City Island Community Center, or Personal Piggy Bank?

Submitted by ub on Fri, 09/09/2011 - 17:36

As a long-time resident of City Island, a true and total owner of a condo at The Old Schoolhouse - PS 17, located at 190 Fordham Street, I am very concerned about how the City Island Community Center has not fulfilled it’s mission: to provide our City Island community a space for City Island residents to celebrate through educational, cultural and artistic events produced by and for City Islanders.

For much too long the owner of the building failed on their duty to supervise the center, creating the void that allowed a small group to control the multipurpose space, while forcing local groups to seek alternatives.

I would be pleased to learn that a group takes action and supports an effort to revitalize the Center. This space is currently being rented out to non City Islanders, who drink, smoke, play loud music well into the night without proper supervision.

It is truly unfortunate that the debate around this issue has engendered such unnecessary confusion due to a campaign of lies and distortions that are being repeated despite multiple efforts at clarification.

Except for a couple of classes and workshops, few if any cultural events are programmed in this multi-cultural space on a consistent basis. More often than not it is rented for private non-city island events at its discretion.

In order to maintain control of this income-producing space, the leadership resorts to a campaign of personal attacks and distortions, such as equating this effort with bullying a situation, which should be of grave concern to all the residents of our seaside NYC community. Take a look for yourself and see what I'm talking about.

This practice has to stop immediately, as it only seeks to block positive change, and to discourage interested City Islanders, along with their groups from scheduling events in our City Island Community Center.

I favor the creation of a fair administrative entity, developed and directed by City Island property owners and residents, who will offer the space to City Islanders. This would ensure that our groups and individuals would have access to this very important resource as well as expand and diversify programs for our residents.

Please join this effort to insure that the center offers a variety of cultural programs and lets prevent any organization’s monopoly over our City Island Community Center.

Roberto Soto, Publisher


Box 147 City Island
NYC, NY 10464
212 300 7492