Chad Marlow Resigns from CB3 After Removal from Committee Chair Position Over Liquor Density Fight
Newly appointed Community Board 3 chair Alysha Lewis Coleman stepped into controversy last week when she reportedly sacked member Chad Marlow from his post as Transportation committee chair, a seat he’s held for little more than a year and a half.
And today he is completely resigning from the advisory board.
The major bone of contention, we are told, is the draft resolution that explores the adverse health effects of alcohol density on the Lower East Side. In the works for months, it relies heavily on research conducted in 2017 by the CDC that concludes, among other things, that “high alcohol outlet density is associated with many social harms among neighborhoods in and around the alcohol outlets, such as disorderly conduct, noise, neighborhood disruption, public nuisance, and property damage. High alcohol outlet density is also linked with many alcohol-attributable effects among neighborhoods further away from alcohol outlets, such as alcohol-impaired driving, pedestrian injuries, domestic violence, and child abuse and neglect.”
Marlow and the committee began addressing the over-saturation problem in earnest this past September, and hosted a contentious public meeting at that time to discuss fallout from living in an area with the most bars per square-mile in the nation. The purported plan forward was to focus on ironing out the language during the upcoming February and March sessions, with a full board vote purportedly to follow. However, the powers that be all but killed the opportunity.
Fate of the resolution is now unknown. Nevertheless, it’s somewhat alarming that CB3 would brazenly disregard the extensive research conducted here, and not take a stand.
We asked Marlow his thoughts on the demotion and draft resolution, but he declined to comment when reached via email. He did confirm, however, the decision not to reapply this year and will instead resign today “in light of recent events.”
CB3 chair Alysha Lewis Coleman didn’t immediately respond to our request for comment. However, fellow committee members – past and present – are voicing their opinions.
“Chad has put much thought and effort into the alcohol density resolution, and fought for the residents of our community, so his absence will leave a void,” Karlin Chan quipped. “Sadly, some would seek to silence the voices of others on the board and residents; a community board should be balanced and not have encamped special interest members dominate.”
Anne Johnson, the long-running board member who was not re-appointed to CB3 by the Borough President last year due to potential conflict of interest (she did taxes for former Councilwoman Rosie Mendez), expressed similar sentiments.
“I would say that the proliferation of bars in the CB3 area, more than any place in the U.S. except for possibly Austin, would pose a threat to the public safety of CB3 residents and visitors,” Johnson told us in an email. “That subject seems to be an issue that several Board members do not want discussed, and possibly a City Council member who allegedly gets big contributions from the Real Estate Industry. Was that the reason that Chad was removed as Chair of the Committee?”
The Orchard Street Block Association, which has battled saturation in its neck of the woods, also weighed in.
“It is truly disheartening to learn that the new Chair of CB3 has essentially killed the resolution by removing Mr. Marlow without explanation,” OSBA member Pamela Yeh stated. “The previous Chair, Jamie Rogers, thought the work essential in combatting the plague of high alcohol density in the East Village and Lower East Side, and spreading quickly toward Chinatown. We hope the resolution drafted will be presented to the public as is, and brought to the Full Board for a vote.”
In the meantime, you can read the full draft resolution document inserted below: