Community Board 13 members are “soulless” for failing to join Brighton Beach residents in opposing Borough President Marty Markowitz’s controversial $64 million amphitheater project for Asser Levy Seaside Park.
So said several Brighton Beach residents who lashed out at board members during the group’s recent meeting.
“It is absolutely soulless for those of you who agree with us to sit by and not protest,” said Arlene Brenner.
“I’m shocked and appalled that this community board has failed to come out in opposition,” added Carole Pozner.
After several speakers encouraged CB13 to act, board member Lollie Reich said the group should do just that.
“I am against the amphitheater the way it is now. I asked for a transit study and an environmental study,” Reich said.
An Environmental Impact Statement is required but has yet to be issued.
The board has maintained that it cannot take a position on the amphitheater project because it is not subject to the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP). However, Reich said CB13 could and should send a letter to Markowitz reiterating the community’s opposition to the project.
For publicly speaking out against the plan, Reich said, “I was assigned to the board by Marty Markowitz. I’ll never be appointed to the community board again. This will be the last time.”
Markowitz’s rep offered a “no comment” when asked to respond to Reich’s statement.
Speakers claimed that many CB13 members oppose the amphitheater project but are afraid to say so for fear that local elected officials will not reappoint them to the board.
“Show us you are here to represent us and don’t just worry about yourselves and your jobs,” said Lori Silverman.
“The people of this community have spoken loud and clear. We do not want Seaside Park to be turned into Marty Markowitz’s amphitheater,” said Al Turk, former president of Temple Beth Abraham, which is one of the two synagogues opposing the project.
Former CB13 member Ida Sanoff has formed a new group called Friends of Seaside Park.
“Over 200 people attended our community task force meeting,” she said. “No one from Community Board 13 was there.”
Todd Dobrin, a member of CB13, was offended by the residents’ statements.
“For you to say I’m a puppet and someone controls me is out of line,” he said.
“I don’t want anyone to think we are doing nothing,” added Dobrin, who said he’s joining the Friends of Seaside Park. “We are doing what we can within our power.”
But residents weren’t appeased.
“Show us you’re trying,” Silverman said. “Sign a resolution and agree with your community.”