Despite yet another last minute effort by CB9 member Fred Baptiste to table the motion, we actually after long, long last got to vote on whether to send the letter to the Department of City Planning asking them (mind you they still have to say yes!) to begin (just begin!) a study of our neighborhood in the wake of unprecedented change and an influx of big, big $ and buildings sprouting like grass over a septic tank.
Fred, you may recall, has been at the heart of the effort to derail this process ever since his motion to send the issue back to committee failed in March of 2014. With a little help from the Sultan of Sterling, he managed to blindsided the board with a motion to rescind the previous year's decision to start the process, caving to MTOPP at their first over-the-top showing in September. He also shut me down when I tried to get a vote back in December. I've also seen him getting chummy with Alicia, so despite the appearance of him being a "process oriented dude," his insistence that we follow HIS idea of process actually meant that developers have had more than a year to plan their takeover the neighborhood. Which, let's get honest, was going to happen anyway. I'm just pointing out that any good that comes from a study is now going to happen much later than we'd hoped. And I'm not going to hold any of this against Mr. Baptiste. He seems very much the Dudley Do-right character, and I appreciate that he has principles. Can't say that about some other folks in the room.
So how did "we the people" vote? It wasn't even close. I recall the tally being 24 yays, 6 nays and a handful of abstentions. Not too far off from the original vote over a year ago. Blah blah blah. The Q ain't taking any victory laps. This whole thing has been a massive drain on what should have been a community coming together to work with the City to strengthen its future. And there was Boyd, muttering "Uncle Tom" under her breath as the meeting came to a close, presumably referencing temporary chair Demetrius Lawrence. Who won the election to be the official chair for one month, even though we have to vote AGAIN in June for the official official chair for 2015-16. Process, people! Process!!
Which brings me to the REAL story that unfolded tonight. I've always liked Demetrius, his calm and his reason, but I had no idea how he'd fare in the heat of the spotlight. You know what? I think we just witnessed a real leader being born. He had the presence and the humility to become (dare I say it?) a really great CB9 chairman. And what was particularly poetic was that this was the night that the Board honored longtime chair and 38-year military man Jake Goldstein for his exemplary service to country. As an orthodox Jew he was one of the first to get to keep his beard in the army those many years ago. And as chaplain, he's been all over the world counseling our men and women in uniform. Thanks Jake!
And with that, the baton passes. Here's to a steady leadership under Demetrius Lawrence, whose name has never been, nor will it ever be, Tom. You will do well to remember to listen, but also to remember that she who speak loudeth is not always the righteth.
And with thateth, I bideth you goodeth nighteth.
The Q at Parkside
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.