Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Realignment of police precincts means less role for two Community Council Presidents who head Forest City Ratner-supported CBA groups

Though no one's said this publicly, it seems to me that the announcement that the 78th Precinct will oversee the Barclays Center arena and the rest of the Atlantic Yards site suggests that not only will the two precincts previously having a piece of the site (77th, 88th) have less of a role, so two will the presidents of the precinct Community Councils.

And those two presidents have offered Forest City Ratner significant legitimacy over the years, transposing the credibility they gained in neighborhood service to fledgling organizations, known by the acronyms BUILD and BEE, that signed the "historic" Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) and then were financially supported by the developer.

(By contrast, Pauline Blake, president of the 78th Community Council and a member of Community Board 6, has not been an active Atlantic Yards opponent, but she has questioned the impact of the project on the surrounding neighborhood.)

BEE

Delia Hunley-Adossa, president of the 88th Precinct Community Council, also heads Brooklyn Endeavor Experience (BEE), the renamed First Atlantic Terminal Housing Committee, and ran for City Council in 2009.

(Hunley-Adossa appeared in the photo of the arena groundbreaking, right, part of a USA Today article on Brooklyn's rise.)

Though BEE is ostensibly in charge of environmental assurances for the CBA, it has ignored community concerns--as related in a recent report--and done nothing publicly regarding Atlantic Yards other than to serve as a cheerleader.

Hunley-Adossa serves as the chair of the CBA and is presumably in charge of ensuring that the developer and CBA signatories hire an Independent Compliance Monitor, as required by the document.

When I crossed paths with Hunley-Adossa in April and asked about the monitor, her one-word answer was "forthcoming." That was four months ago.

BUILD

James Caldwell heads the 77th Precinct Community Council, a community base that led to his role in Brooklyn United for Innovative Local Development (BUILD), a jobs advocacy group, and his eventual presidency, despite no particular background in that field.

Caldwell has been a fervent advocate for Atlantic Yards, calling developer Bruce Ratner, more than once, "like an angel sent by God."

Caldwell testified in June in favor of the arena liquor license, though his work, and that of Hunley-Adossa, is more done than not. Such community supporters remain important, however, for the purposes of showing diversity at official events.

Lingering issues

Given her lower profile, Hunley-Adossa has probably been less important to Forest City than Caldwell, but has avoided legal problems.

Caldwell and BUILD were named last year in a suit (that also named Forest City) from trainees who said the much-vaunted pre-apprenticeship training program offered training of no value (and with no pay), and that they were promised union jobs. That suit lingers and may add plaintiffs.

No comments:

Post a Comment