Dear Editor (Times Ledger):
We read the Feb. 10-16 Times Ledger Newspapers article “Tale of CB 7 and Feinstein a ‘feel-good story’: Apelian” and were a little taken aback.
Apelian “said this week he was surprised to open the paper and see the letters since he believes they were misguided and cast the tale in an unfavorable light.” We pose this question to Apelian: What was “misguided and cast the tale in an unfavorable light”? Our letter was clear in that we believed Apelian and Community Board 7 owed an apology to our community for their violation of the Freedom of Information Law and their mishandling of a safety issue and a survey distributed to the community, as well as District Manager Marilyn Bitterman’s alleged comments regarding the president of our civic organization.
To date, Apelian, Eugene Kelty, Bitterman and Bob LoPinto — who called several of our members saying he was investigating the Bitterman comments — have not contacted us about the “investigation.” Our city councilman has said to date that “his office is not charged with oversight of community boards and therefore will not inquire about the investigation.” As our elected official who appoints community board members, we find this rather disheartening.
How is it that CB 7 “investigates” itself and does not report the results to the people who requested the investigation and were directly affected by the behavior being investigated? No one is being held accountable for the abuses being committed by our “community” board. Apelian is quick to request public apologies, but none are forthcoming.
CB 7 under the leadership of Apelian, Kelty and Bitterman has:
• violated the FOIL;
• ignored a decision by the state Committee on Open Government, informing it that they were in violation of FOIL and were to make requested records available immediately;
• made comments showing a disregard for human life to a Metropolitan Transportation Authority official — specifically the life of the president of an organization which has an active issue with the board regarding human safety and quality of life;
• conducted a community survey over the objections of one of its committee members who was not allowed to see the survey or know its wording before it went out;
• sent out the survey after several objections to its biased wording; and
• accepted the flawed results of the biased survey, in which we have counted over 15 discrepancies and currently have an expert reviewing the results.
There was no “misguide” on our part — we simply ask that if CB 7 is looking for apologies, it should give them as well. Or it could abide by the rules and act in the best interest of the community it represents.
Malba Gardens Civic Association