BHA Annual Meeting Open Thread

The Brooklyn Heights Association’s Annual Meeting is scheduled for 2/26, TONIGHT!. What’s your evaluation of the organization’s performance over the last year? Are they speaking for you? Do they reflect your own opinion?

Comment away!

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  • DB

    It has been my experience that The BHA is solely concerned with the interests of those living along the promenade. They seem to have outright disdain for residents south of Remsen, as if we were not even part of their neighborhood.

  • ABC

    yeah, funding and supporting PS8 was sooooooo elitist!

  • Mr. E

    Maybe this doesn’t belong, but where is the meeting? Is it open to the public and can I get seating?

  • Chester

    Mr. E, perhaps you should utilize the “scroll” function in your browser.

  • bornhere

    DB- I’m not a wild supporter of the BHA; but I’m not sure their interests are so limited (and Judy Stanton does live on Garden Place, which is south of Remsen).

  • anon

    a group of bankers and their wives, who think they are above us all- interlocking directors with the membership of the casino, grace church, brooklyn historical society and the brooklyn birdge park conservancy. This is a group whose time is indeed PAST

  • Mom

    oh for goodness sake, the BHA is not a private club, anyone can join and participate. Grace Church is welcoming to all as well. Its not surprising that many of these memebers would also be apart of the Casino as its a neighborhood instituion (albeit a private one) and be interested enough in their community to get involved in the BBP conservancy. The imagined class warfare here sometimes is just silly. Anon, if you are the future, what are you doing for the neighborhood?

  • nate

    The BHA is just hopeless. Old, stodgy, rigid, totally useless.
    PS 8 was their big push. Great! it got a D in ’07 and an F in ’08.
    It is whiter than the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and could easily be mistaken for the Iowa City Rotary.

  • nicky215

    the bha is the only reason for private housing in a public park
    these are people who want to privitize and control who comes into their neighborhood. Kind of like an old fashioned
    citizens organization – in the south.

  • Neighborhood Observer

    People who complain about the lack of diversity – economic, social, or other – at BHA or any other institution should get involved and work to make a difference. If our President had the attitude reflected in many negative voices in the Heights, he wouldn’t be where he is today.

  • cv

    i’ve lived all over the world, and have felt more welcomed most everywhere else than I have here in Bklyn Heights (the exception was when I lived in a small town in the Southern U.S.) . The general vibe here is one of small town snobbery — grownups in their forties who still socialize mostly with the kids (now also grownups) with whom they went to St. Ann’s and Packer — grownups who don’t know how, or perhaps don’t care to — be welcoming of those who came here from elsewhere, and whose backgrounds are unlike theirs. It makes for a dull and insular society. There are exceptions, of course — individuals who break the mold, who are creative and open-minded. But, in general, this is the gestalt here. Perhaps it feels very comfortable to those who live within it and have never known another way to live; but to those of us who have lived in truly vibrant and welcoming places, our community here, by necessity, is formed apart from this insular Brooklyn Heights world — i.e. it becomes necessary to go quite a bit further afield.

  • Chester

    cv until the BHA honors Homer for this great blog, you’re probably right.

  • Nancy

    many of the people I speak with do not have good things to say about the BHA. I think the group has a knack for turning people off and alianating them. Strange for a neighborhood group.

  • In the Heights

    It amazes me that there are so many people so disenchanted with Brooklyn Heights. CV – Why do you live here if you feel so unwelcomed? I am not part of the private school/club scene and could never have imagined a better place to live and to raise a family.

    Nate – Besides the DoE grading system, what else do you base your opinions of PS8? Have you ever been in the building? It is so tiresome to hear the same things constantly regurgitated.

  • Julia

    This blog attracts little else but negativity. Nonetheless, naysayers whose snide remarks about the BHA are misinformed might find out more about the organization by attending the annual meeting to which all are welcome. It’s open to the public and is being held at Plymouth Church, which seats hundreds.

  • Homer Fink

    Julia, your comment could be seen as typical of the bygone generation some of our readers believe is running the BHA. The fact that Plymouth Church “seats hundreds” doesn’t address the way an entire generation consumes information and how they relate to each other. In essence, the BHA has shut them out. The event will not be webcast, it will not be archived for folks to watch on their own timetable. The BHA is not soliciting questions or concerns from the community in an open forum.

