Brooklyn Community Board Removal Explained
January 15th, 2009
The ongoing saga over a bicycle lane in Williamsburg has included scantly clad women, bike clowns, and fake street signs. But the energy at the local community board’s Tuesday hearing was the result of outrage over the removal of Teresa Toro as chair of the board’s transportation committee. Although there was speculation over the reason for her dismissal, the board’s chair, Vincent Abate, had previously refused to elaborate on why.
Last night he revealed that Toro was deposed because of a correction she requested from a local paper, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. She clarified to the paper that a letter from Abate expressing his personal opinion was interpreted as the opinion of the whole board. The letter, which was sent on the board’s letterhead and was also signed by District Manager Gerald Esposito, was sent to the Department of Transportation and it asked them to reconsider the bike lane.
The correction request lead to a contentious back and forth between Toro and other board members and ultimately resulted in her firing. The email exchange, which was accidentally forwarded to the Eagle, was between those who were upset by her “going to the press,” and those who supported her.
At the hearing, a motion was made by board members to reinstate Toro but was denied, according to Gothamist. Abate refused to say whether he would place her back in the chair, saying “Don’t worry about it.”
About 150 people showed up to the sometimes sleepy hearing, according to Streetsblog.By Mike Muller on January 15, 2009, 8:21 am
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