The 2017 Brooklyn New Year’s Resolution Accountability Project

The 2017 Brooklyn New Year’s Resolution Accountability Project
File photo

Last year, some of Brooklyn’s movers and shakers made promises to better themselves. Sure, some were just thinly veiled humble-brags, and most were ill-conceived at best, but here at Courier Life, we believe in a little thing called accountability. So, 366 days later (2016 was a leap year) we “circled back” to these local titans to find out if they delivered on the pledges they made before god and Mother Brooklyn herself.

(And as always, we added a few new folks that we will hold accountable in 12 months’ time).

Alan Maisel

Councilman (D–Marine Park)

Last year’s resolution: To resolve numerous long-standing quality-of-life issues effecting southern Brooklynites before dying.

The follow through: There’s still work to do, but he’s not dead yet.

“I accomplished a lot, but not everything,” Maisel said. “I want to solve the problem of dollar vans. I would like to resolve the issue of homelessness. There are a lot of things I’d like to get done, but I’m still alive and kicking.”

This year’s resolution: To stop making New Year’s resolutions.

“My resolution is not to make any resolutions,” said Maisel. “That’s the one resolution I know I can keep.”

Theresa Scavo

Chairwoman, Community Board 15

Last year’s resolution: The same as the year before — to watch her diet.

The follow through: Scavo reported that she’s been doing “excellent.”

This year’s resolution: Surprise, surprise, it’s an extension of last year’s resolution — but more specifically to walk more.

“I’m walking, trying to walk 10,000 steps a day,” she said.

Dick Zigun

Self-proclaimed Mayor, Coney Island

Last year’s resolution: To bring the long-abandoned, landmarked Shore Theater back from the brink.

The follow through: This one’s 50-50. New owners Pye Properties shelled out $20 million to purchase the derelict playhouse and plan to return it to its former glory, but they haven’t made any moves, and the iconic theater remains in a sorry state.

“I hope they will take it upon themselves to bring it back,” Zigun said.

Coney Island’s unofficial mayor separately reported, however, that he is keeping slim.

“I did keep off the 25 pounds I lost the previous year, though,” the sideshow impresario said.

This year’s resolution: To raise awareness for the landmarked Coney Island USA building, which Zigun owns and operates, in an effort to raise support and funding for further renovations there.

“The outside is still a bit of a wreck,” Zigun said. “If we bring attention to it, I think people would be surprised if we restored it just how beautiful and worthy it is of the designation.”

Craig Hammerman

District Manager, Community Board 6

Last year’s resolution: To update what was already undeniably one of the best community board websites in Brooklyn, if not the universe.

The follow through: Community Board 6’s website has been updated, although the district manager said there is undoubtedly room to improve what remains the finest community board website known to civil servants and local news reporters everywhere.

“Yes, we did achieve changing over our website, though we are still in the process of making further refinements and improvements to it,” Hammerman said.

This year’s resolution: To ensure meetings of Community Board 6 are broadcast live.

“This year we will be looking to push further on the notion that CB meetings ought to be taped and broadcast live, the way all other government bodies’ meetings are, and to see whether we can attract the support and resources to make our meetings accessible to a broader swath of the public,” said Hammerman.

Eric McClure

Co-chair, Community Board 6 Transportation Committee

Last year’s resolution: To clear the more-than 19,000 unread e-mails languishing in his inbox.

The follow through: Abject failure. McClure’s inbox as of Tuesday contained 25,625 unread e-mails.

This year’s resolution: To engage in a more active lifestyle in response to a recent medical scare he blamed on long bouts of sedentary web browsing. So you’re not worried, McClure’s currently taking medication for the condition, and he expects to make a full recovery.

“My resolution this year is to put the active back in community activist,” McClure said.

Justin Brannan

Founder, Bay Ridge Democrats

Last year’s resolution: To lose weight by bribing locals to prevent him from eating bagels with the promise of free coffee.

The follow through: Brannan lost a whopping 30 pounds, but he wasn’t caught eating any bagels, so nobody got coffee.

Sideshows take center stage: Freakshow impresario Dick Zigun wants to raise money to renovate the landmarked home of his arts group Coney Island USA.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

This year’s resolution: To restore New Yorkers’ shattered faith in government.

“My resolution for 2017 is to work as hard as I can to restore people’s faith in what government can do for them and their families,” said Brannan, who is running for his old boss Vincent Gentile’s council seat this year.

Eric Adams

Borough President

Last year’s resolution: To ensure a major Brooklyn sports franchise wins a championship — even if it means becoming a professional athlete himself.

The follow through: Failure on both counts.

This year’s resolution: To leverage his own experience overcoming diabetes to keep Brooklyn fit.

“I hope to use the story of how I reversed my Type 2 diabetes as an inspirational force for motivating fellow Brooklynites to make lifestyle choices that lead to healthier futures,” the Beep said.

Gersh Kuntzman

Host, Brooklyn Paper Radio

This Year’s Resolution: To make men and women everywhere extremely uncomfortable.

“I, Gersh Kuntzman, vow to fight societal inhibition and small-minded guilt as I encourage my fellow humans to pursue all the earthly pleasures due to them as life forms at the zenith of evolution. And, yes, I am talking about what we do in the bedroom. You’re welcome, world,” the Windsor Terrace resident said.

Jumaane Williams

Councilman (D–Canarsie)

This year’s resolution: To overcome his fear of flying.

“I used to fly a lot, but as I got older, I stopped — I don’t know what happened, and a lot people ask my why I don’t take planes,” Williams said. “I want to fly somewhere — it doesn’t matter where.”

Adam Diamond

President, Georgetown Civic Association

This year’s resolution: To foster growth in the newly revived Georgetown Civic Association, which was reestablished over the summer after years of inaction.

“I want to grow the civic and get a permanent meeting place so we can be more active and established in the community.”

Mark Treyger

Councilman (D–Coney Island)

This year’s resolution: To convince the city to outfit schools with permanent boilers, replacing the shoddy temporary water heaters they’ve used since Sandy.

“People can’t regulate the temperature inside the schools, and it’s really frustrating that students and staff are subjected to this,” Treyger said. “They should be focusing on their studies and not if it’s too hot or too cold.”

Regina Myer

President, Downtown Brooklyn Partnership

This year’s resolution: To kick off renovations at BAM Park in Fort Greene.

“Break ground on a revitalized BAM Park” Myer said.

Ophira Eisenberg

Park Slope comedian

This year’s resolution: To avoid the many pitfalls of alcohol consumption through clever strategy.

“To drink less,” said Eisenberg. “Actually scratch that — to drink smarter, not harder.”

Jim Constanzo

Musician and activist

This year’s resolution: To fight white privilege with white privilege.

“I’m just devastated by the election and it’s mid-boggling we’re going to have a fascist buffoon like Trump in office,” Constanzo said. “It’s very scary times, and I intend to use my white privilege to fight it — I have a responsibility.”

Jamie Hook

Greenpoint ironing enthusiast, zany events organizer

This year’s resolution: To utilize eastern martial arts principals to turn the country’s bitter political sentiments into optimism.

“I will use a hopeful form of Jiu-Jitsu to turn the negative energy of our nation’s current political climate against itself,” Hook said.

Josue Pierre

Flatbush politico

This year’s resolution: To stop bothering people on the internet with political posts during holidays.

“My resolution is to stop posting about politics on holidays, because the vast majority of my posts are about civics and politics,” Pierre said.

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Thirsty for change: Slope comedian Ophira Eisenberg wants to drink smarter, not harder.
Photo by Jason Speakman