Community Board 9 finally has a complete board of 50 members after accepting four new appointees this month.
Marian Molina, from Ozone Park, Maharani Singh of Richmond Hill, Ramon Rodriguez and Seth Welins, both of Kew Gardens, all sat through their first board meeting on Tuesday.
The new members will all attend training on May 12 and a swearing in ceremony will be held in June.
Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), who served on the board from 2004 to 2005, welcomed the new members.
“It’s a thankless job, because you don’t get paid, but it’s an important one,” he said.
At the new members’ first meeting, the board heard from Michelle Bogart, who decried the disrepair of the Civic Virtue sculpture at Queen’s Borough Hall, and Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills), who said she found the statue offensive (See Page 5).
Koslowitz also discussed the budget, emphasizing the recovery of funds for senior center and that no police will be laid off. She did explain that the city is trying to close some fire stations at night.
“It is totally unacceptable to close firehouses at night,” she said. “That’s when fires happen.”
Queens Parks Manager Gabriel Echevarria asked members to reach out to the community for enforcement of the smoking ban in city parks, which will take affect May 23.
“We’re very limited in the resources we have to enforce this law,” he said.
Kate Mooney, from the office of Councilwoman Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village), told the board that seven snow-removal bills had been passed in the City Council and that new Schools Chancellor Denis Walcott (See Page 5) had just announced that federal dollars would be renewed for school construction in the city.
Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica) told the board that he is still on the case of the Skyway Hotel, which was switched from a family shelter to an all-male shelter last month. According to Wills, five of the residents are known sex offenders.
He also invited the public to two banking seminars on May 16 and May 23. Wills said there have been a number of mortgage scams recently involving commercial banks.
“We need more community banks for our residents,” he said, adding that he will be working with Koslowitz in an upcoming hearing on community banking.
Nick Roloson, from the office of Assemblyman Mike Miller (D-Woodhaven), announced that Miller will be holding two job fairs in May, with details to be released soon.
The new members participated in their first vote—an uncommonly quiet and cordial vote—in which four requests for onsite liquor licenses were opposed and one car service license was recommended for approval.
Andrea Crawford, in her first meeting as the new chairperson (a position she has held in the past as well), presided over what she called an uncharacteristically smooth meeting. “We’re being quiet to break in our new members,” she joked.
by David J. Harvey