Reader Collin Hodges files this report from last night's Community Board 8 general meeting...Under the threat of last night’s rain, residents of Brooklyn’s Community Board 8 made their way to the board’s last general meeting until September. The acting chairperson, Robert Matthews, opened by welcoming representatives of the evening’s venue, the Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation, located on Classon Avenue between Park Place and Prospect Place. Particularly notable was the fact that it was Robert Matthew’s last meeting as chairperson, as he is to retire after serving an impressive 23 years on the board.
Two representatives of the 77th Precinct were the first to step before the crowd, testifying that crime had dropped by 17.9% and that they are on track for even further reductions. Their announcement that police foot-patrols will be reinstated on Franklin and Bedford Avenues led to the most widespread enthusiasm, despite several residents expressing worry about the possible overflow of crime onto Kingston Avenue and points east.
Easily the most anticipated issue of the night, however, was the Housing and ULURP Committee’s presentation of their resolution on the Peter Young Homeless Center scheduled for re-opening at 1140 Pacific Street. (A report on their earlier meeting is here.) Their resolution was presented largely as expected, stating that Community Board 8 will take an official stance against the center, and it passed by a landslide of 25 to 6 with 11 abstentions. A representative of the intake center was present, but her testimony was met largely with indifference and hostility, though the representative cited real estate concerns as one major reason for establishing the center on Pacific Street. Some residents were also upset over a suspected “bait and switch” from a more benign version to the currently proposed residential treatment center, though the representative vehemently maintained that she “had no knowledge of residential treatment” before the proposal was altered. In response, a board member stated that CB8 maintains 6 times more social service centers within its borders than the average for the city.
Perhaps surprisingly, one of the more contentious issues for the public turned out to be the June “Summer Streets” closure of Vanderbilt Avenue...