Saturday, May 26, 2007

At CB 6, new appointee claims AY ignorance; another has been an AY critic

From this week's Courier-Life chain, an article (not yet online), headlined AXE FALLS ON YARDS FOES, advances the story about the Community Board 6 purge by including some tough quotes from departing members and showing one new appointee to be profoundly ignorant about Atlantic Yards.

Marilyn Oliva, who was reappointed, said she thought Markowitz was "trying to shut people up.... Initially, I thought Marty would be really good for the borough, but then he began to sell us out to the highest bidder."

Another exiting member, Pauline Blake, said, "If you are going to appoint people to the community board who just regurgitate what you want, then you don't have a community board, you have a string of puppets."

Markowitz issued a bland statement explaining that "I just consider the benefits of continuity over time and the need for fresh perspectives to be heard."

AY ignorance

Maybe Markowitz was looking for fresh perspectives, but with one new appointee, he's getting something of a blank slate. Let's quote the passage in full:
New Markowitz appointee Vanessa Twyford said she is thrilled to begin serving on the board.
"I don't know anything about Atlantic Yards, but I am pro-development," she said.
Twyford, a third generation Brooklynite, is the granddaughter of Connie Gibbons, the first president of the First Place Tri Block Association, a Carroll Gardens civic group.
"I'm definitely intersted in the community being more built up," said Twyford, who owns a real estate company on Court Street.
"Development is good for everyone," she said.


The Twyford Real Estate web site includes this biographical information:
Vanessa keeps up with critical issues by regularly attending meetings for neighborhood organizations like Carroll Gardens Neighborhood Association, Gowanas Canal Community Development Corporation, Brooklyn Task Force and Community Board 6.

If Twyford has regularly attended meetings of CB 6, how could she have missed the Atlantic Yards discussion?

Lander appointed

The community board changes are not solely about Atlantic Yards; note that, as the New York Observer's blog The Real Estate reported yesterday, one new member is Brad Lander, the director of the Pratt Center for Community Development, whose organization in 2005 published a critical review of the project.

The Observer reported:
“In its current form, I consider myself in a very highly ambivalent position,” he told The Observer Friday. “I believe that the project could’ve been, and maybe still could be, modified to a place where I could support it, yet still be recognizable.”

Lander, a leading advocate for affordable housing, was nominated by City Council Member Bill de Blasio, who's made affordable housing one of his priorities. And CB 6, as de Blasio told the Brooklyn Paper, did not fight the City Planning Commission's 2003 rezoning of Park Slope, which protected side streets and allowed increased density along Fourth Avenue, but did not require affordable housing as a tradeoff.

1 comment:

  1. Ignorant? Yes, to the fact that the person, who conducted this “interview” was a slanderer.
    First off, doesn’t new member imply that I had not been privy to community board information prior to joining?
    Immediately upon my entry to Community Board 6 I was bombarded with multiple calls from a writer at a local paper. She began probing my appointment to the board and questioning my opinions on some key issues of the time. I mostly discussed my community, Carroll Gardens, and the development here in which I was in favor of for bringing up home values for my neighbors and creating jobs and housing. When Atlantic Yards came up, I simply stated that I had not yet formed an opinion because I felt that I did not have enough information about the project. And who did? Even the developers themselves were constantly modifying the plans.
    It’s transparent that the author took my words out of context to create a story here. She postulated then printed this defamatory information to make her writing appear interesting. I would expect this kind of sensationalism from a cheap tabloid. It’s exactly this style of journalism that undermines faith in the local papers and will eventually make them obsolete.

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