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Charter Revision

Mayor’s Charter Revision Commission proposes drastic changes to community boards

Borough Presidents appoint the members of New York City’s 59 community boards, we work more closely with the boards than other elected officials, and we are the boards’ first and most direct source of advice and technical support. We know what it takes for boards to do their job well, and we know how important that job is—because community boards are neighborhoods’ early-warning system and advocate during high-stakes land use and real estate negotiations.

That’s why I joined my counterparts from the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island in signing a letter to the chairman of the mayor’s 2018 Charter Revision Commission, sounding the alarm over proposals that would weaken our community boards by instituting term limits for community board members and shifting community board support services to a new “Civic Engagement Commission.”

The term limits component is especially worrying. Community boards need to be able to rely on experienced members with know-how and institutional memory if they’re going to properly scrutinize complicated land use proposals and negotiate effectively with real estate power players over the fate of projects in their neighborhoods. By putting an expiration date on every community board member, we will be strengthening the already-strong hand of developers whose job it is to build as high and as densely as possible. You can read our entire letter here.

At this writing, the Mayor’s commission is about to finalize this language so that their proposals can go before the voters on the November 6, 2018 General Election ballot.

Categories: Charter Revision