New York Shitty Day Ender: Live From The Community Meeting Regarding Construction On Monitor Street & Nassau Avenue

It was a full house at tonight’s community meeting— and man, oh Manischewitz what a meeting it was! Naturally I captured the fireworks on video. I’ve cracked open a bottle of wine (it’s much more fun— if less expedient— than aspirin) and have commenced uploading footage. I will be adding it to this post as it successfully uploads— so check back! Teaser: Joe Lentol beating on the table to get the rather angry audience to quiet down and quit shouting. Enjoy!

Introduction by State Representative Joseph Lentol

Part II: Senator Dilan Introduces himself and a Representative of the DDC, Nitan Patel, speaks

  • Mr. Patel explains “Encroachment Notices”* and states that moving forward our elected officials will be notified of said notices.
  • He explains the role of the CCL: Community Construction Liaison.
  • Per Mr. Patel this is a “Federal Highway Project”.
  • Members of the audience are not impressed.

PART III: Mr. Patel rebuts angry Monitor Street residents and explains the surveying process.

  • Mr. Patel explains the ADA requirement and “room for flexibility”.
  • An audience member takes him to task.
  • Per Mr. Patel “We’re working around the stoops and some of the cellar doors— they’re coming out too.”
  • More dialogue about stoops and fences; and Mr. Patel states he has “walked the job”.
  • Why Monitor Street? Why not Kingsland Avenue? (This becomes the rallying cry as the meeting goes on— Ed. Note.)
  • Steve Levin warms up the audience with an informal survey.

Part IV: The Reckoning (Read: Do not F*ck with Monitor Street)

  • Senator Dilan and Mr. Patel go toe to toe regarding the role of contractors in this project.
  • Steve Levin explains why he was late; how this process will impact this community and points out the obvious: why is this “encroachment” a matter now.
  • A Monitor Street resident/expert points out that sewers were replaced 27 years ago. Among other things. (Ed. Note: I love this guy.)
  • The matter of Monitor Street between Greenpoint and Norman Avenue is brought up: it comes to light that this parcel is private.
  • MSR (Monitor Street Resident) keeps hammering away and Mr. Patel gives a visual as to what the fifteen foot curb means.

PART V: Assemblyman Joe beats the table & Steve Levin implores people to raise their hands and speak one at a time.

  • Assemblyman Joseph Lentol points out that Monitor Street between Greenpoint Avenue and Norman Avenue has been de-mapped (READ: not owned by the city) and suggests said stimulus money be used by the city to buy it back and make necessary repairs. This was greeted with much applause.
  • 50th District Female Democratic Leader, Linda Minucci, inquires of Mr. Patel as to whether the aforementioned stretch of Monitor Street was in the initial proposal. He says it was— but since it is not owned by the city they cannot work on it.
  • Mr. Patel shifts the blame to the Department of Transportation.
  • A Greenpoint resident inquires as to how the 11′ 9″ requirements for sidewalks on Nassau Avenue will apply to her mother’s house because it will cut off her stoop. Jeers and dark laughter from the peanut gallery follow. Mr. Patel assures everyone this will be handled on a “case by case” basis.
  • Another DDC representative steps forward and explains the “Encroachment letters”.

PART VI

  • The second DDC Representative continues explaining the “Encroachment letters” and acknowledges that it was not drafted property and distributed to our elected officials.
  • Karen Nieves, the Community Board 1 Transportation Chair, asks why this was not brought to their (her) attention, bemoans the lack of “transparency” and asks for a time-line for this project.
  • A discussion about sewers follows.

Part VII

  • A question about site inspections is raised. Mr. Patel beings up ADA requirements.
  • City Councilman Steve Levin asks Mr. Patel about curb cuts and the fifteen feet requirement. (Ed. Note: the body language in this segment is priceless.)
  • Monitor Street’s expert speaks once again. And Steve Levin once again implores the crowd to speak one at a time.
  • Mr. Patel reiterates that the DDC takes orders from the Department of Transportation.
  • A question is raised about Community Board 1’s role in this project.
  • A complaint is raised about the appropriateness of this project given budget cuts.
  • Taylor of the Brooklyn Kitchen/Meat Hook (and creator of the moniker “Shit Tits”) speaks.

Part VIII

  • Annoying ring tone.
  • A question about getting a stop light is raised. Hilarity ensues.
  • At this point the audience is rather subdued.
  • A fellow Greenpointer asks who will benefit from this project. Mr. Patel assures her she will be happy after the project is done.

Part IX

  • An amusing anecdote about Jewel Street’s street sign is shared.
  • The “Lady in white” finally speaks.
  • State Senator Dilan speaks, Linda Minucci texts.
  • A tentative time-table for this project has been established: April 2011.

Conclusion

  • Senator Dilan and his fellow electeds concur that another meeting with a representative from the Department of Transportation is in order.

Until next time, Greenpointers!

Miss Heather

P.S.: The woman in the pink sweater is Linda Minucci. I recognized her as  the woman “on the flier”. And later as the 50th District Female Democratic Leader. I have lived in Greenpoint for 11 years, attended various and sundry community meetings and have never— ever— seen hide nor hair of this woman until last night. Maybe I’m dotty or when there’s a genuine Greenpoint Auto de fé in effect everyone joins in the fun.

*You can view the printed material available at this meeting— including the contentious “Encroachment Notice”— by clicking here.

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