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More on the Property Owners Meeting: ETO

As we explained before, ETO or Environmental Taskforce Operations is currently based out at Lacon Ct. They made a deal with Stephen Jemal to be able to use his land in exchange for clearing docks and land also taking over conversations with the DEC.

At the Property owners meeting, although ETO representatives were not at the meeting, Gene Beredelli was asked to speak, to what he knows about ETO.

ETO he explained is a non-profit organization with a goal of cleaning marine debris all over the city of New york. Specifically all of the sunken boats in our area.

There is a bit of controversy surrounding ETO on multiple fronts.

First SBPBCivc joined in a grant application with ETO that would of funded Brigham Street Park and ETO operations. They were not awarded the grant.

Secondly community opposition to ETO helping Stephen Jemal. Stephen Jemal is no doubt not well liked in the area for his plans to build condos much like Miami Beach. His condo plans seem like his does not care about the existing character of Gerritsen Beach or Sheepshead Bay, not to mention threatening to sue just about everyone.

Although ETO’s mission in Gerritsen Beach would be to clean up the creek which is a good thing. Residents at the meeting expressed concern that ETO is doing Stephen Jemal a HUGE favor by cleaning up his land and his waterways for FREE, allowing him to build much faster. Gene Beredelli had said that ETO does have an alternate location they were originally going to move to on Mill Ave in Mill Basin.

Gene Beredelli said that he would work with Gerritsen Beach to move ETO off that property if thats what Gerritsen Beach wants.

ETO may or may not have known who Stephen Jemal was or how much controversy currently surrounds the property.

Lastly, there are two captains Bernie Shatner, Jack Shatner who own a maritime salavge company in the area, they explained how they were part of the “original ETO”. He explained that when he found some inappropriate things going on and when he voiced his opinion to ETO he was voted off.

He explained that ETO is part of Special Projects Managment which is a for-profit organization and insinuated that he “doesn’t know if money is crossing between companies (ETO and SPM)”. He said that the SPM owner is the president of ETO, adding that “if thats not a conflict of interest I dont know what is”

He stated that he is currenly being sued by Park Ranger Menatta and Special Projects Managment, and the attorney representing Ranger Manetta is Gene Beredelli”.

He did go on and on about his lawsuit and did share more valid concerns about ETO, but the general consensus was that the property owners association wanted ETO off that property.

7 comments to More on the Property Owners Meeting: ETO

  • Gene B.

    First, let me thank George Broadhead and the GBPOA for inviting me to the meeting.

    Earlier in the day, I was asked by George to explain to everyone about ETO, which I tried to do to the best of my ability. ETO didn’t show up at the meeting (I was later told by Greg that he didn’t get the change in date and had it scheduled for July 8), so it was left to me to address what I knew.

    As I said, I do not represent ETO either professionally or personally. I am not a member of ETO. My interactions with them have been strictly limited to their relationship with SB/PB Civic in writing a large grant that would have benefitted both ETO projects and Brigham Park / Plumb Beach cleanup efforts (which we ultimately didn’t get) and in my capacity as attorney for Ranger Mannetta (which, of course, I can’t go into based on the attorney-client relationship).

    I looked at my role at this meeting as “the messenger” between GBPOA and ETO – and we all know what happens to messengers (BANG!) :-) In thinking about the meeting, it probably appeared that I overstepped my role in that capacity – in trying to understand people’s concerns, I posed some questions that made it seem like I was taking sides against their point of view, when I was only trying to understand them better.

    It’s my fault for not making that clearer, and something I should work on when speaking to people.

    As a side note, there were also issues brought up not concerning Gerritsen Beach, but other people’s personal problems and opinions of ETO. I can’t speak to them at all, but I thought that they confused the issue at the meeting, which was Gerritsen Beach’s issue regarding ETO’s presence on the role and the service they would be providing to Mr. Jemal. Clearly, those personal issues should be addressed by ETO and the people involved in forums outside of GBPOA’s venue.

