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January 9, 2008

AY ombudsman faces critical audience, says Community Advisory Committee coming

Atlantic Yards Report

Norman Oder reports from last night's meeting, at which the community finally got a chance to meet the recently appointed Atlantic Yards Ombudsman:

FRTaylor-JB.jpg

Atlantic Yards ombudsman Forrest Taylor met a cordial but sometimes prickly audience last night at a meeting held by the Council of Brooklyn Neighborhoods (CBN), which has been significantly critical of the project and is a plaintiff challenging the Empire State Development Corporation’s (ESDC) environmental review of the project.

Taylor, appointed by the ESDC at the end of November after a 203-day wait, got high marks for his accessibility--CBN co-chair Candace Carponter said he always answered the phone. But several among the 60 or so people at St. Cyril's Belarusian Cathedral on Atlantic Avenue found him not-so-reassuring when he repeated the ESDC stance on issues of security and traffic.
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The meeting showed a contrast between two visions of the job: the ESDC wants a communicator, a fixer, who can bridge gaps between the many agencies and interested parties so essential information is exchanged. Community critics want a public advocate who might reach some independent conclusions.

Forrest Taylor outlined plans to resuscitate the "Community Advisory Committee:"

He said local elected officials would shortly be asked to nominate members, as would the three affected Brooklyn Community Boards: 2, 6, and 8. And how often would the committee meet? At least quarterly, he said, a frequency that provoked some derisive sounds from the audience.

Would meetings be open? That’s up to the CAC. While Taylor was asked if CBN would get a representative, he responded, “You know your elected officials just as well as I do.”

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Posted by lumi at January 9, 2008 6:48 AM