Posted by & filed under Admin, Committee Meetings, Frontpage.

The Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group’s Admin Committee met on Wednesday, November 7, 2018, at 9:30 a.m., in the Cobble Hill Community Room at 250 Baltic Street.

CAG Members present:

Jerry Armer
Ben Jones
Katia Kelly
Rita Miller
Maryann Young (CORD alternate)

Began with review of Richard Lawrence’s application for CAG membership. Some further information is required prior to final decision. After a review of Richard’s application post meeting, it was agreed by all that he would be recommended for approval.

It was brought up that at-large membership issues were brought up at the Archaeology Committee meeting, but Admin has not changed its recommendation. At-large members who need time off should inform Admin and/or the Facilitator that they need to take a break. They may reapply when they are ready to return. Any engaged member in good standing who needs time off should not be concerned about their ability to be welcomed back as long as the cap of sixty (60) members has not been reached.

Admin suggests that the newly reformed Outreach Committee reach out to the NYCHA houses which have been inactive, and welcome them back by reminding them that their seats are there for them and an alternate.

This outreach should also be extended to everyone, particularly NYCHA residents who may wish to join us in an at-large capacity. We are quite organization-heavy (see below), and need to extend our at-large membership.

A preliminary survey result was discussed. The survey deadline was extended until 11/15/18 for those few members who still have not replied. The balance of the CAG membership was discussed. We now hold seats for 15 organizations, have 21 active organizations, and 10 (including new member Janet Aitchinson) at-large members.

We are clearly org-heavy and at-large-light. It was discussed that prospective members who have already applied as at-large members or organization members, should not be encouraged after the admin review process has been completed to change their status. Part of Admin’s duties are to try to maintain a balance, and this makes it quite difficult.

It has also been suggested that an additional item should be added to Organizational members applications in the form of a letter from the organization requesting that the applicant be their representative.

Finally, Admin discussed the role of the CAG representative on the North Gowanus Revisioning Committee and how it impacts our relationship with the DEP.

The Admin Committee has drafted the following proposal:

Although the North Gowanus Revisioning Committee (NGRC) is an extremely valuable and site-specific group, we propose that the Gowanus Canal Community Advisory Group remove its representative to the NGRC.

This is in no way a reflection on our current representative, Peter Reich, who has done an excellent job.

Rather, in retrospect, we feel that the CAG and, in particular, DEP’s ability to communicate with the CAG may have been changed as a result of our representation on the NGRC.

The CAG meetings are where EPA, DEP, DEC, and all of the other agencies, as well as our local politicians, and most importantly, the community, intersect to share all of the pertinent information provided by everyone involved in this cleanup.

As a CAG, we wish to be included, as a body, in every representation and presentation the DEP, and any other agency, may provide, when it pertains to any and all aspects of the Gowanus Canal Superfund cleanup. That can only happen when our CAG meets face to face with all involved.

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