Community Board 11 Chairman Jerry Iannence lashed out Monday at the city Department of Education and School Construction Authority over plans to hold a meeting about a proposed school at the site of Keil Brothers garden store on 48th Avenue without a member of the board.
In a letter to Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, Iannece said the board did not know about a planned subcommittee hearing on the location that had been scheduled for the week of July 22 but was called off only days before, and said he felt the move was an effort to deliberately leave out the community.
“As chair of the board, I am once again amazed and offended by the actions of the DOE and SCA and your blatant disregard for community notification and for fair and open discourse,” the letter said. “The community board was not given any advance notice of the subcommittee hearing, which is common procedure all applicants provide when they were previously before the board. We were also led to believe, by SCA staff, that the Council would not even receive this application until some time in August. We cannot excuse this misrepresentation made by SCA and we can only believe it was meant to intentionally exclude the community board and circumvent the community.”
Though the hearing was canceled, a meeting is being scheduled with the DOE and SCA along with elected officials representing the area regarding the proposed site. But at a press conference on July 19, state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) announced that no member of CB 11, which voted overwhelmingly against the school in May, would be invited to that meeting.
“We adamantly protest this exclusion and hereby demand that this anti-community, undemocratic and ill-advised decision be rescinded immediately,” he said in the letter.
Neither the DOE or SCA would say why they were not including the board.