Change the board game
(Page 2 of 3)
And that’s why he allowed the matter of difference between himself and Mr. Koppell over whether a local business owner, Ms. Khury, or a lawyer, Steve Froot, should be the board’s vice chair, to put his own position in jeopardy.
Mr. Durham said he had committed to voting for Ms. Khury before Mr. Koppell made a round of phone calls asking board members to back Mr. Froot and so — in a moment of integrity all too rare in politics — he kept his word and voted his heart.
Whatever sincerity Mr. Durham exhibited was offset by the cynicism he was met with: no reason was given for his non-reappointment. None was needed.
“It was a political decision, a payback,” he said.
This is not the first time in recent years that the community board has shamelessly been used to further political cronyism.
The following year, the president of Mr. Cassino’s club, Saul Scheinbach, was not reappointed to CB 8. Mr. Scheinbach said the elected officials were trying to fill the board with their lackeys and that eventually the board would be full of “yes men.”
But never has the cronyism involved with Community Board appointees shown through as clearly as last week.
It has crystallized with Mr. Durham. Since news broke that he would not be returning to the board, he said he has received heartfelt sympathies (for both him and themselves) from many fellow board members, but also leaders from the Van Cortlandt Village, Kingsbridge and Marble Hill areas he fought hard to represent.
“When you hear from the community itself that’s where you know that your time on the board was worthwhile and that they saw the effects of the efforts you put in. And nobody can take that away,” he said.