    So let me be clear now – I respect and support the decision of GBPOA to ask ETO not to assist Mr. Jemal. While I’m think that cleaning the Creek is a laudable goal, Gerritsen Beach is fighting the same battle that my neighborhood in Sheepshead Bay has been for years – improper out-of-context development and the downturn in the quality of life that comes with it.

    GBPOA made their priorities clear – NO CONDOS ON THE CREEK – and I support them fully. I will not stop a neighborhood from determining its own destiny – in fact, I’ll join the fight in any way I can and lend my experience and contacts.

    Since the meeting, I have already been in contact with principals of ETO and communicated the GBPOA’s concerns to them, and will follow up in writing along with SB/PBCA, George Broadhead and John Douglas, both of whom I look forward to working with on this matter.

    In closing, I thank GBPOA for inviting me to speak. I learned a lot about the neighborhood and I learned that I still have some learning to do in terms of public presentation! I look forward to helping out any way I can.

    • aster

      @Gene B., GENEB,
      From Capt. Bernie Schachner,
      I have not yet recieved the response letter from you as of yet. In regards to your comment on this sight.I did get the feeling that you were feilding questions and responding in defense of the ETO at the GBPO meeting.I think everyone got that feeling. Gene I will say publicly that I have no ill feelings about you and that goes for your parents also. It is hard to not have ill feelings about the ETO when I was ousted by the “Three Amigos” Gregg Moss, Perry Papadoupulos and bill dumphy the follower,for being concerned about improprioties. I am sure as a concerned citizen and a public figure in this community you would have done the same thing as I. Would you have liked to be voted off the plumb beach civic assiociation for reporting an inappropriate action by board members? I doubt it.Gene smell the coffee!
      I want to thank the GBPO for inviting me to speak at your meeting..
      Sincerely Capt. Bernie

      • Gene B.

        @aster, The letter that you refer to is coming from SB/PB Civic, not me. I’ll pass on your message as well – I’ve been doing a lot of that lately!

        I could see how anyone could see what you saw, hence what I wrote earlier. Like I said, I should’ve been clearer at the meeting. That’s why I wrote here to clarify.

        As far as “smelling the coffee”, anyone can make allegations about anything. Allegations don’t impress anyone. You and ETO will have your days in court and things will be dealt with in the appropriate venue.

        • Frank

          @Gene B., To the best of my knowledge Jamal could not secure the investors to build his condos and he could not illegally buihe could not afford this ventureld out on the water as he planned. So without investors he could not afford this venture of his. So now all of a sudden this company(not for profit) steps in and Helps HIM? So does he still own the properties? Cause not for nothing but if I defaulted on my loan I would be foreclosed as would anyone else. They are looking to lock him up!!! So why is the property not just foreclosed and on the market??? If you were the bank wouldn’t you want your money? I would seperate the properties and build a few homes or try to sell it back to the neighborhood. Doesn’t that make sense? So what political power does he have that he could not personally show up at a meeting and has city or state paid politicians speaking for his property????

          • Gene B.

            @Frank, From what I understand, Mr. Jemal is in litigation with his investors in Texas Federal Court over the alleged default. He still owns the properties.

            I think GB.net knows more than I about it, and has been following the course of the litigation.

          • @Frank, Mr. Jemal did secure investors and he can legally build on both of his Gerritsen Beach properties.

            As of right now SSJ Development is the company that is developing the Knapp Street property, the foundation is poured and will eventually be built.

            As for the money, he still has it. He defaulted on paying back his investors. http://www.gerritsenbeach.net/2008/07/16/developer-stephen-s-jemal-in-55-million-dollar-contract-dispute-with-his-investment-companies/

          • Frank

            @GerritsenBeach.net, Sorry I did not realize that he owned it with money from his investors. I am thankful that our community organizations are on top of this because having these developments worries me that GB will be no more and spiral downhill quickly. I wonder what he will do with all of that contaminated soil. I do not know if we have the money but maybe we could set up a camera or two so that we can see what they do with the soil and the bulkhead? I am unable to make the meetings maybe you could bring this up for me? We can ask a resident if we can put a camera on his housewhich oversees the yard and maybe one at the sewer plant.