Thursday, April 1, 2010

CB7 asking all the wrong questions about Flushing Commons


Well, the vote of the full Community Board will be Monday, April 5. The final land use meeting will be tonight, Thursday, 4/1 – April Fool’s Day! Since the mayor wants the project, we know it will go through regardless, but give the members credit for staying late at lots of meetings.

Don’t give them credit for asking the right questions this night let alone understanding the issues. Maybe they realize it’s all a sham and just can’t be bothered anymore. Exception: CB7 chair Gene Kelty, who asked astute questions and wouldn’t take bullshit for answers.

And credit to Land Use chair Chuck Apelian, who must have been having a frustrating evening, as members completely missed the point over and over. Several thought the letter of agreement between the City and then-councilman John Liu stipulated keeping the same exact parking rate forever. Wrong. As it says in the letter – a “cost of living” elevator or 3% annual increases are built in under the cap. Duh, guys.

But no one even seemed sure what document had been the template for CB7’s initial approval of the City’s proposal for Muni Lot 1. Was it the letter? Or…what? If not, what had CB7 spent 2 years’ work on?

And why didn’t most CB7members at the table care about the city abrogating a signed agreement? If Bloomberg’s cabal break their word on this, what can you ever trust them on? Why isn’t that a problem?

Another issue that apparently didn’t rate discussion: the impact on school overcrowding. One thing that did come out: the Environmental Impact Study is specifically designed NOT to measure any impacts that matter or might be negative. That’s why, over and over, the EIS said a one million square foot project would have no impact on the nabe. Oh, and check this out – that measly $2M for the poor, screwed local merchants? They might never see a dime; it may all go to consultants for “an advertising campaign to bring in shoppers.”

It seemed to occur to 2 or 3 folks that the Y will get a sweet deal selling off its Northern Blvd property (to TDC?) and the community will offer Flushing the same programs it offers anywhere else. None of the money the Y gets from the City will be specifically targeted for Flushing. Plus, the Northern Blvd site is as-of-right, so, as Apelian said, CB7 could inherit a problem there, with layout, design and parking concerns. Paul Christian of the Y assured everyone that “the Y knows you’re concerned and we will make sure you are heard during the process.” Uh-huh.

And look who crawled out from under a rock, representing Councilman Koo: James McClelland, ex-councilman Dennis Gallagher Anthony Como’s chief-of-staff. You remember Como...he replaced Dennis Gallagher who was arrested for raping a grandmother in a room above his district office, and copped a plea (to avoid having to register as a sex offender) for “forcible touching.” Nice company you keep, Koo!


Anonymous said...

Just an FYI-I don't believe James McClelland was Councilman Gallaghers Chief of Staff. I believe it was a woman with the last name of Tapalaga

Anonymous said...

Note that with the very large crowd waiting (standing, as there weren't many chairs) impatiently for the the Flushing Commons presentation to start, the CB7 leaders had scheduled other presentations first, that took about one-and-a-half hour. The Flushing Commons presentation did not start until after 8:30 pm and went on well past midnight, with most of the crowd having left.
This is an old trick by the CB7 leaders, to wear out opposition to a project they favor, by scheduling other matters ahead of a contentious item.
The Flushing Commons presentation should have been the ONLY item on the agenda, and should have been held in a large auditorium.

Anonymous said...

A newspaper report the attendance at the the March 22 public hearing was approx. 250. However, the maximum lawful capacity of the auditorium is 179.

Queens Crapper said...

Interesting. Shouldn't FDNY Captain Gene Kelty have done something?

Anonymous said...

Good point Crappy.

In Over Their Head said...

Reminds you watching the parliament of a third world country, where the assembled follow the party's script, from the pacing of the meeting, to the refusal of the 'people's representatives' to actually represent the public and not rubberstamp .. or at least ask difficult questions.

Anonymous said...

To their defense

the community board knows that their questions will never be reported in the party controlled press anyway so what is the point of making a fuss?

I doubt most of them even know or understand the function of the board.

Anonymous said...

doubt most of them even know or understand the function of the board.

Sure they do. It gives them cache when they get together with their friends at some Italian resaraunt in Nassau and say "I'm on the community board!" to which their brother-in-law/school chum/business associate/'friend' exclaims,"how nice!".

Seriously, it give the more astute of them a chance to hear about stuff before the public - for example a rezoning (see the classic Plunket speech about 'Honest Graft')

Hell, if the political leadership reminds us of a bunch of postal workers in their Sunday best, what do we expect of the community board?

Anonymous said...

John Liu already campaigning for the 2012 election- he's catering to his developer boyfriends and paying them back for all the dough they financed him in his 2008 Comptroller Win.

Next thing you'll see if John Liu turning Hudson Yards into some large cage.

Anonymous said...

And why didn’t most CB7members at the table care about the city abrogating a signed agreement? If Bloomberg’s cabal break their word on this, what can you ever trust them on? Why isn’t that a problem?

That IS a problem!!!!

A. Fool said...

Michael Bloomberg is a GREAT mayor!!!


Anonymous said...

And now....


Community Participation at its' finest.....

Truly transparent....

Before there was a commuity board....

there was.....


Anonymous said...

Gene Kelty and Chuck Apelian = TWEEDle Dee and TWEEDle DUMB!!!

Anonymous said...

John Liu is actually against the development. I was at the press conference when EDC announced that the Muni lot project was being revised.

Liu's reaction was of disdain and surprise.

As for the CB #7 meeting, it was truly hard to speak as the list was filled even before the meeting started. The Board is only advisory, but I hope they vote against the project unless their concerns are addressed-namely congestion and parking.

Why are we selling public land in the first place?

The Flushing Phantom said...

All part of the game.

John Liu pretends to be against Flushing Commons.

And if he really is, it's only because his plump ego has been bruised.

But when the time comes, liver lips Liu will drop to his knees and assume the position on Wellinton's wand.

Where is the absent, inscrutable Chen anyway?

Isn't he the shadow behind this mega fiasco?

Isn't Michael Meyers merely the American "white boy" behind this Asian project?

Folks...Flushing is being Shanghaied.

That's right readers.

Isn't F&T's second headquarters in located overseas in Shanghai, with the other being at Queens Crossing?

My, my, my...the "little duke" of Wellington must be making a bundle off of this boondoggle.

Maybe he'll be selling his home in Little Neck afterward and moving on up to some posh Park Avenue digs!

Wasn't that little Little Neck abode obtained for him through Shulman's help...and a city foreclosure process?

What a "cozy" nest of vipers we have in Queens!

Donald Manes taught everyone well, it appears.

Anonymous said...

Kelty and Appelian are sneaks, lets be honest. When is the last time they didn't have an alterior motive? They are not as Tweedle dee and dumb as we would like to think, they have robed this community blind and no one can stop them. Manes? Boss Tweed? Rangle? Amateurs. Kelty and Appelian win hands down.