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Vallone scolds Delis for using CB 1’s letterhead

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The Astoria Democrat said Delis overstepped his authority in three letters to city agencies during the last two years, which confused public officials by muddling personal views with the board's official stance. "These are three recent examples of a troublesome pattern of behavior," Vallone said in the letter to CB 1 Chairman Vinicio Donato. "Circulating an employee's personal opinion on board letterhead deviates from the board's procedural rules and causes confusion as to what the board's official position or recommendation is." But Delis said he was well within his duties when he sent the letters and they had nothing to do with his personal views.In Aug. 26, 2003, he asked Mayor Michael Bloomberg to put out to bid the locations of street vendors. In October 2004, he petitioned the city Parks Department to fence Astoria's Athens Square Park. And last month he suggested to Public Advocate Betsy Gotbaum that the citywide speed limit should be lowered to 15 miles per hour.Delis said he made the food vendor suggestion because the mayor has repeatedly asked for fresh ideas about raising city funds. The Athens Square Park fence was something he knew every board member supported, he said, because the homeless have made the place a mess. The board approved that project in October shortly after he sent the letter. And lowering the citywide speed limit from 30 miles-per-hour is just a common sense suggestion, Delis said. "I think that district managers have leverage to deal with city agencies," Delis said. "You're not talking to a guy who just came onto the job yesterday. I been here 27 years." Vallone said he was prompted to write his letter after board members and city officials complained. He would not say who. He said he spoke with Delis on the issue, who "didn't take it as seriously as it was meant."He said he has no problem with Delis espousing personal views, but he should just keep them off city letterhead. The councilman noted that Delis' official function entails processing residents' complaints, presiding at district service cabinet meetings and other duties assigned to him by the community board. "The main responsibility of the district office is to receive and resolve complaints from community residents," according to the city's official Web site www.nyc.gov.Reach reporter Matthew Monks by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

Updated 10:25 am, October 12, 2011
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