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August 28, 2006

ESDC: Community Forums (Additional)

nylovesbuslogo01.gif The Empire State Development Corporation posted on its web site, to very little fanfare (where's the press release?), that there will be an "Additional" "Community Forum" (not a "Hearing") on Monday, September 18, 2006.

The "Community Forum Protocol" (PDF) reads:

As a result of the significant turn-out at the August 23, 2006 Public Hearing on the Atlantic Yards Land Use Improvement and Civic Project (“Project”) and numerous comments received from the public, ESDC has scheduled an additional Community Forum for the purpose of soliciting comments on the Project. There will now be two Community Forums scheduled as follows:

I. Tuesday, September 12, 2006 – 4:30 pm – 8 pm at the New York City College of Technology (Klitgord Auditorium), 285 Jay Street, Brooklyn

II. Monday, September 18, 2006 – 4:30 pm – 8 pm at the New York City College of Technology (Klitgord Auditorium), 285 Jay Street, Brooklyn

These two items headline the "protocol:"

  1. The Community Forums will be structured similar to the August 23 rd Public Hearing. ESDC representatives will be in attendance. There will be an independent Community Forum officer and a court reporter present and a stenographic transcript will be prepared. There will be no Project presentation, except that the Community Forum officer will make some preliminary comments regarding the procedures to be followed at the Community Forum.

  2. All comments at the Community Forums will be given the same consideration as comments received at the Public Hearing and will be considered by ESDC prior to final action on the Project. All comments will be made part of the public record.

NoLandGrab: So if "all comments" will be "part of the public record," then what's the difference between a Community Forum and a Public Hearing?

By law, the ESDC must hold the comment period open for 30 days after a "Public Hearing" for the submission of written testimony. This does not appear to be the case for a "Community Forum."

This NEW "Ratner rule" allows the ESDC to accommodate Forest City Ratner's schedule, while seeming to allow for ample public comment.

This still hardly addresses the call by nearly every public official, excepting the Brooklyn Borough President and the Mayor, for more time for study and analysis of the 4,000 pages released last month. Most community stakeholders can be seen with their noses to the grindstone as if they were studying for the bar.

Now the outstanding question is why the ESDC has no problem being seen publicly working within the framework of the "Ratner Rules of Order?"

Posted by lumi at August 28, 2006 8:21 AM