Get involved with community boards

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I think most of us are aware of our elected officials and the jobs they do on behalf of our communities, but we should also recognize the contribution our community boards and civic associations make in affecting conditions in our neighborhoods.

As a member of Community Board 11, I work alongside 49 other volunteers who operate in an advisory capacity when it comes to matters such as zoning issues, variances and other land use applications. We also have several committees which work on education, transportation, environmental, parks and health issues, among other important community matters.

Sometimes we address citywide issues as well. Board members may not always agree with one another, but we all respect each other and focus on our commitment to our communities. We are lucky to have a phenomenal office staff headed by District Manager Susan Seinfeld.

At our March meeting, we had a change in leadership due to term limits. Jerry Iannece, our chairman for many years, did an outstanding job in conducting our monthly meetings and representing the board at various meetings and functions.

Our new leaders include Chairwoman Christine Haider and Vice Chairwomen Laura James, Ocelia Claro and Eileen Miller. I look forward to working with our new dynamic team of leaders.

Also in the forefront of community leadership are the local civics. This is the ground level where community issues and problems are discussed. Working with city agencies, our elected leaders and the community board, those issues and problems are looked into and addressed.

Many civics are affiliated with the Queens Civic Congress, an organization with considerable influence because it represents more than 100 civic and community groups countywide.

I would urge all residents to join their local civic group and participate in meetings and discussions. If possible, attend monthly community board meetings, especially if there are issues on the agenda concerning your area. Board members want to hear the concerns from the community. It helps us decide how to vote on the various issues that come before the board.

You may also consider joining the board. We particularly need more representation from the Auburndale community at the present time.

We are lucky to live in a wonderful area. There are problems, especially with overdevelopment and education matters, but if we all work together we can make a difference.

Henry Euler


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Reader Feedback

gh from queens says:
Cb 11 is allowing their neighborhood to be overdeveloped. I complain to them every few months about some kind of illegal conversion but nothing is ever done about it except for a complaint to the lazy dob (which also does nothing about it). They allow for churches to be built on every corner of the neighborhood without even fighting it. I have only heard about one church that they ever fought being built but it was still put up. They need to start fighting the city for stricter laws of the development of two family houses and churches. Two family houses should have zoning laws but should only be allowed to be built if the neighborhood could handle the extra stress on It's public services. Meaning that the developers should have to get written permission from the community boards to actually build a two family house as opposed to a one family house. Let's face it, bayside schools are becoming way overcrowded but yet two family homes are still being built all over the place. The worst part about it is that two families are not only living in these homes, these houses are being divided into three family To four family houses on the inside of them. Now a school is going to go up in a location that can not handle the traffic that a school is going to bring. They want to build a school instead of actually just adding a few extra floors onto the existing schools which I know they can hold. Cb 11 needs to start stepping up their game. I have contacted them and told them how much I disapprove of the school going up. I have written to the borough president, the council members and to the school system about this terrible mistake. I hope when it does go up that I will not be living here to see that mess! I have lived in bayside for 30 years but I'm ready to move far away from here!
March 26, 2014, 5:14 am
Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
The same thing came pretty much be said for Jamaica Community Board 12. Our community for years has had a huge garbage problem and what have they done about this. Our community has been overdeveloped as well with 1-2 family homes being torn down to put up crappy low-class third world apartment buildings that end up having absentee landlords and what have they done about that. Apartment buildings, homes and businesses dispose of their garbage in improper ways and what have they done. The thug auto body shops have been doing whatever they want as far as putting junked and unlicensed cars all over public streets and sidewalks and what have they done about that. CleanUpJamaica and The Untouchables (103rd precinct's Sgt Cedillo and his crew) took care of this in a matter of two weeks while Community Board 12 did nothing for years.

You go to a meeting and it is the same old thing over and over again, yet very little seems to get done. It does not help that the community boards are just an extension of our local elected leaders.

Community Board 12 has in my opinion (and I have only been here a little over 3 years), very little to help improve the quality of life in Jamaica and I there are many long time residents who feel the same way.

It just seems like more political bull.
March 26, 2014, 7:04 am
D.Stutts from Jack.Hts says:
The JACKSON HTS, CORONA Community Board Leaders Are ONLY Interested In The Gay And Lesbian Community ! AND Areas SOUTH OF 37ave..THING GOT TO CHANGE In This Way They HANDLE Complaints THAT Fall On THEIR DEAF EARS.. For YEARS...
March 26, 2014, 10:04 am
Peter May from Whitestone says:
The thing with CB11 is that they allow the neighborhood to be overdeveloped, but when it comes to improvements on the express bus such as the QM3 or QM20. They don't care and you have people like Andy Rothman who will oppose bus improvements even if its on a big street like Northern Blvd. The most ironic thing to Andy Rothman opposing bus improvements is that CB11 sent a letter to the MTA asking them for more QM3 buses, yet people like Andy Rothman, the transportation chair for CB11 doesn't want bus improvements
March 26, 2014, 2:07 pm
uhuh from Queens says:
CB11 - read their meeting notes. Every demolition gets approved. They spend most of their time with members complaining about the width of a driveway on their block. They do not delve into real issues of beautiful homes being replaced by eyesores or so called churches on every block and filling vacant store fronts. They need to actually make real decisions not just show up for coffee and cake.
March 27, 2014, 8:58 am
Randi Crovets from Whitestone says:
Yes also Frank Skala is nothing but a Santa Claus who struts his stuff and is nothing more than a useless nut
March 28, 2014, 4:35 am

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