January is the month that you may apply to serve on your local community board. Community Boards make advisory decisions on many aspects of neighborhood life, including on land use cases where variances and special permits have been requested, capital and expense budget matters as well as issues concerning transportation, education, environmental concerns, parks, health and community facilities, to name some of the areas. Serving on a community board is a non-paid, volunteer position.
Queens Community Board 11, where I serve, meets once a month, except in July and August. Board members are required to be part of a zoning committee from the area where they reside and are also encouraged to join a variety of standing committees of their choice.
There is an application to fill out and a process to follow in order to join any community board. Contact your local community board office or your council member for further information if you are interested in joining.
The local council member and the borough president select people to be on community boards from the applications that are submitted from the public. An appointment lasts two years and may be renewed by reapplying at the end of each term.
Also remember that most communities have a local civic association that advocates for improved services and better quality of life in their area. Most civic associations in Queens belong to the Queens Civic Congress, an umbrella organization of over 100 civic and community groups made up of people who care for their neighborhoods and work hard at building better communities for all residents.
Overdevelopment and inappropriate development are key concerns of most civic groups. I would encourage all homeowners to join their local civic organization. By working together, we can build stronger communities for ourselves and future generations.