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BID to Hold Elections Tuesday Night

Oct. 3, 2011 Staff Report

Sunnyside Shines, which was formed to reinvigorate and better Sunnyside’s business district, is holding its annual meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 4 at Dazies Restaurant. (39-41 Queens Blvd). The event will take place at 7:30 pm.

The board of directors are up for reelection. While the public is invited, only property owners and commercial tenants in the business district are permitted to vote.

The current board of directors can be found at the following link.

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$6$

The best thing that could happen for the residents of Sunnyside would be for the IRS to sweep in and audit every dollar store, every nail salon, every convenience store, the Sunnyside Shines BID and its board of directors.

Somehow it just seems like Sunnyside (and other towns in Queens) have become havens for tax evasion and money laundering scams for people who live elsewhere. While they profit the citizens suffer.

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oldtimer

Hi Anonymous,

AS YOU HAVE A GREAT KNOWLEDGE OF BID, AND I CAN ONLY WRITE WHAT I HAVE READ HERE.

JOHN VOGHT DOES NOT OWN ANY POROPERTY IN SUNNYSIDE, HE WORKS FOR WHITE CASTLE IN SUNNYSIDE AS A MANAGER, THAT IS NOT OWNING, IT IS AN EMPLOYEE!

YOU SAID I SHOULD “Walk your talk, or shut up’,
I WOULD HAVE WALKED TO THE MEETING HAD I KNOWN ABOUT IT IN SUFFICENT TIME. 24 HOURS NOITCE FOR AN AGM??
THE MEETING WAS POSTED HERE ON MONDAY NIGHT, HARDLY MUCH TIME FOR A RETIRED PERSON TO GET READY.

I CAN’T WALK VERY WELL, BUT OVER THE PAST 60 YEARS I HAVE TALKED AT ALL THE MEETINGS, BUT I WILL NOT SHUT UP.
AS A FINALL QUESTION TO ANONYMOUS, HOW MANY PEOPLE OF COLOR, WERE AT THE MEETING LAST NIGHT, 10 ? 20? IMMIGRANTS 10? 20?
OR WAS IT AN ALL WHITE AFFAIR?

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sunnysider

old timer I love your candor…do you want the job. We need someone who lives here and is invested in our future. How was all this allowed to happen in our town, Why was a bid built with our money but without home grown ownership. We need to take control of our bid and make it work for us.

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Anonymous

RE: “oldtimer”‘s “Here ARE some facts about SUNNYSIDE SHINES BID.” I am not an apologist for the BID, but I act upon facts and not conjecture. It’s not that hard to get to the bottom of the situation if one is willing to look for proper information before spouting off platitudes and hearsay online. To wit:

A LIFELONG SUNNYSIDE RESIDENT WAS FIRED AS DIRECTOR OF SUNNYSIDE BID and REPLACED BY JERSEY CITY COMMUTER JAMES BRAY.

The BID Board, as with any other Board of Directors, has the prerogative to conduct their own personnel practices. Residence in the neighborhood is not a requirement for serving as the BID’s Executive Director.

The Business Improvement District (BID) Has A Budget Of Over $300,000!

Their annual budget is exactly $300,000

John Vogt, the chairman of Sunnyside Shines, doesn’t own a business or property in the neighborhood. HE LIVES IN LINDENHURST, LONG ISLAND.

He own property in the neighborhood.

James Bray, the executive director of Sunnyside Shines, doesn’t own a business or property in the neighborhood. HE LIVES IN JERSEY CITY, NEW JERSEY.

See above.

BID payS $33,000 a year to RENT AN OFFICE THAT IS RARELY OPENED!

The BID pays less than $24,000 annually for their office space. They are open all weekdays to serve their constituents.

NO FORMAL VOTE WAS TAKEN TO APPOINT BRAY AS EXECTUTIVE DIRECTOR

The BID’s Board of Directors voted on the appointment.

The job was NEVER advertized .

“Advertised.” It was.

MORE STOREFRONTS ON QUEENS BOULEVARD AND GREENPOINT AVENUE ARE SHUTTERED NOW THAN EVER!

