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Turtle Bay Association's Annual Meeting
BY MARY BAXTER

Turtle Bay Association's 2001 edition of its annual meeting was held on November 13 in the Grey Advertising Building at 777 Third Avenue. Approximately 100 members were on hand to help elect officers for 2002, to hear committee members bring them up to date on 2001 activities and plans for next year, and to hear a few words from community leaders.

President's Report Bill Curtis, Turtle Bay Association (TBA) President, opened the meeting with reference to the defining nature of the World Trade Center disaster and the loss of firefighters, police, family and friends. He went on to say that in times such as these, however, we are fortunate to have a place like Turtle Bay and a community to which we can belong. He emphasized the importance of persevering in our efforts to maintain our neighborhood as a great, safe place to live and work. TBA helps us establish a sense of community through its efforts with respect to our parks, the newsletter, the website and the various events held throughout the year. Bill concluded by mentioning that 2002 will be the 45th anniversary of the Association, and we will be working on special ways to celebrate that occasion and Turtle Bay's history.

Slate Elected A total of 294 votes, including proxies, were cast in favor of the proposed slate presented by Dolores Marsh in Michael Resnick's absence. Marie-Louise Handal announced the voting results, which also included two dis-senting votes and two abstentions. All officers were re-elected and include: Bill Curtis, president; Millie Margiotta, Dolores Marsh, and Bruce Silberblatt, vice presidents; Marie-Louise Handal, secretary; and Francine Mohink, treasurer. The following were elected to the Directors Class of 2003: Jed Abrams, Johnathan L. Bing, Susan Branagan, Barbara Connolly, Pauline Evans, Nancy Harris, Bill Huxley, Richard Irwin, Pat McDougald, Carol Rinzler, Helen Shapiro and Bruce Silberblatt. Dolores confirmed the election results.

Treaurer's Report Francine Mohink, treasurer, reported that total TBA income for the year 2000 was $66,564, of which $15,000 was raised by the Turtle Bay Street Fair, with the balance coming from dues. Expenses were $57,067, resulting in a year end balance of $53,960, with which we started 2001. The Association's biggest expense is the printing and mailing of the newsletter, followed by special mailings and maintenance of our website.

Special Presentations Assembly-man John Ravitz thanked TBA for work done in the community, especially following 9/11. He spoke extensively on a number of issues, including work on the Trump building and the Drop-in Center. He said that while we are not always successful in achieving our goals in these land-use areas, we definitely do everything we can to bring our point of view and community needs to the attention of the decision-makers. Establishing good lines of com-munication in the community and with community leaders is a big part of that.

Councilmember Eva Moskowitz stressed that the city's current fiscal situation would require very hard choices for everyone in the coming year and that she would do her best to look out for our interests. Like Ravitz, she thanked TBA for its involvement in the proposed Drop-in Center controversy and in helping to bring this issue to public attention. She also men-tioned the development of the Con-Ed site (the largest piece of undeveloped land in Manhattan) and how it could easily - and neg-atively - impact many areas of our community life, depending on which alternatives are eventually selected. She will keep TBA informed as the process moves forward so that we can all work together on this to safeguard Turtle Bay's needs. Finally, she said that with 38 new City Council members it will be interesting to see how the council moves forward.

Jessica LaPin of Councilmember Gifford Miller's office spoke briefly, reminding us that Gifford will be the most senior member of the new council and will thus have a strong leadership role and voice. Borough President C. Virginia Fields was unable to attend, but Noah Pfefferblit, her Director of Community Affairs, intro-duced Phillip Liu, who is our new liaison with her staff. Fields is also opposed to the Drop-in Center and has convened a task force on the Con Ed project.

