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To the editor:

I find the inability of Community Board 2 to make an effective statement on the Downtown Brooklyn rezoning proposals [“Mum’s the word,” Feb. 7] to be an appalling betrayal of the public trust.

The community board structure is meant to ensure that our neighborhood’s non-elected leaders have an actual voice in the city’s processes. To hold only a single vote, producing a defeated resolution, is not the kind of attention an issue this size deserves. It tells me that our community leaders are instead too scared, too unwilling or too uninformed to take a stand on this issue.

What should have happened? When the committee’s recommendation was defeated, another motion should have been made and carried to vote on each of the committee’s points individually. Then each recommendation of the committee, made for or against points of the city’s plan, would be presented and voted on. At the end of the meeting, you would have had a much clearer picture of CB2’s sentiments about the plan in its parts and as a whole.

I blame [CB2 Chairwoman] Shirley McRae for her utter indifference and procedural inflexibility, and I cannot believe members abstained or hid: they all should lose their appointments. I am speechless that members of the board found the vote confusing: any reasonably intelligent group of adults, especially those who have dealt with committees and subcommittees before (like all CBers!) should have understood what was going on.

As a Prospect Heights resident, looking forward to the consideration of the arena project by CBs 2, 6 and 8 (my board), I can only hope CB2 gets it act together, for the sake of all Brooklyn residents.

—Robert Witherwax, Prospect Heights

Updated 4:00 pm, November 10, 2010
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