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Joe Conley, Community Board 2 Chair, is Stepping Down

Joe Conley (third from left)

Joe Conley (third from left) at groundbreaking

Dec. 4, 2014 Christian Murray

Joe Conley, the long-serving Community Board 2 chair, is stepping down.

Multiple sources said that Conley, who has been chair for over 25 years, will be making the announcement tonight when Community Board 2 has its full monthly meeting.

Conley’s departure from the community board will result in the biggest shake up the board has seen in nearly 30 years. For the past decade, the same leadership structure has been in place: Conley as chairman; Steve Cooper, first vice chairman; Patrick O’Brien, second vice chairman; Lisa Deller, secretary, and Diane Ballek, treasurer

Tonight the board will be holding an election for all of these positions and at the very least there will be a new chairperson. At this point, the field is wide open, according to sources. Board members were only alerted to Conley’s departure yesterday.

“It will be an interesting transition,” said Lisa Deller, who is the head of the land use committee. “Joe has contributed a lot. He has given his heart and soul to the board, and whether people are for or against what he has done…it should not be forgotten that he has gone above and beyond.”

Joe-Conley-250x2501Conley could not be reached for comment.

Conley, who has always been the recipient of great praise from his fellow board colleagues, was instrumental in turning the prostitute-ridden Long Island City into the thriving neighborhood it is today. He was also was the chair during the Sunnyside-Woodside rezoning.

The chairperson has significant control of the board. He/she decides which members sit on what committees and who chairs them. The chair is also the one who runs the monthly meetings and is the public face of the board.

While the community board is deemed advisory, it does have significant influence– particularly on land use, liquor license and transportation issues.

The new chair will take the helm at a time when there are many ongoing issues. There is the ongoing debate about backyard seating in Long Island City, the construction of affordable housing, continued development and the possible construction over the Sunnyside Yards.

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Click for Comments 
damn phoney pols, all of em!!

if you elect me I vow NEVER to take a pic with a shovel and a suit. i will let the other 3 guys hold up the dirt filled shovels while I put a donut into my mouth.

Jess W.

Pat O’Brien is the new chair apparently. Anybody know his political affiliation? I don’t care much for either, but I am curious. Another Democrat like Conley?


So he announced this yesterday and the elections took place already? Well that really opens it up for a fair election with a diverse group of candidates. What a complete joke.

celtic bark

My guess is he’ll get a cushy, extremely well-paid job from one of his political backers for all his years of service.

Big poppa Pump

its about time. These freeloaders get in these positions to say too long. Open the field for young professional business owners that understand the needs of other prospects instead of these retired do nothing’s that belly ache or fall asleep at the meetings. MOVE ON!!!!

Jess W.

They only want dinosaurs. Even the people who work on CB2 are well past due for retirement. The youngest assistant, I’m sure, is around 60. I’m in my late 40’s and even I know that it’s not their time anymore. We all want what’s best for the neighborhood but that means including some of the folks in their 20’s, 30’s, and maybe early 40’s, who also grew up in the area and care about its future. They’re not all hipsters and slackers, and at least they can keep up with the times. Look at the CB2 website and compare it to those of the other Queens Community Boards. It’s absolute rubbish! They never update their minutes and the ones that are updated are never edited.


The assistants do what they’re paid to do. Their ages have no bearing on their ability to do their jobs. If you don’t like the website, volunteer to update it for them. I see your comments on other articles and I usually agree with you, but I think you’re picking on the wrong people.

Thank God for democratic socialism! It has provided us with police departments, fire departments, public schools, 8 hour work days, weekends, equal pay, equal opportunity, laws against sexual harassment and oh yes LAWS AGAINST AGE DISCRIMINATION. If you’re so very concerned with who is working at CB2, then I recommend that you submit your resume along with anyone else who might be interested. If everyone is as old as you say then they’ll retire soon enough and you can have the board you want.

Sam Adams

Retire? Please, they’ll go extinct. Those silly women and all their precious board members could die in they’re sleep and no one would care. The neighborhood would be righ better for it.

El loco

How about Chaim Weiss as the next head of the community board and then we can name a street after him.

El loco

Typical Pat Dorfman. Keep the status quo. They will just another guy similar to him in and he’ll be there for another 25 years.

Patricia Dorfman

I have differed recently with Joe Conley on the Yards, but my entire experience with Joe Conley is that he has given of himself like a champion to all of us; a decent, good man who served his country and this community.


Certainly a community board member – never mind about a chair! – should live where they try to wield their influence. Here’s to hoping for a future in the area that is more reflective of its residents – whatever that may look like!


I (CHANGE!!) nominate (CHANGE!!!) myself (CHANGE!!!), we need, are you ready for it?// CHANGE!!!

Jess W.

“At this point, the field is wide open” Does that mean my grouchy neighbor who yells at his tv can be the new chairperson? They must be considering somebody.


Hmmmmm, very mixed emotions here. There is an old saying that goes something about “the devil you know”.

Hopefully we will have term limits soon.

In any event, best wishes to you Joe Conley.


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