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Community Board 2 to Appoint ‘Public Members’ to Increase Neighborhood Participation

Community Board 2 holds it committee meetings monthly at its office located at 43-22 50th St. in Woodside (GMaps)

Sept. 27, 2022 By Christian Murray

Community Board 2 is offering residents of Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City with the opportunity to become more involved in the district by appointing what’s known as “public members.”

Residents appointed as public members would be able to join one of the many committees on the board and weigh in on issues such as zoning, the issuance of liquor licenses, to the installation of bicycle lanes.

There are 11 committees residents can apply to be part of, including the Landuse and Housing Committee, the City Services & Public Safety committee, and the Transportation Committee. Committee meetings are held monthly at the board office at 43-22 50th St.

A public member would be a voting member of a given committee, which makes recommendations to the full 50-person community board. The recommendations from the committees—particularly with rezoning applications and transportation issues—typically have a significant impact when the full board votes.

The board has opened applications for residents seeking to become public members, and people who are interested are able to apply online. The deadline is Oct. 15.

“We want to provide people in the community with the opportunity to participate,” said Community Board 2 chair Morry Galonoy. “We want people to get involved and we are also looking for people with a wide range of viewpoints.”

The concept of public members has been part of the Community Board 2 bylaws for many years—although there was never a formal process established for people to sign on.

Community Board 2 chair Morry Galonoy (Photo courtesy of Morry Galonoy)

Galonoy said that the board revamped its bylaws in June and created a process to appoint public members.

He said that there will be room for a maximum of two public members per committee to ensure that the expertise and viewpoints of full board members are not diminished. Each committee tends to have between 6 to 12 members.

Galonoy said that he will review the applications and will make appointments after consultation with committee chairs. He said that he seeks people who have expertise in a given field or have viewpoints that will broaden the discussion.

“We’re going to pay special attention to folks, especially for something like land use, who have some kind of professional knowledge or experience,” Galonoy said.

Galonoy said that public members will be appointed for one-year terms. This year, he plans to make appointments in November after reviewing applications over the course of the next month. However, in upcoming years, the board aims to establish one-year terms that would go from September through June.

A regular community board member serves two-year terms and is appointed by the Borough President typically in consultation with a council member. The positions are term limited, with members limited to serve no more than four consecutive two-year terms.

Galonoy said the concept of being a public member not only helps residents get more involved but could also be a pathway for people to become full board members. He said that the public members—should they be appointed later as full board members—would join with institutional knowledge.

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10 Comments

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howard brickman

great idea…love the idea…i have been active in our community for many years and i a going to submit my application

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Rita S.

The CB 2 does nothing to help the residents that they serve. I have called on them esp for that Hotel turned in homeless shelter on QB & 53rd St for numerous complains. This bldg does not turn the lights around their property .Its soo dark in that parking lot its scary. I was told they got in touch with social service & as of today nothing was done. Thank you Maryanne for nothing

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Martha's Vineyards: Migrants Not Welcome

I nominate Change Guy. He might be broke but he probably has more working brain cells than a lot of politicians.

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YOUCANTKIDAKIDDER

You make me laugh! The last council member and many members of the current board made it clear they wanted no one with institutional knowledge to stay around! They were all dead wood that was sinking the community with its old ideas. Only new blood and fresh ideas! Geese. You either have no insight or no shame. One thing is certain, you don’t know how it all works because it takes time to learn the complexities of such a huge system. Enthusiasm and energy only take you so far.

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Grow Up - we know your name

This is clearly one of the former members who stomped their feet, quit, and ran home without their ball when they didn’t get their way 100% of the time. Compromise and discus with people who don’t all agree all the time is what it’s all about.

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YOUCANTKIDAKIDDER

Nope. Never a member. I’m not tough enough for the blood sport politics is. But I watch and learn. When the council person fails to renew appointments, says he would not renew appointments all over Queens if elected to a new office and fights with dedicated volunteers who actually knew how to get things done, something is up. And when new members scoff at the needs of the vast majority of residents in favor of radical change by a zealous sliver of the population, you know intelligent discussion will fail to close the breach. If you don’t get that, maybe you will in twenty years.

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