Change the board game
Once in a while, there comes a perfect illustration of a politician using his power for self aggrandizement instead of his constituents’ benefit.
Sometimes it takes the form of out and out corruption. There was the $177 bagel and Snapple Larry Seabrook purchased at a deli near City Hall and then submitted for reimbursement at the taxpayer’s expense.
There was the more than $500,000 former state Sen. Pedro Espada Jr. embezzled from a health care clinic for needy Bronxites so he could wine and dine his wife at Westchester restaurants.
Sometimes its just a pol’s need to show ’em who’s boss — like the time Riverdale resident Tom Durham was not reappointed (read: kicked off) Community Board 8 after six years of service simply for disagreeing with Councilman Oliver Koppell.
A week has passed since Mr. Durham speculated in an interview with The Riverdale Press that he was let go for voting against Mr. Koppell’s wishes when he cast his ballot for Maria Khury as vice chair of Community Board 8 — a week since he said that he was let go just for not being a “butt kisser.”
Nobody has begged to differ.
Those who pay close enough attention to care about community board appointments also know that political pandering — and retribution when it fails — is just part of the process better known as democracy.
But how many taxpayers who fund the board — to the tune of $256,000 last year — know that politicians run the boards with their own, not the community’s, best interests front and center?
Unlike other members who have been canned for seemingly political reasons, Mr. Durham has no political ambition and is not aligned with any group that stands in opposition to the men who appointed him.
He is a super — the type who’d rather plow snow on the pathways in Brust Park near his co-op building than wait around for It’s My Park Day to lend a hand.
“I am not political. That’s my problem with everybody … I’m civic minded,” he said.