Monday, November 19, 2007

Abruptly Canceled CIDC Public Meet Fumes Recchia and Kruger

The community, the press, some city officials, members of the CIDC, a few nice folks from the Coney Isand USA bulletin board, as well as a bus-load of about 400 to 500 people, all spilled out onto the Coney Island Hospital parking lot due to a cancellation of last night's Coney Island Development Corporation Information meeting due to an overwhelming amount past what's alloud at the hospital's auditorium.

Lynn Kelly was very apologetic and told KC that the meeting was cancelled due to so many people that were not on the RSVP list showing up in bus loads. Roughly over 400 showed up out of nowhere wearing yellow ball caps that read "Bloombergs plan: How much? How long? Who pays?", which resulted in the cancellation of the meeting. The hospital's auditorium capacity is no more than 200.

Recchia, who is one of the Mayor's first opposers to the plans as they stand now said, "We're trying to work with the Mayor, we like his plan, we agree with parts of it but the way he's going about it is not the right way." Then Recchia went on and blasted the CIDC and accused them for cancelling the meeting on purpose. When a community member stood up in their defense and said that the cancellation was due to the overcrowed situation which got out of hand, Recchia retaliated and reaffirmed that it was on purpose. "They had pre-printed cancellation letters...right here!", said Recchia as he whipped out and flashed a copy of the cancellation letter handed out by the CIDC. It is still not clear whether the hospital cancelled the meeting or if it was the CIDC themselves. As Recchia has said before, the city should work with the landowners not against them. He feels the plan is not addressing the issue with the boardwalk which is in,"unbelievable disrepair. It needs major work. There is no mention about putting the money in the fixing of the boardwalk", he said. He was also in an uproar about the cancellation of the meeting on a school night and disrupting people's schedules, and demanded that Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff should address the community. He said, "It shows no respect for this community and we're not going to stand by it." He was up in arms at reporters saying that the city should work with the landlords, fix the aquarium, fix the boardwalk, and also denounced them for having a meeting last week and not allowing the community to ask questions.

However, the CIDC meetings have, always in the last few meetings, been open to the public for viewing but not for participating.
They should have meetings in a big enough place, he added.

Well, we could thank Mr. Horace Bullard for that one.

But the new twist in the continuing saga of Coney's revitalization was State Senator Carl Kruger who, earlier had announced his plan to attend and criticize the plan - and in fact did just that! And with bus-loads of back-up support to make his case heard, he told reporters that this raises serious questions. "They cancelled the meeting, not, because they wanted to label it as an overflow crowd, they cancelled the meeting because it was not going to be one-sided. This was going to be an opportunity to ask questions. Questions which city administration does not have answers to", said Kruger. He also pressed the questions, "Who is going to pay for this scheme? Who is going to build it? How long is it going to take? And what is the impact on our community?" He also gave a stern warning, "If this bill for parkland sees the light of day in Albany, then the Mayor is going to have a real fight on his hands, trying to get it through the state senate!" He proclaimed, "It's not going to happen! This is a backdoor approach to eminent domain!. He also said he will not allow Coney Island to be given away without community input.

Now it will be very interesting to see what turn of events occur in the days ahead. And what will counter the block-in-the-road by Recchia and Kruger that could double-handedly bring the Mayor's parkland plan to a screeching halt.


Anonymous said...

"However, the CIDC meetings have always been open to the public for viewing not for participating."

Completely Incorrect Omar. I went to about 7 or 8 public CIDC meetings prior to the Strategic Plan 2 years ago. All were open for public input.

Anonymous said...

"roughly over 400 showed up out of nowhere wearing yellow ball caps that read "Bloombergs plan: How much? How long? Who pays?""

Who were these folks in yellow ball caps?

Omar Robau said...

The ones that I have attended at the Education Hall of the Aquarium were for public to view and not ask questions. They would indicated that before the start of each meeting. Though, sometimes times they still threw them a few questions, anyhow.

Again, this according to the ones I have attended.

Anonymous said...

Omar - If you are going to write a blog can you please be accurate? The CIDC was created in 2003.You obviously didn't attend ONE CIDC meeting between 2003-2005 held in CI Hospital every other month. The public was even broken up into workgroups to put together suggestions for the Strategic Plan and reported out everything. There were also 1 hour long question and answer sessions.

Omar Robau said...

Muscle please read comments carefully, yourself as well. I never said I attended the CIDC meets at CI Hospital. In fact I never knew they had them there. I've heard of CB13 meets there but not CIDC. I'm not saying you're wrong - because I wasn't heavily involved with Coney back then.

I said I have only been to the ones at the Aquarium's education hall. And all of them were like I described.

Anonymous said...

I really don't know how I can be any more clear Omar -

"However, the CIDC meetings have always been open to the public for viewing not for participating."

This is a completely false statement you put on your blog and you continue to defend it by saying in your after-post comments "the ones that you attended". There were TWO YEARS worth of CIDC meetings that you didn't attend that were OPEN FOR PARTICIPATING. So please don't post the statement - "always been open to the public for viewing not for participating" on your blog that are just not true. Thanks!

Omar Robau said...


According to my ears. I remember the CIDC saying, in Education Hall at the Aquarium, that we could watch but during the meeting there are no questions. Afterwards the meeting adjourned and everyone chatted.

That's the same thing they said when they held the meeting at Our Lady of Solace Church the night of November 8, 2007. And that's why Recchia last night mentioned that meeting. That they (CIDC) had a meeting the other night(Nov 8)and they (the community) couldn't ask questions. Do you remember this?

Now if YOU say the community WAS allowed to ask questions during the early years - fine. I am not arguing that because I have never been to those - you have - so you know about those.

I am reporting what I have seen and heard at the last five or six meetings.

Therefore I don't see any reason to make a fuss about it any further.

Anonymous said...

Omar - What else can I say. I have been to about 12 or 14 CIDC meetings. Yes in the last couple of years the only discussion has been between board members. The meetings of the CIDC in 2003-2005 were all about community participation to put together the strategic plan.

You want to put completely false statements on your blog that CIDC meetings have "ALWAYS been open to the public for viewing NOT FOR PARTICIPATING." Hey I can't stop you from posting things that are untrue. You wanna defend it by saying you never went to the 7-8 meetings that were open for participation. What can I do? The original statement in the post is still completely false. Keep it there. What can I say, Doesn't change the fact you are reporting false info in the post.

Omar Robau said...

Now that you have cleared that up. I went and made the change. Keeping the correction mark.

As we commented before in a previous post, I can't always be right about everything. Sometimes in reporting, not every single fact can be checked. And as I've said I thank you and encourage you to correct me if I'm wrong. But no need to be sound upset about it. Just let me know and I will check it and correct it.

So, again, thanks for clearing that up.

Anonymous said...

Recchia is full of it! Where has he been for the last few years?

The Boardwalk is and has been a wreck for years. Why wasn't he out there demanding that it be fixed up? All he was doing was meeting with his good buddy Joe Sitt and planning luxury housing. It's HIS FAULT that this is happening!

But then again, Recchia's late father was a big developer in Staten Island, so he knows how to follow the money.