness to everyone on the board,
we are a part of the community, and we may serve in the capacity as Executive,
but we have input but not only our input, it’s the community’s input who at the ULURP meetings.
Alicia: You call not putting any residents (non-board members) on the ULURP input?
Demetrius Lawrence: That a different story
Alicia:  No it is the same story!
Demetrius Lawrence: Resident from the Board are a part of the community.
Dwayne: Thank You
Alicia: Excuse me I’m talking about non- board members
Demetrius Lawrence: That is a different story
Alicia: No that isn’t a different story

Further in the tape. There was a question posed by Suki how differences of opinions are arrived at,
when there might be two opposing positions.

Dwayne: Everyone has to have a give and take.
Alicia: Yes but you have to sit at the table,
you have to sit down at the table with the community,
you cannot do it in secret, behind closed doors
and expect the community to accept, what these concessions are. 
You can’t expect that, because I know what the agenda's here at this table,
the agenda is to up zone Empire Blvd and to keep Empire Blvd on the study. 
 And I bet you that draft, even though you had a slew of people standing up sayingthey did not want Empire Blvd on the study,
you will have Empire Blvd on the study,
even though there was a slew of people,
that showed up and said they did not want Empire Blvd on the study,
even though we are already creating our own Study,
 you will have Empire Blvd on the Study
Demetrius Lawrence: I don’t think no one here wants the up zoning of Empire Blvd.
Alicia: Well I bet you it will be on that draft. If nobody wants it why is it on the draft?
Demetrius Lawrence: I think since the last ULURP committee meeting it was removed,
or it was suggested that we should remove it, Washington Ave as well.
Alicia: Well we will see if it is removed, Washington Ave as well.

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