Volume 79, Number 29 | December 23 - 29, 2009
West and East Village, Chelsea, Soho, Noho, Little Italy, Chinatown and Lower East Side, Since 1933


Villager photo by Lincoln Anderson

From left, Steve Ashkinazy, Councilmember Alan Gerson and Ed Ma at Community Board 2’s meeting last Thursday.

Gerson wraps up farewell tour

By Lincoln Anderson

City Councilmember Alan Gerson said his goodbye to Community Board 2 as a councilmember last Thursday night. Before he did, though, he gave some final reports on local issues. A design and funding are in place for a new children’s playground in Friends of LaGuardia Park on LaGuardia Place, he said. Also, the councilmember said, there’s ongoing monitoring of noise at Le Souk nightclub — “There are changes in the windows,” he noted — a new presence on LaGuardia Place, previously a quality-of-life problem on Avenue B.

Gerson was eligible to serve a third term after term limits were extended last year — Gerson himself casting a decisive vote in the Council in favor of the extension. But he was defeated in the September primary by Margaret Chin.

Last Thursday, Arthur Schwartz, a C.B. 2 member, offered a resolution from the floor calling on the board to honor Gerson for his years of service both on the board and as a councilmember. Gerson was on C.B. 2 from 1987 to 2001, including a stint as chairperson in the late 1990s. Schwartz’s resolution passed, with all “yes” votes, and a hearty round of applause. “Wow! Unanimous!” Gerson beamed good-naturedly.

Jo Hamilton, the board’s chairperson, told Gerson, “We thank you for working right up to the end for our community — I know it won’t stop.”

The councilmember said, after he leaves office, among his goals will be to continue to work to make the late Art D’Lugoff’s dream of a Greenwich Village Folk Music Museum a reality.

Gerson also has been bidding adieu to Downtown’s other community boards, having said so long to Lower Manhattan’s C.B. 1 a couple of times already, as well as to the East Side’s C.B. 3 last month. At C.B. 1 last week, the board members gave him a standing ovation.

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