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CB 6 to vote for new DM amid controversy

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The board's personnel committee interviewed potential candidates at a closed-door meeting Monday and was expected to make its recommendation to the full board Wednesday, at which time the board members will meet before the vote.The position, which oversees the day-to-day operations of CB 6's Forest Hills office, has been vacant since Kathleen Histon retired from the post in December after almost 30 years. Histon was the first and only district manager for the board since it opened its doors in 1977. Although the applicant list is confidential, some said anywhere from five to 20 people were considered for the position.The board's initial pick, Cheryl Lehman, was elected on Dec. 14, only to pass up the offer when "a private company offered her a package way above what we could offer," CB 6 Chairman Joseph Hennessy said.But a small number of board members had found Lehman's selection process too closed-door. John Dereszewski, a member, said he and the other 47 or so board members were given one name at the December hearing and asked to vote on her without the candidate being present or providing any sort of resume. "I have no problem voting for the person if enough information is there," he said. "But I don't think the process was as open as it should've been."Dereszewski put forth a motion at the meeting to table the matter until more information on the candidate was provided. The motion was voted down.Hennessy said the board was simply following longstanding guidelines that called for taking a vote after a person was pre-screened by the personnel committee."It's unfair to demand an individual to stand in front of the whole board and go through the same thing twice," he said. "We try to keep it fair and at the same time try not to scare potential candidates away."Dereszewski said he hoped to have a more detailed candidate report for Wednesday's hearing and enough time to review it.Hennessy said such information like the candidate's resume and employment history will be reviewed by board members during an executive session scheduled just prior to the public hearing.Reach reporter Zach Patberg at news@timesledger.com or at 718-229-0300, Ext. 155.

Posted 7:02 pm, October 10, 2011
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