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Haber era as leader ends for Community Board 11

After more than 30 years with Bernard Haber of Douglas Manor at the helm of northeast Queens’ Community Board 11, the group elected Bayside Hills civic leader Jerry Iannece as its new chairman Monday night.

Iannece is only the third chairman to lead the group since the community board was created in 1969. The civic leader, who lost a Democratic primary election last year for the City Council, beat out longtime CB 11 Vice Chairman Jack Como of Bayside for the chance to lead the board.

A lawyer and the president of the Bayside Hills Civic Association, Iannece said he was excited at being named to the post.

Haber has been chairman of CB 11 since 1972, when he took over the post from Claire Shulman, who went on to be Queens’ borough president. CB 11 includes the communities of Bayside, Little Neck, Douglaston, Oakland Gardens, Hollis Hills and Auburndale.

Though a term-limits rule instituted in recent years prohibited Haber from running for the chairman’s position in 2002, the longtime community activist said he was ready to retire from the post.

The board also chose its vice chairmen Monday, including new First Vice Chairman Jim Rodgers, of Auburndale; Second Vice Chairman Joseph Rosenberg, of Oakland Gardens; and Third Vice Chairman Mohan Jethwani of Bayside. Jethwani, the only returnee, served his first term with Como and Second Vice Chairwoman Joan Garippa of Little Neck.

The elections were preceded by weeks of behind-the-scenes politicking and phone calls among some board members. The newly elected slate of officers lacks both women board members and representation from Little Neck or Douglaston, the eastern side of the board’s area.

Before the elections Haber received a number of accolades for his more than 30 years of service to CB 11, including proclamations from Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, state Sen. Dan Hevesi (D-Forest Hills) and a state resolution from assembly members Ann-Margaret Carrozza (D-Bayside) and Mark Weprin (D-Bayside) and state Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose).

City Councilman David Weprin (D-Hollis) also presented Haber with a city council proclamation from him and council members Tony Avella (D-Bayside) and John Liu (D-Flushing).

After the elections Haber said, “quite truthfully I didn’t expect anything. I appreciate the recognition.”

Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.

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