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Stringer vows to keep close eye on city contracts

City Comptroller Scott Stringer addresses a Community Board 7 meeting Monday night. Photo by Alex Robinson
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Newly inaugurated city Comptroller Scott Stringer made a surprise appearance at a Community Board 7 meeting Monday.

He spoke about his new job and the city’s newly elected officials before taking a few questions from board members about city contracts, pensions and labour contracts.

“Some people get a little nervous when there is all that change, but I will tell you this is a great opportunity for New York so we can re-imagine some of the issues we care about and look at things in a different way,” he said. “The future of economic development and the future of this city lie in our boroughs, and we have to start paying attention to the economic well-being of the entire city. This is the message I think the voters sent.”

Stringer said he will closely oversee city contracts starting in the Request- For-Proposal stage of projects. He also said he hopes to create a more transparent way for the public to see where the city’s capital budget is going.

After the comptroller left, the community board voted on two applications.

The first was an application by Spa Castle for a permit to build parking on the roof of its facility, at 11-11 131st St.

Community board members said they had no problem with the plan to build parking itself, but expressed concerns about the facility’s garbage on 131st Street because it had been spilling onto the street.

“As a College Point resident, I have absolutely no problem with approving their construction if they move their garbage to 132nd Street,” said Andrew Rocco, president of the College Point Civic Association and a CB 7 member.

A representative of Spa Castle, which has been operating in College Point for seven years, said it accepted the condition.

CB 7 unanimously approved the permit under the condition the spa move its garbage to 132nd Street.

The second application was by a gym, at 30-50 Whitestone Expwy., that was seeking a special permit to operate legally.

The gym had been operating with the wrong permits since it opened in 2002 and was only alerted to the fact it needed special permission to operate in 2012 by the city Department of Buildings.

CB 7 also unanimously approved the second application.

The community board later held elections to elect its executive committee.

Chairman Gene Kelty was not challenged and will remain in his position for 2014. Chuck Apelian and Frank Macchio will also remain in their positions as second and third vice chairmen.

CB 7 elected two new members to the executive committee: Warren Schreiber and Barbara McHugh.

Schreiber beat Kim Ohanian to become third vice chairman. McHugh defeated Joshua Sussman to became fourth vice chairman and secretary.

Joseph Femenia stepped down as fourth vice chairman and decided not to run for an executive committee post this year.

Reach reporter Alex Robinson by e-mail at arobinson@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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