Chair Gigi Li Defeats Chad Marlow to Continue Reign Over CB3
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For Community Board 3, a broken chair remains as such. At least for another year.
At the full board meeting last night, members voted in favor of incumbent Chair Gigi Li over challenger Chad Marlow. Ballots collected resulted in a 31-15 decision.
Sport was in the air, so a coin was flipped by newcomer Enrique Cruz (of ALBOR) to determine who would speak first. Marlow deferred; Li began. Her speech was a personal chronicle of her life growing up as an immigrant on Canal Street, and how she’ll continue reform, despite the prior “challenging year.” Assistant Secretary (and Pushcart Coffee owner) Jamie Rogers posed a question about how the SLA policies will be improved. She responded with the platform of fostering a level of respect between business owner and resident, and hopes of building a “ladder of leadership” to help the subcommittee function better.
Chad Marlow was level-headed and composed. His candor exuded that of a true leader. He pointed out that the community had lost faith in the system under Li’s rule. “The question is what we do in response,” he noted. The argument was that a vote for Li would show that the board couldn’t give two shits about the neighborhood it represented (our words, not his). That he was running predominantly to increase efficiencies (i.e. doing something about 6 hour committee meetings). The same question was then posed about SLA procedure. Marlow’s approach involved a “collective look” at all license applicants, since too often applications are considered in isolation of each other. And also to become more proactive with the 500-foot rule.
In the end, it didn’t go his way. Not even a powerful endorsement from The Villager could break the political entrenchment.
So, now it’s another year of potential botched decisions and hyperlocal scandals. And through it all, the community suffers.