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."
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?
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.