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, November 10, 2017

Judge Rules Against Alicia Boyd, Bigly

Attending a community meeting at which attacktivist Alicia Boyd is shouting and preening is a bit like enduring an un-anaesthetized tooth pulling, minus the relief afterwards. Especially if you're expected to attend, as a member of a committee or community board, to muscle through it without overreaction.  The Q has resolved to keep his Boyd-induced headaches to a minimum in the future. However, unbridled by Board membership, I will allow myself to let loose a roar of my own from time to time. I find her most enduring when she's calling me a fat white fuck, or FWF for short.

Because he has found her behavior so endlessly compelling, the Q kept you abreast of the self-taught lawsuits that brought the board to its knees, and caused not one, not two, but three chairs to step down. Not to mention the bitter firing of its longtime district manager, and the utter chaos that kept the neighborhood from engaging with the Dept of City Planning on a Zoning Study. (So glad we dodged THAT bullet! It's not like development isn't proceeding full-speed-ahead. Except for Empire, which remains incredibly dumpy considering a booming economy and full-fledge housing crisis. Ouch. I think I just felt my tooth hurting again...)

As I've said before, if you want a copy of the full ruling just email me. I've read the whole thing and here's the summary:

Boyd and Janine Nichols wanted the letter that was drafted to City Planning to be nullified because it was drafted "in secret." The judge said it was not drafted in secret. In fact, I was at the open-to-the-public meeting where we discussed it and voted on it.  A first draft had gone around to committee members by email, if that's what was bugging her. And no, she was not cc'd. What a shitshow that woulda been. The meeting she referred to ended in chaos, and accusations of violence, and the arresting of Ms. Boyd who took a table down with her while kicking cops. It was a tour-de-force performance, and you can see it on the youtube. It's quality reality TV.

Regarding that fateful meeting, the judge says we were well within our rights to request the study at all. And he said that the board must only take action at an open meeting, not that every meeting needs be open, though they generally always are. He also upheld the board's right to restrict non-board or community-member participation, but not attendance, at committee meetings, other than in matters involving privacy concerns or personnel issues or both. (In other words, sit down and shut up, Boyd. Or you'll be dragged out by your ankles. You can't just create a ruckus and stop people from debating issues in a civilized tone.)

The judge said Boyd's opposition to a Planning Study was understandable but that doesn't mean she can hijack the process as set forth in the City Charter. He acknowledged former City Planner and anti-DCP activist Tom Angotti's affidavit made potentially valid points, but it's not the judicial systems place to litigate matters that are clearly for legislative consideration. The spirit and letter of the ULURP process had been followed. So no-go on that one either.

Boyd and Nichols claimed Board members were placed illegally. They didn't provide proof that BP Eric Adams put more than his share of people on the Board all at once, thereby destabilizing it and making it possible for Boyd to bring it to its knees. Actually, it's longtime Adams deputy Ingrid Gordon who made THAT mess, but it's besides the point. The members appointed were all qualified and the City Councilmembers themselves didn't object (in fact, remember that guy Mathieu Eugene? He appointed me...not once but twice. Think he looked at the list? Hah! Not bloody likely. The dude hates me like vampires hate garlic. That's more proof than anything else right there.) Also neither the BP or Gordon were named in the suit, so that point was moot.

B&N wanted to nullify sections of CB9's by-laws that allow the committee chairs and overall board chair to appoint non-board community members to committees. Actually, it's people like Boyd and her followers that show why the rule is such a good one in the first place. It allows the board to keep them off, while at the same time offering up plenty of seats to people who DON'T disrupt meetings. I know lots of people who serve on committees, myself included now that I'm off the board proper, and there is no litmus test. All that's required is a desire to serve and show up at meetings. Oh, and NOT create a ruckus.

B&N said the board didn't respond to FOIL requests. Yes they did, said the judge.

And finally, and perhaps most importantly, B&N said the public wasn't allowed to speak at meetings as is required. It's actually not required, except on the agenda at the monthly board meetings.

In fact, the public is given ample opportunity, informally. But guess what? If you hurl insults or cause the meeting to stop functioning, you're gonna lose that opportunity. Basically the Board sets its own agenda and policies. The only meeting where the public is REQUIRED to be given an opportunity to speak is at the full Board meeting. And even then, only on the specific agenda items to be voted on. (Personally I find the bitch-and-moan open forum to be a waste of time, since its only used for Board bashing anyway.)

So there you have it. Two years after we tried to initiate a planning study, Boyd gets shut down legally. And it's probably all too late now anyway, so in fact, she wins. That doesn't mean she's going away. Expect more antics and more opportunities for the rest of us to kvetch and groan and keep our distance.

1 comment:

MikeF said...

If there were no community boards, such people would likely try to involve themselves in the city agencies that actually do the work. Long live community boards!