Wave Editorial Is Wrong
Wave Editorial Is Wrong
As a member of Community Board 14, I object to the characterizations of the board and the tone taken in the editorial entitled "Perhaps, The Problem Lies In The Process" (The Wave, May 11, 2002). I agree the support of the FDNY request may not have been our best choice, but was based upon the best information that was made available to the board members by the FDNY at the time the vote was taken. The management of the FDNY had come to the CB 14 several times in the last two years with different requests to establish an EMS and then EMS/fire house on Beach 48 Street leading some of us to believe that they did not have a clearly thought-out plan.
The depiction of members of the board as "political animals designed to insulate elected officials" and who are "beholden to the politicians who selected them", and "coerced to vote in a certain way in order to keep their sets" is unfair and has a deleterious effect upon the work and good will that the members bring to their responsibilities. I do not know any individuals "who bucked the power structure", "were not reappointed when their terms were up" or who "were coerced to vote a certain way in order to keep their seats."
When executives from the FDNY came before the board (a board that has advisory only powers) to request approval of the construction on the Beach 48 Street, the only objections came from several community residents citing additional noise and traffic near the proposed site. In fact, the proposed location has some advantages including that it is closer to the fire company located on Central Avenue (near Mott Avenue). These experts from the FDNY made their presentation after September 11 further enhancing the perception of the board that safety for the public and it's firefighters is a top priority of the department.
In my years as a member of the community board I have seen many diverse issues come before the board. It is impossible for laymen to be expert in all and we rely upon our collective expertise and common sense. Community Board members spend much of our time in meetings discussing what is best for the development of the Rockaways. We are well-intentioned individuals who volunteer our time to make our home a better place to live. I suggest that the author of this article check his facts more carefully, fine tune his objectivity, be more cognizant of the power of the pen and support members of an institution that allows our community's voice to be heard.