Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Coney Crazy #1: CIDC's Letter About Canceled Meeting

Coney Island Development Corp. Chair Lynn Kelly sent out a letter yesterday apologizing for the cancellation of a chaotic meeting at Coney Island Hospital Monday night. She promised to reschedule the session about the city's new Coney plan at a bigger venue. The meeting was scuttled after up to 500 people, many wearing identical yellow hats, arrived in school buses hired by State Sen. Karl Kruger. (The auditorium could only hold 200.) Ms. Kelly's letter said in part:
As you may know, last evening we had to postpone our planned Community Information Session at Coney Island Hospital when, after consulting with hospital security and the NYPD, it became clear that the auditorium simply could not safely accommodate the number of people who attended. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience that this caused and can assure you that we will reschedule this Community Information Session in the near future in a venue that can accommodate larger numbers. We remain committed to ensuring that any and all residents who want to learn about the plan have that chance.

We had originally chosen the hospital auditorium as the venue in hopes of providing the opportunity for true interaction between community residents and planning staff in a smaller “working group” environment, as we had with the successful community-based planning of the Coney Island YMCA. Unfortunately, we immediately recognized that this would not be possible upon the arrival of large groups of individuals who were bused in for the meeting and who we simply could not accommodate in this limited space. Had we been notified by the organizers of this effort in advance that such large numbers were interested and would be bused in, we could have tried to find alternate space. We have the greatest respect for each and every individual who wants to be part of this important conversation and we regret that we were not able to fit everyone...
There are many meetings to come about the Coney Island plan.

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