CB 9 Selects New Executive Committee

CB 9 Selects New Executive Committee

Community Board 9 members on Tuesday picked a new Executive Committee. Forum Photo by Michael V. Cusenza.

Community Board 9 members on Tuesday picked a new Executive Committee. Forum Photo by Michael V. Cusenza.

Just a week after completing the search for its new district manager, Community Board 9 on Tuesday evening voted in a new Executive Committee during its meeting at Borough Hall.

Raj Rampershad is the new chairman of the board, taking the baton from Ralph Gonzalez, who decided not to run for re-election. J. Richard Smith moved up to 1st vice chairman from 2nd vice chairman, while Joel Kuszai was elected to Smith’s previous post. Ivan Mrakovcic is the new executive secretary.

“I want to congratulate the new Executive Committee coming in,” said Board Member Andrea Crawford. “I think it’s a very good balance of experience and wisdom. I know they will rule with equanimity and purpose.”

The elections arrived at a time when CB 9 seems to be at a crossroads of sorts. Lisa Gomes, a long-time CB 9 employee, emerged last week as its new district manager following a tumultuous selection process that included allegations of impropriety and a suggestion from Borough President Melinda Katz to postpone the vote until after April 1, when newly appointed board members could get involved. The board proceeded with the DM interviews and voted Gomes in last Tuesday.

Katz said she was “deeply disappointed” with CB 9’s actions; many veteran members have expressed concern that Katz’s dissatisfaction will result in more than half the board losing their seats on March 31.

“The 10 people left [on the board]—you have your work cut out for you,” said Joan DeCamp, eliciting laughter.

By Michael V. Cusenza

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