Community Board 2 Quits Brooklyn Bridge Park Community Advisory Council

The Brooklyn Paper reports that Community Board 2 has decided to withdraw its representation from the Brooklyn Bridge Park Community Advisory Council because, as CB2 Chair Shirley McRae wrote in a letter to Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation President Regina Myer:

The discourse at and resultant actions of the CAC often appear to be adversarial to the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation… it creates a dysfunctional dynamic that I no longer want the community board to be a party to.

This means the community will no longer have the voice of CB2 appointee and CAC co-chair Andrew Lastowecky, shown at the podium at last week’s BBPC board meeting, at which he argued for consideration of the impact of proposed housing to be built in the Park on local schools.

The Brooklyn Paper story also quotes the CAC’s other co-chair (and now apparently sole chair), Lucy Koteen:

McRae seems to be blaming the CAC for not being cooperative with the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation…The function of the council is advisory, but they [the BBPC] never take our advice. So, it is contentious, no doubt about it.

CB2’s administrtor, Robert Perris, is quoted as saying “It’s the tone of the discourse” that caused the Board to decide to call it quits, because “That’s not how we do business.”

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  • bklyn20

    Did the full CB2 board — c. 60 people nominated by our elected officials — vote on this?

  • Willow Street Watch

    So CB2 has decided it has no real
    voice with the BBP corp. They just
    realized this now? Hey geniuses,
    NO outside voices have any real
    influence…that’s the way the BBC
    system was DESIGNED to work
    from day one.

  • ClaudeScales

    No; I don’t think CB2 can be compelled to participate.

  • Solovely

    Andrew is much admire in CB2 and his insightful contributions will be much missed at the Park Corporation’s CAC meetings.

  • stuart

    Rather than just set public improvement priorities and build the projects they deem necessary, New York City government officials take part in a byzantine and ultimately useless public process that is bogus and merely a waste of time for everyone involved. They are really just griping and letting off steam sessions for the peasantry. No thought of actually changing projects is ever considered. It’s a disgraceful spectacle for a city that is nominally a democracy.

  • A Neighbor

    Yes, the CAC is all about PR. So Regina can wag her finger after every BBP bombshell and say that “the community” knew in advance and approved it. Which, of course, the community/CAC — always rebuffed when it requests information — did not.

  • martinlschneider

    Judging by the behavior of the Mayor’s rep, Alicia Glen, at the last meeting, it is no surprise the CB2 revolted. The Municipal Art Society, to its shame, recently put a spotlight on Glen as an honoree of that group. MAS should be shining a light on arrogant and insulting Glen and others for behaving like Kremlin Komissars while treating responsible community members like ignorant, annoying peasants. Congratulations to CB2 for not taking it any more.

  • stuart

    the once enlightened MAS is now bought and paid for by developers. Don’t look in their direction any longer for community support.

  • ujh

    The participants of this blog should keep in mind that the BBP’s CAC is an advisory body that does not set policy. When the CAC first got off the ground, it wasn’t listed in the BBP’s bylaws as a corporate committee charged with specific responsibilities, as e.g. the finance committee is. Unless the BBP’s bylaws have been changed since then, the CAC does not approve or reject BBP’s policies and M.O. Its role remains advisory in nature, and the BBP board is not bound by the CAC’s “advice” or “recommendations.” From all I have read on this blog over the years and from press reports, it seems to me that the CAC has maneuvered itself, or been maneuvered by individual members, into the proverbial corner. If you wish to see results, you work with those who direct and carry out policy sanctioned at the highest levels of government.

  • ujh

    I would like to correct my statement, above, about the bylaws. It was the first draft CAC bylaws, not the BBP bylaws, which didn’t describe the CAC as a BBP committee. Unless the CAC bylaws have been amended since then, the CAC is still not a corporate committee and its role remains that of offering advice or making recommendations, which may or may not be acceptable to the BBP board.

  • bklyn20

    Claude, I’m pretty certain that NO, as in NONE, of the CB2 members voted on this. Yet the CB votes on who will be the Second Vice Chair of CB2, and on whether or not to allow a new cornice on a brownstone in an historic district.
    If the CB votes on their own officers, why not a vote regarding participation in the CAC?

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the BBPC board tries to negate or nullify the CAC because “there’s no CB2 participation.” Then we common folk can enjoy more boondoggle bridges, frying-pan toddler domes, and conflicts of interests in our “World Class Park.” Note to those who consider the CAC a useless committee that should hew to the wishes of the local parkigarchs: when a new megacondo darkens your windows, you’d best shut up or ship out.

  • A Neighbor

    I think everyone understands that the CAC has no power. In the end, this is all the mayor, pure and simple. The CAC was created only to give the appearance that the community had meaningful input. Which it never had. Pretty clever move by Glen, De Blasio, Regina, et al. My guess is they’ve had a good laugh about it. In the end, we have been poorly served — and badly used.

  • DoBro84


    (Adopted December 23, 2013)
    Brooklyn Bridge Park Community Advisory Council

    Section 12.01 Creation and Membership.

    Pursuant to Section 8 of the Term Sheet, the Board of Directors shall establish a Brooklyn Bridge Park Community Advisory Council (“BBPCAC”). The initial membership of the BBPCAC shall be comprised of 27 members that represent a wide variety of local interests and concerns identified in a resolution of the Board of Directors. Thereafter, members of the BBPCAC shall be appointed as provided in the by-laws of the BBPCAC. Members of the BBPCAC shall serve without compensation.

