Community groups point to the Dec. 30 letter drafted by five CB3 SLA Committee members and the Facebook post from ex-Arts Chair Ratcliffe after the demotions via Chair Alysha Lewis-Coleman raised concern about the direction and mandate CB3 leadership and management is adopting regarding liquor licensing and arts and culture in CB3.
According to a release that accompanied the letter, the signees are especially troubled over the continued support of the Lower East Side Partnership (formerly LES BID) in the CB3 SLA Committee process, which Militano and some residents have opposed in recent years.
"My block association is deeply concerned about unchecked liquor license proliferation and its effect on our block”, said Stuart Zamsky, an officer of the East Fifth Street Block Association in the release that accompanied the letter. "The LES BID would tip the scale for landlords and usher in more licensing if they are involved in the CB3 process."
Neighborhood groups previously expressed concern about the new SLA Committee chair, Michelle Kuppersmith, who they say doesn't have the necessary experience to delicately balance the competing interests of an expanding nightlife industry against quality-of-life concerns. Militano has more than 20 years of involvement with CB3. (The turmoil on the committee also led to the resignation last week of member Clint Smeltzer.)
The open letter from the 16 community groups offers a six-tiered approach that will allow residents and CB3 to move into 2021 "on good footing and continue to work together to bring positive and inclusive change for our embattled communities."