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February 26, 2014- By Steven E. Greer
At the February 25th CB1 meeting, elected officials made a rare appearance to discuss their new Seaport Task Force. Prior to the Fall 2013 elections, under the leadership of City Council’s Margaret Chin, Scott Stringer, State Assemblyman Sheldon Silver, and billionaire Mayor Mike Bloomberg, the Howard Hughes Corporation was making progress at developing a large commercial and residential development in the ghost town called the Seaport, by Pier 17. Many in the community had felt that Howard Hughes was hoodwinking them and not telling them the true story about some of the plans.
Now, things have changed after the election of Gale Brewer as the new Manhattan Borough President.
Ms. Brewer is shaking things up. She has temporarily halted the Howard Hughes plans, defying the Mayor’s EDC office. She and Margaret Chin announced at the CB1 meeting (held on Canal Street at a new Hunter College annex) a new Seaport task force, to be chaired by the actual elected officials rather than the feckless CB1. CB1 Chair Catherine McVay Hughes seemed to have been pushed aside, literally, standing a distance from the electeds, and receiving little verbal acknowledgment.
In March, Ms. Brewer will also be selecting new CB1 members to replace the ones with terms expiring in April. At the same CB1 meeting,the issue term limits for CB1 members was brought up. Just the mention of that sent a chilling shock to the CB1 members in the room, most of whom have served on the board for decades.