Tuesday, June 13, 2006

"Bx. beep axes Yank plan foes" NY Daily News 06/13/06

Is Carrion afraid of democracy and common sense?

Bx. beep axes Yank plan foes


Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión continues to show no mercy to opponents of the new Yankee Stadium plan.

Last month, Carrión sacked several members of Community Board 4 who opposed his wishes and voted against the plan for the new stadium, as well as the chairman of the board, presumably for not keeping his members in line.

Carrión's purge continued last week as a critic was ousted as chairwoman of a rebellious committee and other committee members were barred from taking her place.

Mary Blassingame, chairwoman of the housing and land use committee, was demoted for leading opposition to the controversial plan to locate the new stadium on two popular city parks.

Carrión earlier sacked four members of the board, which had voted, 16 to 8, to reject the plan.

Three of the ousted members - Gertrude Lane, Marie Stroud and Louise Williams - voted against the plan, but board Chairman Abe Rasul, who voted for it, was reportedly dumped for failing to deliver the board.

Board members are unpaid volunteers appointed by the borough president for two-year terms. Rasul and the three dissenters were the only members whose terms were up last month who were not reappointed.

Carrión declined to respond, other than to release a statement through a spokesman.

"The borough president, along with his fellow elected officials, oftentimes appoints new people to serve on the community boards in an effort to expand community involvement," it stated.

Bedlam broke out at the board's regular meeting last Tuesday when members rebelled against Blassingame being replaced with a board member who had never served on the land use and housing committee.

The committee had voted unanimously against the stadium plan, and board members charge current committee members were purposely barred from promotion to the committee chairmanship.

Certified city planner, stadium critic and committee member Lukas Herbert blasted Carrión - who often touts his own background in urban planning - for "steamrolling" the community with the stadium plan.

"If [Carrión] was acting like an urban planner, this whole process wouldn't have gone down like this," said Herbert. "Planners are supposed to go out of their way to include the community's views."


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