No. The greatest vacancy rate wa sin the 1980’s-1990s.

SUNNYSIDE NEEDS COMPETENT, COMMITTED, DIVERSE, PROGRESSIVE, LEADERSHIP FROM PEOPLE WHO HAVE A VESTED INTEREST IN SUNNYSIDE!

What are you doing personally to solve the problem? Enlighten us. Or do you just post on the internet and bitch about things but sit on your hands when work needs to be done? Walk your talk, or shut up.

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oldtimer

Here ARE some facts about SUNNYSIDE SHINES BID

A LIFELONG SUNNYSIDE RESIDENT WAS FIRED AS DIRECTOR OF SUNNYSIDE BID and REPLACED BY JERSEY CITY COMMUTER JAMES BRAY.

The Business Improvement District (BID) Has A Budget Of Over $300,000!

John Vogt, the chairman of Sunnyside Shines, doesn’t own a business or property in the neighborhood. HE LIVES IN LINDENHURST, LONG ISLAND.

James Bray, the executive director of Sunnyside Shines, doesn’t own a business or property in the neighborhood. HE LIVES IN JERSEY CITY, NEW JERSEY.

BID payS $33,000 a year to RENT AN OFFICE THAT IS RARELY OPENED!

According to the Sunnyside Post on February 12, 2010:
Sunnyside Shines HIRED BRAY BECAUSE HIS FATHER REPORTS TO VOGT, who is the regional director of White Castle.

Recent College Graduate James Bray grew up in Hillsborough, New Jersey and attended Rutgers University. Bray said he “KNEW NOTHING ABOUT QUEENS” before joining BID. His previous work experience includes selling barbeques at Lowes Home Improvement.

NO FORMAL VOTE WAS TAKEN TO APPOINT BRAY AS EXECTUTIVE DIRECTOR

The job was NEVER advertized .

MORE STOREFRONTS ON QUEENS BOULEVARD AND GREENPOINT AVENUE ARE SHUTTERED NOW THAN EVER!

SUNNYSIDE CAN’T AFFORD TO SUBSIDIZE NEPOTISM AND CRONYISM!

SUNNYSIDE NEEDS COMPETENT, COMMITTED, DIVERSE, PROGRESSIVE, LEADERSHIP FROM PEOPLE WHO HAVE A VESTED INTEREST IN SUNNYSIDE!

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sunnysider

All of you should go to dazies and attend the meeting. all the new stores on qublvd can vote and alot of them are not wihite like the noodle store . We certainly need to be diverse in our town with new voices. We need new marketing in our town. Other than running 6 events a year we need events run every month. Other than coupons that we may not be able to affort to spend that much money to buy stuff. like spend 100 dollars and get 10 percent off.

we need some changes and we need to get our seniors out of the house how about a services to get people out for docotr appts and shopping and movies and why is no discoiunts on all restaruants only some..How about some cpncerts in the park or in our churches. we need some exciting new markting ideas to spark our town. Not just the blvd or greenpoint or skillman we need to be united together.

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Allen

Where’s the diversity on BID?

There are the Turkish, Indian, Romanian, Colombian, Korean, Nepalese business owners in Sunnyside.
At least a third of the neighborhood speaks Spanish.
Where are the Hispanic business owners and community members?
This is one of the most diverse neighborhoods on the planet. Underscore PLANET.
I am willing to bet that more than half the businesses covered by the BID are owned by people who weren’t born in the US.

No Immigrants, No people of Color, No minorities?

BID is an all white board?

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Jim Bob

Hi 45 year Resident of Sunnyside!

If you the following link at the top of this page you will see the current board of directors.

Board of Directors

Executive Committee

John Vogt, Chair
White Castle System, Inc.

Chris Winchester, Vice-Chair
Pickman Realty

Arthur Weiner, Treasurer
LIC Building, Inc.

Patrice Lee, Secretary
April Glass

Board Members

Steve Fleischer
Ownership Realty

Lillian Gavin
Dazies Restaurant

Gerald Lederman
Triad Management

Maureen Lynch
Lynch Funeral Home

Joseph Wessely
Dime Savings Bank

Alicia Prendergast
Sunnyside Resident

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45 year Resident of Sunnyside!

