Oceana complex (Source: Google Maps)

Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz responded to anonymous allegations published today in a local newspaper, which claim he is in cahoots with Oceana condominium developers to privatize a portion of Brighton Beach, by saying it “pisses me off” and is “totally inaccurate.”

The response is to a Will Bredderman political column in Brooklyn Daily, which cites an anonymous source as saying the pol is “trying to broker a deal that would permit the swank, beachfront Oceana Condominiums to take over a section of the public shore.”

“I think it just goes to show what Will Bredderman and [Brooklyn Daily's publisher] Courier-Life print. There are inaccuracies in every part of it, and anything I sent to him, he didn’t write,” Cymbrowitz told Sheepshead Bites.

In the column, Bredderman points to the pol’s opposition to the elevated comfort stations in front of Oceana as evidence that the pol is attempting to clear the way for a privatized beach. They also note the 2013 bill introduced by Cymbrowitz, and first reported on by Sheepshead Bites, that would transfer jurisdiction of the beach from the more restrictive state Department of Environmental Conservation to the city’s Parks Department. The paper called the bill, which was cosponsored by Assemblyman Alec Brook-Krasny,  “a first step toward privatization.”

“I think that’s inaccurate. My response to him was simply that, by giving the jurisdiction to the Parks department, it would allow us to use the money that was received from [Brook-Krasny's predecessor] Adele Cohen years ago to build a bike path,” said Cymbrowitz. “DEC wouldn’t allow it. But if the Parks Department had jurisdiction, they would have done it. [Bredderman] didn’t write any of that.”

That bill was squashed following a Sheepshead Bites’ report, although it briefly reemerged earlier this year before being pulled again. Last year, Cymbrowitz said he killed the bill because he was disappointed with Parks’ handling of the comfort stations, although this outlet noted at the time that the bill was introduced after Cymbrowitz came out against the Oceana restrooms. Cymbrowitz said the bill’s reappearance this year was because his staff automatically reintroduced it as a matter of routine, and that he killed it after it came to his attention.

Moreover, Cymbrowitz said he doesn’t see how transferring jurisdiction from a state to a city agency helps privatize a beach, and unequivocally stated that he never had conversations with Oceana’s developers, Muss Development, or any other party about privatizing the beach.

“Absolutely not. Never. And how could… I don’t even think it’s possible to privatize a public beach. So whoever Bredderman is getting his information from is totally inaccurate. And that’s I think what pisses me off more than anything else, all the inaccuracies. Why doesn’t he name who said it, or who the conversation was with if I had a conversation? That’s not going to happen,” he said.

Muss Development has for years boasted of a “private beach” as one of the amenities at Oceana on its website. On being contacted by Brooklyn Daily, the company called it a “typo” and said they had no discussions with the assemblyman regarding the privatization of a stretch of Brighton Beach for their benefit.

That, locals say, is bunk.

“If you’re asking me what the facts are, the facts are that Oceana wanted a private beach from the beginning and marketed it that way,” said local activist and longtime Brighton Beach resident Ida Sanoff. “It is common knowledge that they claimed to be building a private beach there when they first opened. They told a number of my neighbors who looked at apartments there about a private beach. And, early on, they had security guards [on the sand in front of the development] and whoever wandered by was told it was a private beach.”

Sanoff, who is also the executive director of the Natural Resources Protective Association, and who was the first to sound the alarm about the 2013 legislation turning over jurisdiction, said she continues to have concerns about that bill.

“Of course I’m concerned,” she said. “The Parks Department does have the ability to issue franchises,” meaning allowing private concessions to operate on the beach. “So if someone, somewhere, decided this is what they wanted to do [on these beaches], once Parks has control of the beach it could be done routinely. And once it’s done here, you’ve set the precedent to do it on any beach in New York City.”

Sanoff, though, said she had no idea if that’s what Cymbrowitz’s intent is, and said she did not know of any meetings between the pol and Oceana’s developers about privatizing the beach.

“Cymbrowitz, I haven’t spoken to the man in years,” she said. “I know as much about what’s going on in his head as I do President Obama’s.”

Bredderman declined to comment on this article without approval from his editors. We will update this post if we receive a statement.

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  • jerry

    I would love to FOIL the emails between Muss & Cymbrowitz over the hyears since Oceana has been built. They say they have never had any conversations about their beachfront but I have my doubts.

    • FollowTheMoney

      How much campaign contributions has Muss given to Cymbowitz over the years? And to his late wife Lena? Muss doesn’t give thousands and thousands of dollars for nothing. Cymbowitz is “pissed off” because he got caught reintroducing this legislation again. He can blame his staff but I say just follow the money.

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  • The Guy Behind The Guy

    True or not true, this is how our political system works all the way to the Prez.

  • guest

    “Cymbrowitz said the bill’s reappearance this year
    was because his staff automatically reintroduced it as a matter of
    routine, and that he killed it after it came to his attention.”
    Why do we need Cymbrowitz? His staff run everything anyway. Btw he did say he
    killed the bill last year- not true. What else Cymbrowitz is not
    telling us?

  • child of survivors

    cymborowitz’ involvement with the muss gang pales in comparison to his desecration of the holocaust memorial in sheepshead bay by his forcing the inclusion of the inappropriate homosexual monument.
    the germans killed millions of people of various ethnicities and proclivities during world war 2….hitler singled out the jews for total worldwide extermination.therefore the word “holocaust”belongs EXCLUSIVELY to the jews…ed koch told of his trip to germany where he saw hitler’s globe.all the countries of the world had black numbers written on them representing their jewish populations.
    the united states had six million and albania had just one….
    hitler was unable to rest until he could eliminate that single albanian jew..
    hitler was on record for honoring homosexuals. violette morris, a french lesbian athlete was honored by hitler.he invited her to sit with him at the 1936 olympics in berlin after she was rejected by the french public for her public displays of lesbianism…hitler further honored morris after she collaborated with the vichy puppet government.
    IT IS OBVIOUS CYMBROWITZ’ HOMOSEXUAL MONUMENT WAS A FAVOR TO HIS STAFF MEMBER-LAURA SINGER WHO IS ALLEGED TO BE A LESBIAN.