Friday, June 06, 2008

At PSCC award ceremony, Markowitz honors AY foe Armer

It couldn't have been easy for Borough President Marty Markowitz, but he pulled it off, more or less. Jerry Armer, longtime chair of Brooklyn Community Board 6, was honored last night with the Park Slope Civic Council's (PSCC) annual Lovgren Award for his service to Park Slope. (Armer got the Lovgren Volunteer Award, while Sean Andrews of the Prospect Park YMCA won the Lovgren Professional Award.)

Markowitz was there at the 9th Street YMCA in Park Slope to provide Armer with a proclamation on behalf of the BP's office. Then again, Markowitz last year quite conspicuously failed to reappoint Armer and some other CB6 members after the board strongly opposed Atlantic Yards, the Borough President's favorite project.

So what could Markowitz say? He saluted Armer for his service and said that his choice to not reappoint Armer did not diminish his respect for him. (That was probably a white lie.) He said that "you could ask me" about the reasons for the non-reappointment, "but that would be another conversation." And he noted that Armer, though no longer an appointed member, still serves on the board, a sign of his commitment.

PSCC members I spoke to informally mostly thought Markowitz had made the best of an awkward situation. Given that some in the audience might not have known the back story, one thought, it might have behooved Markowitz to not mention the controversy at all. But others thought that Marty was just being Marty, not papering over the controversy and acknowledging Armer's continued service.

Actually, Markowitz may have gotten off easy. Consider that last year it would've been way more awkward for him to honor the Lovgren Award winners.

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