Letter about conduct of CB 13 chairman not based on facts

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An open letter to Virginia Salow of Bellerose:

I am responding as district manager to your June 20 letter directed to Community Board 13 Chairman Bryan J. Block.

Your correspondence is with reference to Quality Services for the Autism Community’s proposed group home for autistic clients, to be at 88-01 247th St., and is so filled with inaccuracies and personal charges that I am compelled to list and refute them in the following order:

1. You say we received the letter May 3. Our office received the letter by certified mail on the afternoon of May 19.

2. The elected officials — state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside); state Assemblywoman Barbara Clark (D-Queens Village), to whom you did not carbon copy your letter; and City Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens) — began receiving their non-certified copies May 19.

3. I notified the chairs of the appropriate committees — Health and Land Use — so the board was notified at its general meeting May 23 that a joint meeting would be held, as reflected in our minutes.

4. The date selected was June 13.

5. This was especially important because the 40-day response time required by the state would have fallen on June 28 — the day after our scheduled general meeting. Any decision made that night would not have given us enough time to officially deliver our answer.

6. Our board members and local elected officials and all local media, civic associations and people on our concerned citizens list were sent and e-mail blasted with that night’s agenda, as was the Queens Colony Civic Association and QSAC. I must make special note that in the three years I have been district manager, and in the six months since you left former Sen. Frank Padavan’s office, you have never requested to be on our mailing or e-mail lists.

7. The Health & Human Services and Land Use committees met jointly and, aware of the community’s opposition, voted against to the project. The executive officers acting for the board authorized Block to send a letter so saying in order to meet the deadline.

8. It was delivered via express mall before noon — just as we received your letter.

It is the position of the district office that this board moved with all the speed and diligence possible within its purview as a city agency, dealing with a state matter, to stand up for the concerns of our constituents.

It is also the position of this district office that you have made written charges against the chairman and the board based on inaccuracies and hearsay that have no foundation in fact.

Your personal charges against Block that he is guilty of negligence, which is defined by Webster’s Dictionary as “habitually failing to do the required thing: careless, lax, inattentive,” are such that they demean his character.

I therefore insist that you send him a written apology, including a retraction to all those carbon copied upon receipt of this letter. Under the City Charter, Block is a public official. I will advise him that your failure to do so will force me to refer this matter to the city corporation counsel for all appropriate redress.

No other contact with this office will hence be accepted, except that which is requested.

Lawrence T. McClean

District Manager

Community Board 13

Queens Village

Updated 11:09 am, October 12, 2011
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