Community Board 1’s Chaotic Meeting Last Night In The News


Mott Haven Herald

The office of Community Board 1 became a cauldron of body heat and enflamed tempers, in the latest bitter clash between angry Mott Haven residents, board members and staff and lawyers and lobbyists for FreshDirect.

About 60 residents squeezed into the board’s tiny headquarters in Melrose on July 10 for the board’s vote on the online grocer’s plan to move to the Harlem River Rail Yards in Port Morris.

Many thought the board would vote on whether the plan violates a 20-year-old agreement between the state and the Galesi Group, which leases the rail yard from the State Department of Tranportation. That agreement calls for freight train service as a key features of any use of the property. It also says new businesses in the yards should not contribute to traffic problems.

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New York Daily News

Amid the pandemonium, Chairman George Rodriguez called for a vote — though board members weren’t sure what question was actually before them.“Fresh Direct!”

Rodriguez said, tossing away Roberts Rules of Order and holding an ad-hoc yes-or-no, thumbs up-thumbs down, for-’em-or-agin-’em roll call.

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MOTT HAVEN — For the second time in two weeks, chanting protestors and shouting community board members nearly derailed a board meeting on FreshDirect’s planned move to The Bronx — but on Wednesday, the fractious session ended with a vote overwhelmingly in favor of the project.

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Ed García Conde

Ed García Conde is a life-long Bronxite who spends his time documenting the people, places, and things that make the borough a special place in the hopes of dispelling the negative stereotypes associated with The Bronx. His writings are often cited by mainstream media and is often consulted for his expertise on the borough's rich history.