Jim Bob, sorry I just read your comments, I do agree with most of it. For the record Vogt in not the Chairman of the Chamber Board, Ira Greenberg is the Chairman of the Board, When Vogt left most of the new Chamber Board are residents and have businesses in Sunnyside! The Chamber has made big changes for the good with most of the Board living in Sunnyside and Woodside

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sunnyside_south

would love to hear Bray explain how $400K was spent on arch restoration, or even how photos w. santa apparently cost $10K.

also curious as to whether he moved to the area after getting the job or if he is still a NJ resident.

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firsttimeon

BID stinks of nepotism.

BID Chairman’s nephew, and New Jersey resident gets the Exec Director job at $41,600.
You would think this type of position should go to someone who knows about the area.

What type of funding does this group receive?
If it gets public funding and taxdollars from the local pols, there should be some questions raised as tho who is benefiting from this.

Nice gig for a kid just starting out to get, esp considering his lack of experience.
big step up from selling grills at home depot !!!

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Susan

First, Curves closed many locations. As women grew bored with its exercise routines, they moved on. Some probably quit because of the economy. It was not a sustainable business model in this economy.

Second, please don’t look to Steinway Street as a model of great retail. Sure, up until the mid-1980s that would have been the case but the street has been lacking in diversity of stores and quality goods for many years. There are NUMEROUS banks, 99-cent stores, some clothing stores best suited to young women only; and a few shoe stores such as Payless and Fabco. No household goods except for Fantasy, which mostly carries linens (sheets, towels, shower curtains, draperies…a nice store, if it’s still in business).

Robbins, Eisenberg’s, Terry’s, all stores selling music/movies, independent pet shops, S&A, Woolworth, Godner’s, Dan Diamond, Blue Jay Decorators, Top Ten, Palomino Shoes (better quality shoes for women), Play World, Kiddie World, Dyeing for You (bridal/evening shoes), Saymel’s Bridal (which also sold coats at one time…not that the closing of this one is a loss)–all gone for years. All stores that did brisk business.

Steinway Street, too, had a pet store from hell until it burned down in a horrible fire–made worse by the impenetrable gates.

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sunnyside_south

First order of business: fine a QUALIFIED, experienced executive director who doesn’t admit freely to not knowing anything about Queens. Has this guy even moved to the area yet, or is he still living in NJ?

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Jim Bob

HI mike,
I just researched BID, NHERE ON sunnyside POST.
HERE IS THE HISTORY. FROM feb. 2010…

Sunnyside Shines Hires a New Executive Director–Update
Sunnyside Shines, a local business improvement district (BID), has hired 23-year-old James Bray as its new executive director.

Bray, who has just completed his studies at Rutgers University, will head the Sunnyside BID that has an annual budget of approximately $300,000 per year. The Jersey City resident will be the only full-time executive working for the public/private group.

The BID’s role is to promote business in Sunnyside. Its function is particularly important right now as a slew of businesses are struggling to survive. In recent months many businesses have closed, from Sugar & Joe, Flynn’s Pub, Sleepys, Nourish and Curves.

Bray, who said he knew “nothing about Queens” before joining the BID, was hired as a part-time worker in November to help Sunnyside Shines with is computer and network problems.

He was able to get the part-time job through his father Thomas Bray, who reports to John Vogt, the regional director at White Castle. Vogt is the chairman of Sunnyside Shines.

Thomas Bray and Vogt have worked together at White Castle for years. “They hang out all day at 34th Ave [White Castle],” James Bray said. “I used to see him at our BBQs.”

Vogt, a Lindenhurst resident, is also the chairman of the Sunnyside Chamber of Commerce and a board member on Woodside on the Move.

This will be Bray’s first executive role. He has worked as a Hillsborough Township Volunteer Firefighter in his hometown of Hillsborough, NJ, and has helped provide before- and after-school child care to working families for Catholic Charities. He also worked at Lowes Home Improvement, where he sold grills and other outdoor products.

