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Community members and CB4 members are concerned over the mayor’s “hasty” decision on term limits. TERM LIMITS continued from p. 3
would only benefit real estate developers and their lobbyists and advisors, reads the letter. “Our Community Boards are an earlywarning system and neighborhood advocates on high-stakes real estate matters,” Brewer told Chelsea Now. “It can take years for volunteer board members to build the technical knowledge they need to scrutinize and negotiate zoning and land use proposals from high-powered developers, lobbyists, and City Hall itself. I believe community boards need a mix of newer and more experienced members, and that’s why more than 360 out of Manhattan’s 600 Community Board members are new since I was elected — but we can’t afford to push out every single member after just four terms.” According to the letter, the borough presidents were in favor of reporting requirements on recruitment and appointment of community board members and implementing consistent guidelines for community board applications, saying that the “additional sunlight on government processes such as appointments to community boards is the most appropriate means of strengthening the process and increasing accountability.” Although leaders urged the 2018
Commission to reconsider and allow time for public review of the specifics, Bodine noted that on Sept. 4, these proposals were placed on the November general election ballot, where few voters will be privy to what is really at stake. Still, CB4 members will draft and sign a letter formally registering their opposition to this ballot measure. They argue that they are not anti-democratic, and are not even anti-term limit, as their own leaders work under two-year term limits. But they’re determined to retain the level of expertise that comes with long-term membership. And some members note that future city leaders often spring from the community board membership. Such is certainly the case with CB4, whose former Chair, Corey Johnson, moved up to City Councilmember and then Speaker of the City Council — something he might never have achieved without the solid foundation he gained at CB4. Johnson has not publicly weighed in on this aspect of the mayor’s Charter Revision. His Communications Director, Jennifer Fermino, told Chelsea Now that he is undecided on the issue. It will now go to voters to decide on term limits for community board members via the ballot measure in the Nov. 6 general election.
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JD Noland speaks out against the mayor’s proposed term limits. NYC Community Media
September 13, 2018
September 13, 2018