Tension is brewing between City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) and Community Board 11 Chairman Jerry Iannece over Halloran’s role in appointing members to the board, which covers Bayside, Douglaston and Little Neck.
Iannece complained Monday that Halloran, a freshman councilman who took office last month, is being too intrusive in the process to appoint board members by asking the board for attendance logs, requiring that nominees for board seats submit a résumé or letter to prove their credentials and meet informally with him before he will consider appointing them.
But Halloran, who promised during his campaign to bring transparency to city government, said Monday he wants to ensure community boards are populated with people who will actively work to improve their communities.
“The most important thing I can do right now is ensure that the community has faith in its community board,” he said. “I would like to have a good working relationship with Community Board 11, and I’m looking to work with them to keep them viable so the city of New York doesn’t turn around and abolish them when I think they’re a very valuable resource and vital to our community.”
Iannece, who lost to Kevin Kim in last year’s Democratic primary for the seat Halloran eventually won, questioned Halloran’s understanding of his role in the appointment process.
“I think he needs to understand the process a little bit more before he starts trying to question the credentials of people who’ve served the better of the community for 30 years,” Iannece said. “There’s a better way of doing it than the way he’s doing it. There’s a learning curve for everyone.”
Thirteen CB 11 members are up for reappointment this year, six of whom will be chosen by Borough President Helen Marshall, and seven of whom are selected by Halloran, whose district covers both CB 11 and parts of Community Board 7 in Whitestone, College Point and Bay Terrace. All are officially appointed by Marshall, but she is required to appoint the councilman’s selections.
So far, only one CB 11 nominee has spoken with Halloran, who approved her reappointment. He said a couple of others have scheduled times to talk with him but that the rest have not been in contact yet.
Halloran said his intention is not to insult the board but ensure the best people are representing the community, especially at a time when Mayor Michael Bloomberg is considering abolishing the bodies or halting their funding.
“I’m the new guy and this is the old board and the old board doesn’t want the new guy to tell them what to do,” he said. “[Appointment] is not a rubber stamp for what you’ve done in the past, it’s a trust given to you that you’re going to do things in the future to help their communities,”
But Iannece said Halloran is going about it all wrong.
“Is he trying to clean house?” he asked.
Halloran also appointed some of CB 7’s members since he represents 40 percent of the area, while Councilman Peter Koo (R-Flushing) covers the rest. Halloran requested letters or résumés and attendance charts from CB 7 members under his purview who were up for reappointment and has since met with and reappointed all of them.
Reach reporter Connor Adams Sheets by e-mail at csheets@cn
©2010 Community News Group
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