Flyers Accuse C.B. 3’s Susan Stetzer of Assaulting Civil Liberties, Assassinating Creativity

IMG_0433Daniel Maurer

Susan Stetzer woke up to an unpleasant surprise this morning – the “Wanted” flyers you see here were posted all along her walk from home to her office on East Fourth Street, where she is district manager of a community board that has become entangled in many a controversial bid for a liquor license.

Ms. Stetzer told The Local it could’ve been one of those hearings that drove someone, whose identity is unknown, to post the flyers. “Most of the complaints that come into the office are liquor license related,” she said. “C.B. 3 has more than any other community board and I don’t know of any other issues that people are so upset about.”

Ms. Stetzer said her building’s superintendent took down some of the postings describing her as an “unelected meddler” and an “assassin of New York’s creativity,” as did workers near the community board’s offices on East Fourth Street between Bowery and Second Avenue (The Local spotted the flyer shown here on Second Avenue). She said she didn’t care to try to ascertain the identity of the poster. “It’s someone who obviously has some problems and issues and they’re dealing with it personally and in a very destructive manner instead of seeing how it can be resolved in constructive manner,” she said.

It’s curious that Ms. Stetzer has been singled out as Public Enemy #1. As she pointed out, she doesn’t vote on community board issues. “I implement board policies and I’m the person who gives information about relevant legal issues,” she said. “I don’t vote. I don’t give suggestions on how people should vote – what I do is maybe bring up zoning issues and that sort of thing.”

Alexandra Militano, not Ms. Stetzer, is the chairperson of the board’s SLA & DCA Licensing committee. But as the person who handles press inquiries on behalf of the board, Ms. Stetzer is often its public face. A search for her name on The Local yielded no less than 33 results.

It’s also possible Ms. Stetzer wasn’t targeted over a liquor license issue. When The Local spoke to Chris Flash about the rock shows he organizes in Tompkins Square Park, he complained about her specifically. In 2010, the Community Board passed a resolution to limit the number of concerts because they were “extremely loud and assault the senses, including inside peoples’ homes,” according to the resolution.

Others who’ve had a history with the community board have also mentioned Ms. Stetzer by name.

Some believe the board is heavy-handed in its recommendations, which are often ignored by the State Liquor Authority. But Ms. Stetzer said that she has been reasonable, pointing to a resolution she proposed in which businesses serving only beer and wine, which agree to close by midnight, are exempt from the board’s policy of universally recommending new liquor license applications for denial in nightlife-heavy “resolution areas.”

“That’s a loosening of previous restrictions and people only see the side they want to see and they make assumptions,” she said.