    Section 12.02 Adoption of By-Laws.

    The BBPCAC shall establish and adopt bylaws which pertain to, among other things, terms of office, selection of officers of the BBPCAC, voting, the formation of committees and the scheduling of meetings. Such by-laws and any amendments thereto shall become effective only upon the affirmative vote of a majority of the BBPCAC members and subsequent approval by vote of the Corporation.

    Section 12.03 Report to the Corporation.

    The chairperson of the BBPCAC shall present a report from the BBPCAC at least once a year to the Board of Directors. Such report shall be advisory only.

  • StoptheChop

    The CAC actually started as a committee of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Coalition. At that time, the Coalition was willing to go toe-to-toe with the BBPDC if it felt that it needed to do so on behalf of the community (and it won some important battles, like fighting the proposed hotel where the Main St playground is now. It also fought allowing Empire Stores to become a shopping mall, but that victory was sadly reversed). Then the Coalition became the Conservancy……

  • Still Here

    In 1998, the Coalition absorbed what was OBWA into the NAC. The former was the old Brooklyn Waterfront Alliance – a multi neighborhood group centered in Fulton Ferry formed to battle the Two Trees inter bridge project at that time. I believe the CAC was formed by the LDC or the nascent Development Corp in 2005 and in now way related to the the then named Conservancy, which was one member of the official CAC. The CAC at that time had none of its current formality and quickly devolved into loosely structured and open forum to which the BBDC presented the status of park related things. The current CAC is about five five years old and has a real formal structure and membership rules. Meanwhile, the NAC morphed into the PCC – the Parks Community Council, which became independent of both groups – it was a forum and discussion group for local groups, interested individuals, and LEOS to exchange information, analyze proposals, and raised its own position papers. It closed shop in December of 2014.

  • ClaudeScales

    Sorry, I misread your comment as asking if the CAC had voted to allow CB2 off the island (I hadn’t had my morning coffee yet). Whether the full CB2 board authorized it to withdraw is an excellent question.

  • StoptheChop

    Ah– thanks for the clarification!

  • bklyn20

    If the CAC is not a “corporate committee,” and is merely an “advisory body,” that does not mean everyone on the CAC should roll over and play dead. Most NYC parks are designed with the local community in mind, and the suggestions of the nearby population are considered part of the design process. (I have over a decade of involvement with NYC parks.)

    Whether BBP is a local or a “world class” park, the neighborhood’s citizens have the right to discuss and oppose the park’s features, or lack thereof. As for “the highest levels of government,” the local elected officials are against more housing in the park, unhappy with the height of the Pierhouse, and against the intractability of the BBPC board. Yet political appointees from the last administration rule the park; how many are living in BBP’s luxury condos?

    Looking at my latest Fidelity meeting notice, they clearly noted which nominated Trustees were “interested parties.” Who on the BBPC Board owns an apartment in 1 BBP, or has bought or will buy apartments in the Pierhouse or on John Street? Should these people be allowed to be on the board, or should their “interests” be clearly stated? It would be interesting to know the answer.

  • ShinyNewHandle

    Bklyn20: I’m going to Heimlich you until you stop saying “parkigarch”.

  • bklyn20

    Don’t worry, I won’t over-use this locution.

  • Reggie

    There have been various CACs but they don’t follow a continuous line of succession. The current CAC was formed by Regina Myer with input from local elected officials.

  • ClaudeScales

    I thought “parkigarch” and “megacondo” were elder beings from some H.P. Lovecraft novel.

  • ShinyNewHandle

    Sorry for the abruptness, bklyn20: I was concerned for your respiration.

  • Willow Street Watch

    What an amazing statement! Uh, ujh, policy is no longer made in
    government. It hasn’t been that for a long time, perhaps forever..

    One of the basis problems is that policy is being made EXTRA
    Govermentally in a bunch of yes and London NGO’s, in elite
    Enviorns of academia and of course the six major banking groups.
    THEY write policy, its then “suggested” to government and its
    rubber stamped..cry all you want to “your” government, its now
    Far beyond that now…

  • Willow Street Watch

    All of this is a watergun vs a forest fire. So over the last decade
    We’ve had musical chairs of organizations, one more ineffective
    Than the other. Doesn’t ANY of you see you’ve been placed in
    a carefully constructed rat’s maze part of a classic contain and
    control operation? And what do you all do? You stand and
    chronicle the stages the control mechanism has put you all

    Hey, why don’t you stop playing your montovani albums and
    Think about what you can do which will be EFFECTIVE to
    disrupt the death cycle/path you are now on….

  • Andrew Porter

    I think “Megacondo” is a sequel to “Sharknado” on the Syfy Channel…

  • Andrew Porter

    Another front for Cindy, I see. Your Capitalization gives you away.

  • bklyn21

    I think you need to re-read the letter. They didn’t quit because the BBP corp wasn’t listening. They quit because the tone of the CAC was/is obnoxious.

  • bklyn20

    Hello, bklyn21. It seems I have a older sibling.

    You have an unusual understanding of “obnoxious.” Not even deigning to respond to questions from the community is also obnoxious.

  • Willow Street Watch

    Mr Porter, a lot of my friends do caps when they want
    to make a point. I know than rankles all the former
    AOL roomies and English major types…