Thursday, April 10, 2008

Bronx Community Board 4 continues its anti-democratic ways

Last Tuesday at the Bronx Community Board 4 Parks & Recreation Committee meeting, one community resident asked how he could become a committee member. He was told that there was a moratorium on community residents becoming committee members. Below are two articles from the New York City Charter and a paragraph from the Community Board Member Handbook that outline the participation of community members on the community boards:

It is the intent of this chapter to encourage and facilitate coterminous (adjacent) community districts and service districts to be used for the planning of community life within the city, the participation of citizens in City government within their communities, and the efficient and effective organization of agencies that deliver municipal services in local communities and boroughs.

11-83 Although the Charter requires that the chairperson of each Community Board committee be a Board member, there is no limitation as to the number of non-Board members who may be appointed to serve on a Board committee.
Non-Board Members on Committees - The Charter permits community residents who are not Board members to serve on Board committees. This is a good way of drawing on additional expertise and manpower. It is also a method of recruiting potential Board members. A Board member must chair each committee.

Previous to the purge of CB4 board members over the last two years, members of the community could join a committee by attending three consecutive committee meetings. It is not as if CB4's committees are bursting at the seams with members. Most of the committees cannot get a quorum, and meetings are far and few between. Therefore, it appears that this so-called moratorium is just another tactic to keep the people from participating in the process of city government within this community.

Community boards cannot be run as private clubs restricted to like-minded people. We, the community who live and work in this district, need to get CB4 back to being the forum where all can voice their concerns and vision for this community; and, thus, work together to make this district a better place to live.

Anita Antonetty


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