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Toro — bike lane advocate — back as CB1 committee chair!

Showdown! Former Community Board 1 transportation committee chair Teresa Toro faced down board chairman Vincent Abate, the man who dismissed her from power last month in a dispute that stemmed from her outspoken support for a key bike lane.
The Brooklyn Paper / Ben Muessig

Williamsburg and Greenpoint are back on a roll.

The deposed leader of Community Board 1’s transportation committee has been reinstated — just weeks after being ousted for talking to the press without first contacting her CB1 superiors about a factual inaccuracy on the Brooklyn Eagle’s Web site.

In a shocking reversal on Tuesday night, CB1 Chairman Vincent Abate welcomed bike lane supporter Teresa Toro back to her post — a far cry from last month, when he accused the Greenpoint resident of “disparaging … board members” and being “detrimental to the board as a whole” in her discussions with the media.

“I had an amiable chat with Ms. Toro and I asked her if she was still interested in being committee chair,” Abate said at a Feb. 10 meeting at the Swingin’ Sixties Senior Center on Ainslie Street. “We agreed to let bygones be bygones, move forward from here, and look ahead instead of looking back.

“I promised I would not leave a fractured board,” added the longtime chair, who is planning to retire in the coming months.

Abate had asked Toro to step down from the board in December after she attempted to correct an article in the error-prone Eagle that construed a letter from Abate and CB1 District Manager Gerald Esposito as a change in the board’s official stance on the controversial Kent Avenue bike lanes. Toro’s decision to speak with the press before consulting board members sparked a fiery e-mail chain that resulted in her dismissal.

But many board members — and dozens of Williamsburg and Greenpoint residents — defended Toro before her ouster. As a result, CB1 member Esteban Duran hailed Abate’s flip-flop.

“Teresa has been a champion for improving transportation here in North Brooklyn and I’m glad to have her back — I’m glad they patched everything up,” he said.

Toro herself remained relatively mum about her return as transportation committee chair, but she told The Brooklyn Paper that she is eager to get back to work.

“I’m happy to be back in the saddle again — there’s lots to do,” she said.

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