Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Last night's CB4 Meeting, or the score so far Yankees: 0, Community: 2

Last night's CB4 meeting lasted more than two and a half hours in spite of the fact that the Yankees and the Parks Department did not show up and the community didn't get their 2 minutes each to speak on the evils of the new stadium plan. Begs the question: who could have thought there would be enough time to actually cover the agenda?

And why didn't the Yankees show up? This is the second meeting in a row they couldn't make. According to the Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Yankees, the Economic Development Corporation, and the Parks Department, the Yankees are REQUIRED to reach out to the community. And apparently as we are an Environmental Justice Community (Asthma Alley), the definition of "reaching out to the community" is much more stringent than if we were the Upper East Side.

That said, the Yankee Plan was the elephant in the room for some (our elected officials) and Topic A for others (the community at large).

Some excellent questions/points made in reference to the Yankees:

Why is the Town Hall Meeting with the Yankees (to substitute for the two meetings they have missed) and to be hosted by the Community Board and BP Carrion scheduled on Nov 17, AFTER the elections?

In spite of repeated tagging of the Yankees as the major players, along with the Parks Department, one community resident said: "actually the major players are here right now". And we were! The room was packed with community residents.

Dan from Develop Don't Destroy, Brooklyn (wow, long trip) wanted to know if community groups will have the opportunity to make presentations as long in duration as the Yankee's presentations.

Senator Serrano Jr spoke about his legislation, mentioned a bill he sponsored for more "open" and "green" spaces in his district, inspiring gasps and laughs of astonishment. He used the phrase "Asthma Alley" in reference to the community.

When questioned about the plan, Serrano said "As I see it, as it was presented to us, since Yankee Stadium was on it's a swap" Which of course caused an uproar.

Mike Trotter told how he couldn't step on McComb's Dam Park 50 years ago so he helped desegregate it and now it looks like he won't be able to step on McComb's again! He asked Serrano "will you sponsor or protect the park?" He said "You're a Hayesman like I am and as you know Hayesmen stick together"

Mr Pacheco (who heads CB4 Economic Development Committee) said "the last meeting was great. First time I saw so many people" And why were they there? To hear the Yankees give their song and dance. Unfortunately, there was no music as this was the meeting the Yankees didn't show for. He mentioned something about trying to get signatures back in 1986 to protect Macomb's Dam Park from a parking lot the Yankees wanted to build.

Diana Strom pointed out that "1 out of 4 kids have asthma in the South Bronx"

Councilmember Helen Diane Foster's representative, Mr Fairbanks said "It looks like we made 'a tactical mistake' in alienating the parks..." but then went on to say something about alienating Macomb's wasn't a bad idea, instead alienating the parks first before getting a CBA was bad.

Delmar (sorry, I don't know his last name) was very concerned about the Yankee issue: he's asthmatic, and doesn't want the politicians to "barter my life for so-called jobs". "We are not interested in a community benefits agreement" we just want our parks preserved!


At 4:30 PM, Blogger Joyce said...

The reason cited for the parks commissioner & his people for not showing up was that: "they were on emergency alert due to the flooding". Huh? What floods? It was raining, to be sure, but I walked my dog in it, went to work, worked to a restaurant for lunch, etc....The Parks & Recreation Mgr for the Bronx was there and she left; stating that if the ommissioner wasn't coming, she wouldn't stay; that there was no reason for him not to be there.
Makes you wonder, doesn't it?


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