Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Community Board 1: Heather Roslund Makes History

6:20 PM: They're cranking up the heat inside the Swinging Sixties Senior for tonight's riveting November meeting. So far, it doesn't look like there's going to be much of a crowd tonight. We've got a few liquor licenses, a visit from an FBI agent on infrastructure safety and an unmarked HPD presentation or two.

Holy shit! It's mid-level professional HPD legend Jack Hammer! First ballot member of the Brooklyn Great Names Hall of Fame and nine-time Facial Hair All Star! He's sporting a full, well-trimmed mustache and Miezsko is jealous. This meeting just moved up a notch.

We have double action in the bullpen in Press Row with NAG favorite Allison Davis and OSA favorite Julia Morrow joining the table.
Where are the NAG photos from Saturday?, asks Allison.
I've been incredibly busy, I say.
Doing what? asks Allison.

6:29 PM Gerry Esposito takes the roll call and Chairman Chris notes that Board Member Paul Pullo III just had a baby, Paul Pullo IV. Well his wife had a baby.
Keep the lineage going!
Greenpoint Gazette publisher Jeff Mann adds, he is already driving a MetroFuel truck.

6:39 PM: Three announcement from public official flacks not named Rami Metal. It appears Marty Markowitz will host a Williamsburg Town Hall where you can meet him, and Dan (D-Squad) Squadron's office wants to let you know that flu shots are available at Long Island College Hospital. It's the D-Squad's birthday tonight. Consequently he's nowhere the hell near here.
Looks like we're not the only ones commenting that the meeting was slow. Ward just tweeted from his blog that Relish just got its liquor license approved.

6:41 PM: Chairman Chris announces that the FBI agent who was supposed to come to tonight's meeting did not show up and the presentation was canceled. Perhaps something else came up.

6:41 PM: Two HPD rank and files announce the relocation of its 27 Hooper Street branch to 210 Joralemon Street with other divisions. This must be why Jack is here tonight. Let's go to the staffer:
"The building cost a lot of money to maintain. Especially in the current budget situation, we had to cut back. 27 Hooper is not an easy location to get to and 210 Joralemon is better than many locations. We thought it was win-win-win all around and we were under pressure to save some money."
Thanks HPD dude. Next time my apartment's boiler explodes, I'll know where to go.
Actually, Jack wants to say something about the sale of the building.
"There's nothing currently on the table."

6:56 PM: We have a sidewalk cafe application at Nassau and Guernsey. Did you know you can get cheap flights from Nassau to Guernsey for 757 pounds? Also, NAG Co-Chair Emily Gallagher joins Press Row, fresh from raising $36,000(?) at the NAG gala on Saturday night. Jesus, that's two years at SUNY Albany!

6:58 PM: Jack is back! Chairman Chris reads the next item regarding Yuco Management Inc's proposal to build 59-low income units in four small buildings in the district and it's the Brooklyn planning office of HPD for a presentation. HPD will be extending a 50 percent preference to CB1 residents who have moved out of the district since 2004.
We go to principal Raymond Yu and his Yuco team for his project:
This is the full presentation of an initial presentation mentioned more than a year and a half ago. They're already managing a project on Hope Street and Havemeyer Street.
The breakdown is: 37 Ten Eyck has 7 units, 33 Ten Eyck 18 units, Maujer St 14 units and Bedford Avenue, the largest has 20 apartments.
Heather Roslund has a question about the ULURP process for the buildings and Jack Hammer stands up. He's ready to go... no! He sits back down again. False alarm, everyone.
Ward Dennis asks why the initial number was reduced from 64 to 59 and.. surprise... it's due to its budget.
The project is supposed to go before Land Use on the 22nd but that meeting is tentative.
Jack Hammer has left the building everyone. Jack Hammer has left the building. Greenpoint Gazette's Jeff Mann is sad. Don't worry Jeff, we still have David Rivel.

7:11 PM: The City Parks Foundation's David Rivel is on the dais presenting what his group may do with Greenpoint's $7 million windfall awarded in a settlement the city made with the state for violating pollution laws.
There's been a lot reported about this so far and you can read about it here. What we want to know is where do we vote for these 26 whittled down projects.
"Ultimately the final decision for which projects happen is with the state. City Parks Foundation will not be making a decision," says David.

7:18 PM: It's the team of Jackie Brookner and Deborah Masters about their Green Eggs and Wetlands project, one of 26 projects being considered by the state for the pollution funding.
Deborah: Our Park is going to be devoted toward cleaning stormwater. When there's a big event of rain, there's an overflow of sewage into the city's waterways. We're going to use stormwater to do another thing- to power the growth of plants in our park and our plants will clean the storm water."
But what happens when the eggs hatch and give birth to... Swamp Thing?

There goes the neighborhood. Thanks Deborah Masters.

7:31 PM: Public agenda closes and Chairman Chris acknowledges the newly elected District Leader, Lincoln Restler. A smattering of applause. Wait a second, where did he get that baby?

7:34 PM: Chairman Chris gives his report thanking board members for their excellent attendance. But Chairman Chris is also very upset at board members who talk to the press about items that don't have anything to do with board issues.

District Manager Gerry Esposito notes the submission of next year's proposed meeting calendar. Also, no outside food. Thank you for your consideration. The calendar is approved.

