Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Weighing in on Coucilman DeBlasio

Here is a comment made by one of our very own CORD Co-Founders yesterday on Pardon Me for Asking yesterday after the post "Brooklyn Citizens Against Bill deBlasio": Link

At the risk of sounding very very very redundant here, I would like to point out (again) that after FIVE LONG MONTHS of constant grassroots level work work on the 360 Smith Street development project and so many other critical, related issues we at CORD have NO ANSWERS! to even the most basic questions. All of our hundreds of volunteer hours have produced stalling and more stalling on the part of the POLS and yes Mr. DeBlasio's office is surely front and center as he is our Councilman. He is quoted as saying "we need to come together as a community" at his anti-Scarano rally in late May. I think he missed the point. We in Carroll Gardens were already together, but he seems to be continuously absent as far as I can see. He was quoted in the Courier as saying "keep the fires burning" to our CORD moratorium effort, and we have surely kept up our end of that bargain. What about his end of the bargain? What about his support for us, his constituents?
Where are the answers to (some) our simplest most basic questions?
How about just ONE? of our questions?
Pick one:

What is being built at 360 Smith Street?
Where is Mr. Stein with those new building plans he promised everyone?
Where is Mr. Scarano and he is still on this job?
What ever happened to the wide streets ruling issue and has Councilman
DeBlasio followed through on his promise to the community? He agreed that
Second Place did not look like a wide block (and it isn't!).
Who has jurisdiction over the outdoor subway plaza at Carroll Street?
How will our subway service be altered/interfered with before/during/after
How will the closing of the Smith and Ninth street station on the F-line
(confirmed this week by the MTA) further impact our plight at the Carroll
Street Station?
Has Councilman DeBlasio followed up on his promise to introduce a moratorium
resolution at the City Council?
Who is willing to help us with the ULURP for the Moratorium that City
Planning explained is necessary?
Unfortunately these, and far too many more, critical questions that the Carroll Gardens community would certainly seem to have the right to know by now (since we started asking many of them five long months ago) have still
not been answered.

Councilman DeBlasio congratulated the Carroll Gardens community at the CGNA meeting in early June when the 360 Smith Street story had just broken. I will always remember his words: "The worst thing you could now do, (as a community), is to lose all that wonderful momentum that you have been so successful in harnessing to raise awareness, and attract so much support and attention onto this 360 Smith Street development issue (and the issue of overdevelopment in Carroll Gardens)" Personally I never thought WE were going to "disappear" because we live right here remember? This is our home! How can we "disappear"? Little did I know it was the Councilman who would disappear. The only other persons who have disappeared along with him are several other prominent POLS who are supposed to be representing us, the "people" of Carroll Gardens, who live here and pay taxes here, not the wealthy developers looking to capitalize on all our hard work without so much as an honest, building proposal/plan discussion. Surely the "AS OF RIGHT" ruling needs some tweaking by now, does it not?

Elsewhere: The brilliant Norman Oder weighed in on DeBlasio's candidacy today with: "The due diligence of BP candidate Bill deBlasio, or the (AY) end justifies the means." Link
and yesterday Found in Brooklyn posted: "DeBlasio for Borough President?" Link
It looks to CORD like the Councilman has some serious repair work to do with the actual residents of Brooklyn, (a.k.a. his constituents). Early this summer, CORD heard from a member of a neighborhood group in Boerum Hill that, "overdevelopment" would be "the political issue" of all of the upcoming elections. From this humble 360 Smith Street vantage point, we would have to wholeheartedly agree. Perhaps even Mayor Bloomberg should take another serious look at his PlaNYC 2030. Its population "explosion" statistics justify (supposedly) the recent tidal wave of new building development, but CORD wonders what is the true cost $$$? of the all this havoc overdevelopment is wreaking city wide, most poignantly, perhaps, here in our beloved Downtown Brooklyn?


With the "Protect Our Homes" petition, CORD was formed in May, 2007. This petition arose as an overwhelmingly negative response to the coming of the over-sized 360 Smith Street Development at the corner of Smith Street and Second Place (Aka Oliver House; aka 131 Second Place). This petition, which had well over three thousand signatures, led to a new zoning text amendment in summer of 2008.

To: Our Elected Officials, Community Leaders, The MTA:
(MAY, 2007)

We the undersigned Carroll Gardens homeowners and residents, are appalled by the "as of right" ruling which allows owners and developers to erect buildings in our neighborhood with no regard to the impact they will present to our quality of life and the value of our homes........