In our July issue we published an update to the situation on Beard Street regarding the potential opening of a brew-pub in the middle of a mixed-use block which has a lot of residents. We remarked in our article that some people thought that Victoria Hagman’s presence, or at least comments, at the CB6 committee meeting that was considering the liquor license application presented a possible conflict of interest as her real estate company handled the leasing arrangements.
At the time we wrote the article, we didn’t have a comment for publication from Victoria. She has since sent us one. We presented her comment to a member of the block association to elicit a response, and we publish both below:
I am writing in regards to the article published by the Red Hook Star review on July 4th titled, Beard Street Compromise?
In this article it states I, Victoria Hagman, was the listing Broker for 158 Beard Street. Although I am the owner of Realty Collective LLC, I had no participation in this lease negotiation. I have never met the landlord and until the CB6 Permits & Licenses Committee meeting on June 26th I had also never met the tenant. An agent of Realty Collective was hired by the landlord to lease out this property. I regret not communicating this formally at the meeting but since I had no participation and connection to the deal I misjudged making that declaration.
This article also states that I made statements of support for Narrow Water Brewing at the CB6 meeting. At no time during this meeting did I make an argument in support or against Narrow Water Brewing. I did advocate for the community to participate in the process and take advantage of what leverage the process afforded it, as did several other CB6 members. I was surprised to hear that some thought I was in support of this application. I spoke strongly about the many struggles Red Hook faces and that it was important to address these issues to all government agencies, including the SLA but I did not make any arguments in favor of this application. What I did offer at the meeting was reasoning as to why the community should participate in the process, and I still feel strongly that working together is the best way to address the community’s concerns.
I am happy to discuss this matter in more detail with any other entity or person that desires.
Owner Realty Collective LLC
MY OPINION ON VICTORIA’S STATEMENT:
When the community residents entered the room for the meeting, we were told that only committee members were allowed to sit at the table, and that everyone else had to sit around the table, or stand.
So, if someone comes in and sits at the table, it was assumed by the residents that they were part of the committee. In this case, they were not.
In my opinion, when someone who’s background outside of the committee is relevant to the discussion at hand, in the interest of full disclosure, they should tell the community participants what that relevant background is, and how it relates to the discussion, which would enable them to properly understand the context of his or her comments.
The CB6 rules state that if this is the case, this potential conflict has to be disclosed to the committee members (albeit, the rules don’t say to the community participants—but should)
Also, in the past, when I was chair of the CB6 environmental committee, to attend the meeting of a different committee and voice their opinions was rare. I was curious as to why it happened here.
With regard to the ultimate passing with stipulations that the committee voted for, the committee chair was quite clear that if we did not put the stipulations in at this point, there would be no time in the future to introduce them if the SLA approved the applicant’s application. The applicants lawyer still left the request to be open till 4 am every day at the initial hearing, regardless of the CB6 resolution.
We are still vehemently opposed to this establishment. We want to preserve the character of our residential block.
The original article is here http://www.star-revue.com/beard-street-compromise-sarah-matusek/#sthash.heLXMXO5.dpbs