Playing "The Game"

In case you haven't been following Gerritsen, you've missed the latest chapter in the ongoing saga of Cherry Hill Gourmet Restaurant & Market and the political gang down here in Sheepshead Bay. Check it out so you know what i"m talking about.

It's just amazing the games people - especially politicians - play. To briefly recap:

  • We have a deputy commissioner inspecting a building (kind of a downgrade in job description, I would think), then revoking plan approval, on a construction job that had already been signed off as completed by his superior,
  • Politicians claiming that they had nothing to do with the city agency's schitzo decision, and doing so while posing for pictures outside of the construction job that they had nothing to do with shutting down - even while the neighborhood's Good Friday Processional, which they completely ignored and refused to acknowledge, was walking right by them.
Welcome to South Brooklyn Politics - at its worst.

(Kudos to Dan at This is the kind of news that flies below the radar and that no one ever finds out. We need more people like him!)

It's a world gone mad in Sheepshead Bay. The inmates run the asylum. This area is the victim of selective representation and selective enforcement. Politicians pick and choose which fight they will most benefit from, not fighting for the communities they represent.

Where was the outrage when Sheepshead Bay was overbuilt on Emmons Avenue, with violations ranging from breaking zoning regulations, to illegal dumping into the Bay? Could it be that the politician's personal interests were against advocating for the community's best interests? I leave you to check the 2005 Campaign Finance disclosures to answer that question.

Our politicians aren't working for their constituents - they're in business for themselves. And it sucks for us all.

Case in point - let's look at the news-breaking events that "our" Senator, Carl Kruger (pictured here with his despicable "Gang of Three") has been associated with recently:

(1) Fighting against a business that invested millions into a dilapidated Sheepshead Bay landmark with the promise of high-quality food and creation of over 100 jobs,

(2) "Shaking down" the Legislature with the "Gang of Three" in order to be named Finance Committee Chair, and

(3) Betraying all New Yorkers by blocking any hope of relief for the MTA and its riders.

Helleva record, Carl.

How do any of these actions benefit our district? They don't - they only benefit Carl Kruger.

I hate to throw Terry Scavo and Mike Nelson into the same boat - I have worked with both and genuinely like them. But, they're guilty of the same hubris. Getting elected is more important than doing the right thing, I guess.

Terry isn't an elected official, although there are rumblings that she may want to be someday. I'd like to know what authority she had to stand there for the "photo opp". Was she there representing the Community Board? If so, when did the Community Board approve of such action? I know it wasn't at the last meeting - I was there!

If she had no such approval, then she is abusing the trust of our Community Board - and the trust of our community. It's a shame, because she started as CB15 chair with the best of intentions, but she is slowly turning into just another south Brooklyn bottom-feeder.

I seem to view Mike Nelson as the least culpable party here. The Councilman has always seem more like a victim whenever the Senator gets involved. I recall during the Sheepshead Bay re-zoning that Mike was standing next to the Senator and his pro-developer friends, looking miserable. When Kruger lift, it looked like a weight had been lifted off of him, and he was back to being himself again. I saw that same look outside of Lundy's this week. It truly is sad.

So why haven't politicians like the good Senator been voted out of office? Well, there's lots of reasons, and none of them are good for democracy. There has been no credible challenger because the Republican Party couldn't get its act together (a problem I hope to help remedy in the future!) There is also the "power of the incumbent" - who can remember when a newcomer unseated an incumbent in this area? Hopefully, the new Republican leadership will change that as well. Finally, the wheelin' and dealin' of politics has been, for the most part, done in the dark - maybe blogs like can remedy that with more stories that this one that he broke.

Whatever the reason, this vicious "game" and others like it has got to end. These are serious times and we need serious people to step up and get involved.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Belsky comments are correct and should raise concerns among the residents of Sheepshead Bay. Just who do these Community Leaders and Elected Officials represent? I know of no Sheepshead Bay resident who isn't looking forward to the opening of the “Cherry Hill Gourmet Market”.
If these leaders are so concerned about the landmark status of the Lundy's building then why was it let to be so run down? ( Abandoned) I was walking by when Senator Kruger was holding a Press Conference stating that he supported a stop work order. My Senator would only speak to the press, he would not reply to any of my questions... Why? The Senator was concerned about the sidewalk, the holes in the stucco, the awning being taken down and how fruit stands were going to be outside.
I would ask our leaders not only to support a new business like Cherry Hill Gourmet Market that will provide a service to the Sheepshead Bay residents. But to seek out and support other new businesses. Tell us what plans they have for the building and Sheepshead Bay. It was 1997 when the last business closed on market side of the building. Just how many residents use or support the present business inside the building now? Our leaders need to ask themselves, how many Sheepshead Bay residents want another restaurant on Emmons Ave? What about improving the quality of life for the residents? The location of the market will be a easy walk, giving the residents a choice of not driving, even with parking provided in a newly paved lot.
Most residents know the history of Irving Lundy, some even remember him. The “Lundy's stucco style” building is a landmark and needs to be preserved. Just go by and see the different between the market's eastside of the building and the westside. Compare the sidewalks, awnings, the leaded glass windows and the condition of the stucco walls. At night look at the market's chandelers compared to the blue lights stuck in the windows at the other end. Go inside the market, go inside the other end of the building. Ask yourself which end of the building is being preserved.