CB 9 Member Seeks to Overturn Election

A Community Board 9 member is seeking to overturn the result of a board election after the initial announced vote count proved to be false.

Joan Decamp, a member of CB 9 who is a resident of Richmond Hill, has filed an objection with the Queens Borough President’s office over the results of a vote that took place at last week’s CB 9 board meeting. After all the votes were tallied, it was announced that Decamp won the board’s chairperson position by a vote of 18-17 over Andrea Crawford, CB 9’s current chairperson. However, the next day, the board sent out a statement saying that the wrong person was announced as the winner and that it was Crawford who won the election by that same vote count.

The statement, which was signed by Mary Ann Carey, CB 9’s district manager, read that CB 9 recounted the votes the morning after the meeting and it revealed that Crawford was the winner of the election.

Decamp said that she filed the objection to the vote for two reasons: The first, because the paper ballots that were used to file the votes were not signed by the people who cast the vote themselves. She said that each member is supposed to put their signature on their ballot according to the Guide for Parliamentary Procedure for New York City Community Boards. She added that the second reason for the objection was that she believes that the final vote count doesn’t add up to the number of members on CB 9.

When questioned by The Forum regarding the vote, Carey said that she, along with Barry Grodenchik, who is the deputy borough president and Hugh Weinburg, General Counsel for the borough president’s office, all recounted the votes and they found that Crawford won by the one-vote margin. Carey also said that she disagreed with Decamp’s opinion that the number of votes didn’t add up to the number of board members. As for DeCamps first reason for the objection, Carey said that she is unaware if that is an official rule or not, but that each board member had their name on the ballot when he or she voted. She added that the standard procedure for counting votes is that it is counted at the meeting and then again the next morning after the meeting to ensure accuracy.

“It was an honest mistake,” Carey said of the miscount.

But Decamp was unhappy with the way the vote was handled, saying that it was disorganized.

“To me, this absolutely lacks attention to the election process,” she said.
Decamp filed the objection earlier this week and hasn’t heard back from the borough president’s office yet.

Carey said that she has no problem counting the votes again if needed and that Decamp is more than welcome to come down to CB 9’s office to look at the votes herself.

Whatever the final decision is, Decamp has no plans to leave the board, saying no purpose would be served by doing that.

“Whatever the board decides, I’ll go on,” Decamp said.

Phone calls to the Queens Borough President’s office were not returned by press time.

By Luis Gronda


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