Public Safety Committee Detective Frank Bogucki, Community Affairs Officer for the 17th Precinct and Executive Officer Maldonado provided this report. Captain Muldonado thanked the neighborhood for all it had done following 9/11. He said that the precinct's main task at present is the security of the U.N. and its missions. This has consumed so much manpower and time that they have had to ask for assistance from other precincts to meet the need. However, they have not forgotten their daily responsibilities to Turtle Bay residents. Crime is down 30% year-to-date, and 25% over the past month. He asked for the neighborhood's patience in addressing important but not necessarily critical or emergency-type issues at this difficult time.

Questions/issues were raised by Marie-Louise Handal (skateboarders in the park), Jeannie Sakol (could there be a phone installed in the park with a direct line to the precinct for reporting problems?), Yvonne Manley, a TBA member (could an auxiliary group help?), and Barbara Connolly (what is being done about the "black car" parking problem on the side streets, since police enforcement isn't working?). We were assured that the department is looking into all of these issues and attempting to find viable solutions or alternative ways to address these problems, hopefully in ways that can work around the serious manpower shortage at the present time.

Grants Committee Pat McDougald, chair of the Grants Committee, reported that during the year TBA granted funds of $2500 to the Vanderbilt Y, $2500 to the Turtle Bay Tree Fund, and $3000 to the Doe Fund. There will be 2-3 additional small grants before year-end, and our annual Christmas tree in Dag Hammarskjold Park will cost $1,250. Pat also explained the process by which grants can be requested.

Special Events A look back at 2001 events and information about events we can look forward to was provided by Barbara Connolly, Special Events Committee chair. Upcoming events include our annual holiday party (scheduled for Saturday, December 15 at the Turtle Bay Café, 225 East 44th Street), which serves a dual purpose. We can drink a cup of holiday cheer with our neighbors, while at the same time providing a valuable service for needy children through the "admission fee" of a new, unwrapped toy. Then just around the corner will be the annual "Love Thy Neighbor" gathering near Valentine's Day, and, later in the spring, the annual Turtle Bay Fair. These three events were also held in 2001, as well as the October 28 trip to Mohonk (see story on page 6).

Dag Hammarskjold Plaza The Friends of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza were represented by treasurer Sherrill Kazan who spoke about park progress during the year. She stated that although the park is now lovely, and provides the perfect venue for many activities, including the recent "Night of Remembrance," it requires constant upkeep and community efforts to maintain it. This will be especially important given the city's budget problems and possible further cuts in Parks Department services in 2002.

Parks Committee Marie-Louise Handal, TBA Parks Committee chair, provided updates on all the parks in Turtle Bay. There was a question from the audience about some of the smaller parks, particularly the one at 47th Street and Second Avenue and Marie-Louise clarified that TBA is not responsible for the maintenance of those privately owned parks. Ralph Compagnone, from the Board of Dag Hammarskjold Plaza Condominiums, advised the meeting that negotiations are underway with the city concerning that space at 47thStreet, and that once those are finalized, the condominiums will be spending about $50,000 to upgrade that facility.

Other Committee Reports Bill Huxley spoke about both the Tree Program (part of TBA) and the Tree Fund (privately financed). He also mentioned the recent new membership mailing to 18,600 Turtle Bay residents. Our current membership is about 1800 households. Nancy Harris, newsletter editor, reported that she is now also maintaining website content. This newsletter will be looking for interesting historical pieces in conjunction with the TBA 45th anniversary, so if anyone has ideas, please contact her or the TBA office. Ethel Bendove, chair of the Environmental Committee, shared information as to what is being done to handle various complaints about noise and other problems, and advised the group how to file a complaint. Bruce Silberblatt, Land Use Committee Chair, spoke on a number of issues, covered in detail in his article on page 5. Turtle Bay Business Associates, which currently numbers 180 member businesses, was represented by Chair Pauline Evans. Pauline made a special plea for Turtle Bay residents to patronize area businesses..

The meeting concluded with attendees enjoying wine, cheese and desserts generously provided by Grey Advertising.

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The Turtle Bay Association is a nonprofit (501c3) community organization.

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