Bray, who is being paid $41,600 (without healthcare), said that he brings a “fresh perspective to the job.” Many people in Sunnyside’s local organizations have been here a long time, he said.

Bray replaces Alyssa Bonilla, who was dismissed in early November.

Bray said he was selected after the executive board interviewed a number of candidates. The executive board is comprised of Vogt, Chris Winchester from Pickman Reality, and Treasurer Arthur Weiner, of LIC Building Inc. Following the executive board’s approval, the board of directors gave him the thumbs up, although there wasn’t a formal vote.

Vogt said he advertised the job through New York City’s BID association and received 6 or 7 resumes. The executive board went on to interview three or four candidates, but it was hard to get anyone for the position since the pay was low, he said.

However, according to New York City BID guidelines, Sunnyside Shines could have cast a much wider net in its search. The guideline reads: The “Committee should publish job notices in local and community newspapers, on relevant Web sites (e.g. Careerbuilder, Monster, International Downtown Association, Craigslist, Idealist, etc.), as well as career center Web sites at universities and colleges.”

But Vogt said he was impressed with Bray. “He was the best candidate and we believed that his degree in marketing and computer science–the nuts and bolts of modern marketing—will help the BID.”

Vogt said he notified the executive board and the board of directors (click link to see board members) to his relationship to Tom Bray. He said the board of directors had no objection to the hire.

He then said: “Bray is on a four or five month tria

Reply
Sunnyside resident long time

The facts of the matter are greenpoint avenue does not appear to count as part of Sunnyside. Any improvements that are done happen on skillman ave. U may ask why? And il tell u why! Money talks and bulls!!! Walks. I love skillman avenue but why can’t our local congress people do something about the other side of the blvd? Even if u look at queens boulevard there s not a decent nice store on it. Mayb the “people” who are worrying about the parking meters and getting free publicity for their business should worry more about their neighbors and less about the people who are actually paying for their parking every day. My thought s support your neighbors and stop patting yourself on the back.

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mike

Queens blvd business is a MESS!!! So these are the people to blame for the takeover by 99 cent stores and pawn shops? Right next door we have Astoria with real shopping, it is pathetic that these people can’t get business off the ground, how many tens thousands of people pass thru Sunnyside every day??

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Jim Bob

What exactly does BID do?

I looked at the current board of directors above link. Anyone know any of them/?

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sunnysider

Hello Bob , think it will be a dand d store or deals and discounts like in the strip mall on woodisde ave with michaels art store and pizza hut and boston market and subways to name a few right off northern blvd.

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Long time resident

It would be great if a the BID would encourage businesses in the area to actually make an effort to look decent and be decent neighbors. (Chase Bank and its jungle growing in front of its door on Greenpoint Blvd., Rite Aid’s inability to pick up the garbage along the sidewalk that abuts its property on 47th St. – not to mention snow removal in the winter, etc.)

I can’t help but notice that the business properties along Skillman are just maintained better than on the south side of the Blvd. Admittedly, there’s fewer over there, but can it really be just an exceptional group of owners/managers?

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Jim Bob

Lots of 99 Cent Stores, AND PAWN SHOPS!!!!

Now there is a 99 cent store coming to replace the vacant building, former pool hall. A 99 CENT STORE!!!
Just what we need in Sunnyside another shop selling garbage, is this all BID can attract to Sunnyside?

When BID was run by a Sunnyside resident, not a South Jersey College kid, this was not happening.
Will BID announce more 99 cent stores tomorrow night?!!

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sunnysider

I would think the same people will hold their position again for another year. We do have some new stores in the bid area it would be nice to have new blood in the bid.

I think it would be great if they advertised their promotions on their stores. Not one store has a sign on it with the new bid $1150 shopping spree for the lucky winner of they stickers and business they are doing right now. Is it a secret or can stores not advertise they are bid of bid by not have a sign on the doors or windows. The only two that lets you is Subways on 43rd street and April glass . Maybe I am wrong? I do not know. If so then corect me then.

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