Volume 74, Number 50 | April 20 - 26 , 2005


Community Board 2 removals are troubling

Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields’s failure to reappoint two hard-working, well-respected members of Community Board 2 is misguided, in our opinion, and seems to have been influenced by internal power politics on the Greenwich Village board. An election for a new chairperson is in the offing, and it seems certain board members and perhaps others associated with the board are using their clout with the borough president to remove others from the board who may be supporting a candidate on the other side or, perhaps, someone against whom they may have a personal grudge.

When one thinks of a Village sports, parks and youth advocate, Bergman’s name leaps to mind. A former director of operations for Central Park, former president of the Greenwich Village Little League, former president of Pier Park and Playground Association and former vice chairperson of the C.B. 2 Parks Committee, Bergman is one of the people most responsible for the brand-new artificial-turf courtyard field and now-several-years-old rooftop turf field on Pier 40. He worked to insure that when a water shaft to the Third City Water Tunnel is completed in five to six years at Hudson and Clarkson Sts. that over it will be a park facility for local youth and others. He has been a steady voice of reason on the Parks Committee.

Similarly, Hamilton’s name is synonymous with the triumphant community-led effort to preserve and landmark the Meat Market. At times, she’s been an outspoken opponent of granting new liquor licenses for some nightclubs and bars when she felt they were inappropriate; we hope her candidness isn’t what led to her not being reappointed.

These are two individuals who represent the best in the term “community activist.” They were on the board because they wanted to help their community, and by all measures they have done so in exemplary fashion.

It seems the borough president may simply be listening to the wrong voices from Board 2. To lose such members for political reasons is simply a shame. Borough President Fields, please reconsider and reappoint these deserving members.

Don’t lose momentum on Washington Sq. plan

On Thursday, Community Board 2 will vote on the Parks Department plan to renovate Washington Sq. Park. On the whole, there are many things we like about the plan and it’s clear the park needs a renovation. At the same time, one can’t deny that there is opposition from some in the community to aspects of the plan, from moving the fountain to erecting a fence. While the process on the park was basically closed until a few months ago, recent meetings have mainly seen people come out who strongly criticize much of the plan. If this park is to be renovated, and we believe it should be, it’s important to keep the momentum going. So, we urge those who support the plan to show up at Thursday’s meeting. Otherwise, they’ll have no one to blame but themselves if the impression given is that the community opposes the project. It’s important to keep moving forward — otherwise the risk is that the opportunity for an improved park may be lost.

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