CB14: Serious Commitment

 CB14: Serious Commitment

Dear Editor:

Back in the 1990s, when my Dad was on Community Board 14, I’d occasionally go to a meeting and think, “How the hell does he sit through these three-hour marathons?” Fast forward 30 years and I am the one leaving the Knights of Columbus after 10 p.m.

Even though the community board’s role is only advisory (i.e., we have no authority here whatsoever), it is an important institution. In Rockaway, where we are increasingly divided by bad roads and false racial narratives, it’s the one place you can go to hear what’s going on in every neighborhood from the Nassau County line to Breezy Point. We are not “one Peninsula” if we don’t know the people just a couple of miles away.

That sense of being in it together is incredibly important as bureaucrats in City Hall try to reinvent our hometown. No single neighborhood can fight against the egregious upzoning (e.g., City of Yes), bad bus routes, and poor school planning without the help of neighbors up and down the peninsula.

However, if you are considering applying for CB 14, please understand that it’s a serious time commitment. We have long monthly meetings, sporadic committee meetings and a fair amount of homework to do. The Borough President likes to brag about the changes he’s made to community boards. Last year, he added some great community leaders to CB 14. He has also given us a lot of dead wood – people who never show up.

Indeed, we fail to reach a quorum (50% attendance) about half the time, which means we can’t do our job, we can’t voice Rockaway’s opinion on proposed projects, we can’t send letters to City Hall demanding improved services. CB 14 needs good citizens to replace the no-shows and to get experience before people like me move on due to term limits.

If you want to help shape Rockaway’s future and improve relations up and down the peninsula, please apply before February 16… but don’t take the job unless you can truly invest the time in being a great CB 14 member.

Paul King

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