The Brooklyn Paper reports that Borough President Marty Markowitz has named Shirley McRae, Chair of Community Board 2, which includes the Heights along with Boerum Hill, Clinton Hill, DUMBO and Fort Greene, to be Brooklyn's sole representative on the City Planning Commission. She replaces Dolly Williams, a construction company executive who has been Brooklyn's representative on the Commission since October, 2002. Ms. Williams is a part owner of the New Jersey Nets basketball team, of which real estate developer Bruce Ratner is principal owner. Because of her business association with Mr. Ratner, Ms. Williams has had to recuse herself from all Commission deliberations and decisions concerning the proposed Atlantic Yards project, which includes the arena to which Mr. Ratner intends to move the Nets.
Ms. McRae has called for greater community participation in oversight of the Atlantic Yards proposal, criticized the conduct of public hearings concerning the Yards, and signed a letter (along with other CB chairs) taking Mr. Ratner to task for claiming that the Boards had participated significantly in a report favoring the development (see Atlantic Yards Report).