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Koslowitz leaves Council, becomes deputy beep

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Although forced out of her city council seat by term limits, Karen Koslowitz has not abandoned the people of Queens.

Koslowitz, actively involved with constituent services throughout her 10-year tenure with the Council, was appointed deputy borough president by Borough President Helen Marshall.

Her seat on the City Council has been filled by Melinda Katz, a former state assemblywoman and overseer of Queens community boards under former Borough President Claire Shulman.

Marshall, who spoke at Katz’s inauguration Sunday, said she tapped Koslowitz for her deputy because she “was doing such a fantastic job” as a councilwoman for Forest Hills, Kew Gardens and Rego Park. She said Koslowitz will head up constituent services in Borough Hall, which she called the most important job in her office.

Dan Andrews, a spokesman for Marshall, said “the new borough president feels that responding to constituent affairs and complaints is so important it should be under the aegis of the deputy borough president.”

Andrews pointed out that Koslowitz will also take on the job of director of community boards, previously held by Katz.

He said Marshall was “very impressed” with the response Koslowitz got from constituents when the two campaigned together in last year’s election.

“People loved her,” Andrews said. “Helen was very impressed with her ability to respond to her constituents’ complaints.”

Koslowitz, who grew up in the Bronx, was elected to replace Arthur Katzman in a 1991 special election. Throughout her city council tenure, she was a strong advocate of quality-of-life issues, working with her constituents to close a nude club in a residential area and fighting against the opening of a Maspeth sludge plant.

She also addressed quality-of-life problems affecting shopping areas in her district, earning the respect of local business leaders. Koslowitz was the chairwoman of the Council’s Committee on Consumer Affairs.

“I have really taken my job seriously,” she said at the Katz installation. Koslowitz called her council run “10 wonderful years,” but said she looked forward to the challenges of her new position as deputy borough president.

Reach reporter Daniel Massey by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 156.

Updated 10:26 am, October 12, 2011
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