A city councilman who opposes a bike lane on Bay Ridge Parkway flat-out denied that he booted a lane supporter from Community Board 10 this week in a spat over the controversial cycle route.
The denial came on Wednesday night, two days after initial reports that Councilman Vince Gentile (D–Bay Ridge) declined to reappoint longtime CB10 member Bob Cassara after the two clashed over Cassara’s vehement pro-lane stance.
“Change on the board is good,” Gentile told us after an otherwise unrelated hearing over a pedestrian plaza plan that he supports. “Bob has been on the board for a while. The fact that he was [pushing for] the bike lane was circumstantial.”
Circumstantial, perhaps, but also part of a long history of Cassara displeasing Gentile — not that the councilman would specify exactly how Cassara had failed.
“There are things Bob has done that do not reflect what I think a community board member should do,” said Gentile. “This has been over a long period of time.”
Cassara had no idea what Gentile meant by that.
“I have no clue,” he said. “If he had a problem, don’t you think he would say something to me? I haven’t butted heads with him; we’ve been on the same wavelength.”
The scorned velocipede activist added that Gentile was bent on hand-picking a community board that doesn’t reflect a changing community.
“The community is changing, but the board isn’t changing,” he said, referring to the needs of newer Ridge residents.
Cassara will be replaced by June Johnson, a former CB10 member, a current member of the Bay Ridge Community Council and representative on the local Community Education Panel for state Sen. Marty Golden, Gentile’s longtime area rival.
©2011 Community News Group
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