    BHB will be there. We will be live blogging the event and BHB’s Sarah Portlock will be posting a full report the same night.

    As far as the BHA being misrepresented here, we’ve reached out many times since our inception and invited Ms. Stanton to guest blog or write a column. Hasn’t happened, although we are hopeful that it will someday.

    If anyone – BHA official, member of its Board of Governors – would like to write a guest blog or column for BHB, they should contact us at webmaster AT . Or, as always, they may comment – as you have – on any of our posts.

  • Good Neighbor

    I find it so fascinating to read these entries from folks who criticize the BHA and the Brooklyn Heights community. True to form, people draw wide ranging conclusions from the just a few experiences or self-perceptions about others, without really knowing. I have lived here twenty years. As a gay man, I had no connection to this neighborhood in my first few years other than enjoying living in a beautiful place. It wasn’t until I got involved in the community that I began meeting and socializing with my neighbors, many of whom live different lives than I do, but share a common public interest in ensuring that BH is a safe, welcoming, enjoyable place to live. I am not a member of the Casino or have kids to send to St. Ann’s or Packer, but I feel like I belong because I claim this neighborhood as my own and have made many friends here. For those who are complaining, get out of your home, contribute to the well-being of the neighoborhood by getting involved and start extending your own hand in friendship. Get off the blog and get involved.

  • Andrew Porter

    I don’t think Judy Stanton can be called “computer literate” in any firm sense. Maybe it’s those ancient Windows machines they use in the office. Her assistant is much more knowledgeable, I suspect.

    I’ll be there at the meeting with my digital camera, “Homer”, if you want any help.

  • Stan

    Will they address all those damn kids on their lawn?

  • Nancy

    You can write whatever you wish on this blog. The BHA will not notice. They do not give any credence to opinions they do not already hold. And they certainly do not like hearing criticism from the uninformed and ignorant rabble who constitute the vast majority of residents of the neighborhood.

  • ABC

    Homer, I think it’s a little odd you think they’re out of touch since they won’t come to YOU and your blog.

    Why not go to them. I know they’d be thrilled if you would volunteer to arrange a webcast. It is a volunteer organization. And I’m not sure but it sounds like you’ve never been to one of their meetings since there will be time for questions. There usually is.

    I’m part of a “younger” generation I guess, but I do realize there are times you have to get out from behind a computer and join your neighbors.

    To another point, I have children involved in these private institutions and there is not one parent in the group who is from Brooklyn Heights. It may be true that an older generation generally socializes with the friends they’ve had for 20, 30, 50 years now, the younger families are not as provincial as was stated here.

    Lastly, Brooklyn Heights would not be Brooklyn Heights without the BHA. I’d have more respect for the people bashing them now if they’d at least own up to the debt we all owe them

  • Homer Fink

    We’ll be there tonight and Sarah Portlock will be filing a report and interviewing the folks at the BHA. We’ve also posted about the upcoming BHA House Tour looking for volunteers.

    And for the record we recognize the historic efforts made by the BHA including Heights Hero Otis Pearsall to preserve the neighborhood over the last 50 years.

    ABC – As far as *not* being at BHA meetings, you should know better. We’ve covered and attended every annual meeting since this site was created.

  • AEB

    I’m astounded by the folks who complain of general elitism here.

    BH is indeed an upper-middle class community. It is that by definition. It has a degree of cultural heterogeneity, but is manifestly a compound of the well-to-do.

    This does not, however, and in my experience, mean that it is insular-snobbish. Speaking personally, BH has been no less welcoming to me, a two-year resident here, than any other community I’ve lived in.

    To feel a part of something one must often join-in–or reach out. For me, posting here has been one way to feel that I’m part of a community. There are numerous other ways to feel that one belongs.

  • ABC

    I’m not sure why I should know better. Just mentioned that the do take questions from the audience. Do you want to submit your questions in advance? Do that. I’ve emailed Judy Stanton three times in the last five years and each time she replied quickly and went above and beyond being helpful. Really put me in touch with people I would have otherwise never found.

    But, yes I see you live-blogged it last year. Is that what you mean by you’ve “attended every annual meeting since this site was created”? Didn’t see it covered in 2007.

    And sheesh — could your live-blogging have been any snarkier? “tom stewart: waterboy”, etc. And you wonder why people don’t come crawling to you?

  • Homer Fink

    ABC – you’re welcome to contribute.