7:41 PM: Committee reports! Heather Roslund starts us off with a list of recommendations for Vision 2020.
Unsurprisingly, the first recommendation is creating more open space on and public access for the waterfront, particularly the public walkway component.
I should note that Simon Weiser just greeted a Joel Shucher noted Orthodox real estate lobbyist with a sick handshake. Manny Ramirez would be proud.
Heather calls the Greenway on Kent Avenue a "quasi fiasco" and that it is being overused. And she's going to read every single recommendation, plus bullet points and sub bullet points.
Jeff Mann: "Who wrote Heather's report today? Karen Nieves?"
And it goes on like this... for 32 minutes.
I text Rami Metal noting that it feels like we've been held hostage and Rami said he will be contacting a negotiator.

8:13 PM: Ward Dennis harps about keeping the Greenway "on the waterfront everywhere."
Emily Gallagher helpfully whispers, "Stella!"
Wrong movie Emily.
"I coulda been a contender!" says Emily.
There you go.

8:15 PM: Heather continues her report... really. She's clocking in at 34 minutes so far and this might be a new Community Board 1 record for the longest committee report in the history of community boards. Can we get an official from the mayor's office on the phone?

Heather picks up the pace with the Wythe Avenue rezoning application, which received a 3-2 disapproval last week with recommendations and explains in exacting detail the application.

I've checked with a few senior members and professionals and it appears that this is in fact the longest committee report in community board history. We're witnessing history tonight folks. It's not every day you can say that. Congratulations Heather!

8:31 PM Chairman Chris cuts the report off after a whopping 50 minutes but first chides board members for not showing up to vote at committe meetings.
"There are 15 members on this committee. People were knocking down my door to get on this committee and only six people showed up to vote? Where is everybody? We were looking for people to participate in these committees. You have important votes coming up. These votes were important!" says Chairman Chris.
"I was removed from the committee!" shouts Esteban Duran, fleetingly.

But Heather takes the reins again and answers a few questions and more people begin to leave. We've lost half our crowd. Does the Q and A still count as part of her record? Judges? It does! The clock is still ticking!

8:41 PM: Chairman Chris moves for a vote of the rezoning, the Wythe Avenue one, and the motion to approve the Land Use Committee's recommendation passes 15 in favor, 4 against and 4 abstentions. OSA Joe Vance is pissed. I'm not sure board members knew exactly what they were voting for.

There's one final item for a vote, and that's the Roebling Street project which is trying to add about 90 parking spaces to their building, which requires a zoning change.

8:50 PM: After 1 hour and 9 minutes
Heather: Thank God, I'm done talking." Applause

Mieszko Kalita takes the mic promising a change in speed. Liquor license renewals. Approved. Done. Liquor licenses new. Motion to approve? In favor? Approved. Carried.

Not approved, 256 Grand Street renewal for the Trash Bar, because of noise complaints. The motion carries. Trash Bar has some problems.
Mieszko pops through the last two items in ice like a blizzard/ When we drink we do it right gettin slizzard/ Sippin sizzurp in my ride, like Three Six/ Now I’m feelin so fly like a...

8:55 PM Rami Metal introduces a letter from Councilman Stephen Levin noting his concern over the proposed homeless shelter on McGuinness Boulevard and he begins passing around the letter to the remaining board members and stragglers.

8:57 PM Feeling the pressure from board members, Transportation Chairwoman Karen Nieves takes the mic and delivers a blisteringly fast report about the Greenway planning session, the canceled B39 Bus, a request for bike racks, and a joint committee request with public safety about bike rules, particularly educating cyclists that they shouldn't ride through red lights, the wrong way and on the wrong side of the road. Five minutes Karen. Not bad at all. That's Community Board-MVP material.

9:02 PM: Ryan Kuonen mentions how basically no one showed up to her environmental meeting.

9:04 PM: Esteban Duran gives his education committee meeting, addressing decreasing enrollments and vacancies, summer youth employment programs, and Town Square Inc's Schoolfest last month. Also, Joel Klein stepped down today. So there's that.

Several Hasidic members have left already. Why? Because Rabbi David Niederman's granddaughter is getting married tonight. So that's where Rob Solano is.

9:13 PM: Finally. Public Session.
*Joseph Garber protests the two minute rule and rambles on for a full three minutes.
*Jackie Medina, volunteer director for Parks and OSA, formerly in
*Rami visits Press Row and notes that Deputy Inspector Dennis Fulton has left the 94th Precinct like Jack Hammer left this meeting three hours ago.
*A rep from the Brooklyn Smoke Free partnership noting that Camel Company is marketing its own cigarette just for Williamsburg youth. Wow. That's the most interesting thing I heard all night.
*Cassandra Smith from GMDC presents the boathouse plan with GWAP. Read about it here.
It's finally over. Jack Hammer is tonight's Community Board 1 MVP. Karen Nieves was Runner-up. Heather Roslund placed 3,945th.


Anonymous said...

Umm.I thought they were turning 210 Joralemon into an Apple Store?

Anonymous said...

Maybe they could have food at CB1 meetings if Jerry didn't insist on annually distributing ugly pocket calendars and pens inscribed with the CB1 logo and his name to so many people. Bet that cost could cover coffee & donuts at some meetings at least?

Anonymous said...

I seem to remember Ron Webster's ULURP reports going forever and ever and ever, I don't think Roslund set a record here though maybe you could say she established a new millennial record.

Anonymous said...

i dont know if the apple store is a done deal or not, but 210 joralemon is a big building - the municipal buildinga across from borough hall...marty has long wanted ground floor retail on court and joralemon

Anonymous said...

Yet another awesome bit of coverage. I feel like I was right there! Thanks Aaron.