QUEENS, NY – Queens Borough President Melinda Katz stated the following in response to questions about Community Board 9’s decision to proceed with its District Manager search and selection process this evening despite the public’s concerns raised in recent weeks:

“Public confidence in how Community Boards operate is not something to be dismissed by its leadership,” said Borough President Katz.  “Such insistence on proceeding despite newspaper accounts questioning the process does nothing to help assuage the perception of conflicts at play in Community Board 9, and warrants a higher level of scrutiny.  Such disregard for the serious questions and concerns raised by the public about this search and selection process is deeply disappointing and fully noted.

“It’s perplexing at best as to why Community Board 9 feels it is absolutely necessary to steamroll this important decision upon a Board that may or may not be the same in 28 days,” Borough President Katz continued. “Over six months have lapsed since the former District Manager tendered her resignation. The length of time it has taken the Board to move this forward demonstrates the ongoing governance issues which have been prevalent on Community Board 9. At this point, the prudent thing for the Board to do in the interest of the community at large would have been to pause the process for merely a month until the new terms begin.”

Over half of Community Board 9 members’ current terms expire on March 31, 2015.  In addition, the present Chair of the Board has announced he will not run for re-election.  Whether the make-up of the Board remains largely the same or different, there will in fact be new leadership.  That new leadership, with the Board, should decide whether the process thus far has been appropriate and how best to move forward.

Borough President Katz’s Director of Community Boards Barry Grodenchik will read the above statement in-full for the record at the Community Board 9 Special Meeting scheduled for this evening at 7:45pm at Queens Borough Hall (Room 200).

In light of significant concerns raised by the public about Community Board 9’s District Manager search and selection process, Borough President Katz had advised in a letter to the Board Chair dated February 23, 2015 that it would be “in the best interests of the Board and the residents who will be served by the new district manager to postpone the selection until after April.”  Full text of the letter is available upon request.