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Public street, private meeting: Pol waives off locals, press during meeting on city sidewalk

Meeting on the street: State Sen. Martin Golden hosted a meeting with city agencies to discuss options for safety after a dollar van struck and killed a man on Aug. 12, but local constituents and press were not allowed to attend.
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A local pol held a “private” meeting on a public street on Aug. 19 — turning away constituents, the press, and neglecting to invite other area representatives.

State Sen. Martin Golden (R–Marine Park) assembled about 10 city reps on the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Avenue U after a hit-and-run driver killed a man there last week, but when a neighbor came to observe, Golden told her to take a hike — a move unfitting for a public servant, she said.

“If you want to have a conference privately, you do it in your office. Why was it outside? I’m pissed off,” said constituent Robin Sherman-Epstein. “When you have a conference outside in the street, the public is invited. He said it’s only for public officials and shoos me away.

Golden also waved away this paper.

“I’m going to ask you to leave, this is a private meeting. You’re not allowed to be here,” he said standing on the sidewalk outside Kings Plaza.

The group included representatives from the 63rd Precinct, Department of Transportation, Mayor’s Office, and the Taxi and Limousine Commission, as well as freshman Assemblywoman Jaime Williams (D–Marine Park). But the senator did not invite other local leaders, according to Councilman Alan Maisel (D–Marine Park) and a source in Williams’ office. Williams asked to come after the Department of Transportation called her about the meeting, the source said.

This paper found out about the meeting after the Department of Transportation inquired the day before whether there was an upcoming press event at the intersection.

Golden’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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