Sunday, July 02, 2006

Drama at CB4, 6/7/6; Part 3: Rev. Jim Fairbanks

The Players:

Mr. Shipp--Acting Chairperson CB4

Ms. Mangual--Representative for the Bronx Borough President

Rev. James Fairbanks--Chief of Staff for NYC Council Member Helen Diane Foster

David Mojica--District Manager CB4

In our last two episodes (scroll down to read them first, if you haven't. Both are loaded with drama and unintentional humor!), we saw Lukas Herbert make a motion to reject the slate of the Nominating Committee, have that motion seconded, but not voted on (why not?). After repeated assurances that board members would have an opportunity to nominate from the floor at the next meeting (didn't happen, natch), thoughts of the BP's actions seemed to have slipped away.

Until Reverend Jim Fairbanks got up to give his report. He didn't get far before he came around to the elephant in the room. Watch as Mangual, the BP's rep at the meeting, attacks him in the middle of his report. How dare Jim Fairbanks lift the curtain and reveal to civilian's the machinations of dirty pool?! He is OUT OF LINE. Thank you, Jim, from many of us!

LET'S TUNE IN to Rev Fairbank's report to CB4, now in progress:

Mr. Fairbanks continued by stating that planning board reappointments were given by the city charter to be the purview of the borough president and the city council members. The borough president appoints 100%, but the council members recommend 50% of the appointments to the borough president.

Rev Fairbanks: Council Member Foster, as always, wrote her letter to the borough president saying these are the people that I want to have reappointed; and for the 24 years that I was chief of staff for Council Member Wendell Foster and the 5 years that I have been for Council Member Helen Diane Foster, there's only been one criteria to reappoint somebod: that was to look at the attendance list. Now if your missing more than three meetings, if you're starting to miss four meeting a year, then it is not a good idea to reappoint you because you're not showing up; and that's the only criteria we have ever used to not reappoint somebody. And that's always been a consensus with the borough president's office because the borough president is always whoever it may have been from Simon onwards has always held the opinion if you don't show up, no you shouldn't be reappointed. So that's our only criteria to not reappoint you. So everyone that was up for reappointment, we recommended that they be reappointed. As of this date, Council Member Foster has not received any written correspondence of who was reappointed, if our recommendations for reappointment were reappointed; so I can't give you any news to that. So maybe the post office is not working well.

Ms. Mangual: You know, Rev. Fairbanks, that's unfair for you to do that. You know that's very unfair and that's not professional. And if you have a concern, then your councilperson, Diane Foster, is the one to speak to the borough president. You're out of line. I'm sorry. The borough president is the one.

Mr. Shipp: Hold it. Hold it. Hold it. Recognize.

Ms. Mangual: I'm sorry. You're (Fairbanks) not here to give the report of the borough president.

Mr. Shipp: You (Mangual) have to recognize the chair now. That's not fair.

Ms. Mangual: I'm sorry.

Mr. Shipp: You have to recognize the chair. OK.

Ms. Mangual: You (Fairbanks) are totally out of line.

Mr. Shipp: No, wait. Let him make his report. He has a right to make his report.

Ms. Mangual: Not the borough president's report.

Rev. Fairbanks: Well, I don't know. I am reminded of a story: When Saul sent word that David was to be killed, he said, "What did I do now? I just asked a question."

Ms. Mangual: You should stick to your report not this type of report. If you have a problem, then you bring it to the borough president.

Rev. Fairbanks: I do not mean to be disrespectful to anybody

Ms. Mangual: Yes you have.

Rev. Fairbanks: But the issue of reappointment was brought up tonight. So it is very important.

Ms. Mangual: It wasn't brought up to you. It was brought up to the borough president's office, and I gave an answer. And it is unfair of you to stand there and give such a report. If you have a problem then you ask Ms. Diane Foster to call the borough president. She's the councilperson and she should call the borough president.

Unknown: You can't dictate what he can say.

Rev. Fairbanks: Well, I can give whatever report I feel is important. I don't mean to be disrespectful to anyone.

Ms. Mangual: But you have been. I find that you have been, and I take offense at that.

Rev. Fairbanks: I am just stating that we have not gotten a letter as to who has been reappointed and not reappointed.

Ms. Mangual: Then you should call the borough president's office. Not here. You should voice that through the borough president's office and not here in a public forum. And as a professional for 30 something years, you know that that's the way to go.

Rev. Fairbanks: Well, I did not know until tonight that there is news as to who has been reappointed or not been reappointed, and I'm just saying that we have no letter indicating to us.

Ms. Mangual: Then you speak to the borough president. You call the borough president.

Rev. Fairbanks: That's exactly my point. The city charter is not democratizing this issue. It's just between the borough president and council member.

Ms. Mangual: People voted out the city charter not you.

Rev. Fairbanks: So when I hear I'm sorry, but I was a resident in the South Bronx in 1977 and voted.

Ms. Mangual: I voted for the city charter and so did you. We made the decision and not you.

Rev. Fairbanks: I don't think this is helpful, and I don't mean any disrespect to you. I'm just saying it's a matter of the borough president and the council member, and the council member has not heard anything in response to her letter as to her recommendations for reappointment.

Mr. Mojica: You (Fairbanks) made the point. You made the point.

Rev. Fairbanks: And since I am offending somebody, I guess I'll sit down.

Ms. Mangual: Maybe you should.

Rev. Fairbanks: I'm not sure why I was personally attacked on the floor as I was making my report, but I apologize.

Ms. Mangual: You are attacking the borough president. I am not going to sit here and hear people bashing the borough president unnecessarily. You know the avenue and that's the way you should go. Call the borough president and ask.

Rev. Fairbanks: I did not make an attack on the borough president. Thank you.

Unknown: The borough president has to respect the members of this community.

Mr. Shipp: All right, we are going on to the next. Any other elected officials representatives here tonight? No? Dr. Birkett.


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