Big turnout for first meet of Glendale-Middle Village Coalition
by Chase Collum
Oct 02, 2014 | 9172 views | 0 0 comments | 74 74 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Photos: Michael O'Kane
Photos: Michael O'Kane
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Nearly 400 people crowded into Christ the King High School in Middle Village for a meeting of the newly formed Glendale-Middle Village Coalition, a group fighting a proposed homeless shelter at 78-16 Cooper Avenue.
The coalition was established with one sole purpose in mind: to tie up the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) shelter using the legal system and force DHS to abandon its plans for the site.
The ad hoc steering committee of the coalition includes representatives of the Glendale Civic Association, Middle Village Chamber of Commerce, Glendale Chamber of Commerce, Juniper Park Civic Association, Middle Village Property and Residents Association, and the Glendale Property Owners Association.
“Obviously everyone here is very concerned about our community, and should be,” Glendale Civic Association president Kathy Masi told the crowd.
The coalition intends to file Article 78 proceedings before the end of next week. This action would challenge the integrity of the environmental assessment performed by a contractor on behalf of DHS.

During the meeting, Chris Murray, an attorney representing the coalition, explained that the impetus for Article 78 proceedings stems from the New York State Quality Review Act.

“This law requires government agencies to undertake a process to review the decisions that they have to make, such as entering into a contract with a homeless shelter, to determine if it's going to have any kind of impact on the environment so they can then go forward intelligently,” Murray said. “This was just a rubber stamp going through the motions of what impact this could have.”

Glendale Property Owners Association President Brian Dooley explained that the coalition plans to remain very transparent about its mission, incomes and expenditures. In keeping with this, he outlined the scope of donations to date.

“We have broad based support,” he said. “As of last night we had received donations from 85 donors.”

Business donations ranged from $50 to $2,000, residents donations ranged anywhere from $4 to $1,000, and local civic association donations rangee from $1,000 to $5,000.

“So far we've paid out $10,000 to engage the attorney. This one [Article 78] action right here is probably going to take $30,000,” Dooley said. “Our overall goal was $130,000, so we need $100,000 more. We've been at this for a month or so, I think we can get $100,000.”

One of the key elements of the Wednesday night meeting, beyond the fundraising function, was the block captain sign-up. About 50 people signed up for the position, which would have them serve as a liaison between the coalition and their neighbors to keep them apprised of new developments, bring forward any concerns, and champion fundraising efforts.

The next GMVC fundraiser will be Friday, October 24, at Yer Man's Irish Pub.

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