The borough’s top boss is a politician who keeps his promises, according to a former member of Community Board 6.
“He told me that when my time was up for reappointment, he wasn’t going to reappoint me,” said Celia Cacace, recalling a conversation she said she had with Borough President Marty Markowitz following the board’s 2006 rejection of the $4 billion Atlantic Yards development.
This week, the beep followed through on his alleged promise.
Cacace, 72, a board member since 1982, will no longer sit on the board, which represents Park Slope, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Red Hook and Gowanus.
She said she learned of Markowitz’s decision this week, via form letter, which the beep did not even sign.
Ever since the board’s vote—which said in part that Atlantic Yards would cause “irreparable damage” to the borough—Cacace said, Markowitz’s demeanor changed.
“I would get a cold hello. That was a shock,” she said.
Four other members were not reappointed: Roger Rigoli, Al Nembhard, Diana DeMatteo, Jessica Magaldi and the only member not appointed by Markowitz. Nemhard and Magaldi did not submit paperwork asking for reappointment, according to Borough Hall.
Members are unpaid volunteers, appointed either by the borough president or City Council members.
Last year, nine members of the board—including longtime chair Jerry Armer—were not reappointed, and speculation swirled that the purge was payback for the board’s rejection of the project which Markowitz, wholeheartedly supports.
Markowitz has in the past said he does not recall the specifics of a conversation with board members after their vote.
“The issues taken up by community boards are as diverse as Brooklynites themselves and, because these aren’t lifetime appointments, the councilmembers and I must consider the benefits of continuity over time, the need for fresh perspectives to be heard, and who will best serve their community and the borough as a whole,” Markowitz said this week in a statement.
“Brooklyn is extremely lucky to have many interested in serving—in fact, we had a record number of applicants this year—and we want to give as many as possible the chance to do so,” he added.
Cacace said she still planned to attend meetings—and ask her trademark questions, which typically come in several parts, which she calls “a,” “b,” “c,” and often, “d.”
“No disrespect to anybody, but I just hope the people who are there do what they have to do, as far as being there for the community,” she said.