By Brendan Browne
Members of the 112th Police Precinct Community Council last week voted to re-elect Heidi Chain to serve as their president for two more years at the Forest Hills precinct.
The 60 council voters also chose the incumbent Alan Hackman for vice president, Gale Gordon for the new second vice president position, and Rene Lobo as new secretary. Todd Reisman and Karen Mongiello were re-elected as treasurer and sergeant-at-arms, respectively, and Phyllis Steinberg will fill the newly created assistant secretary seat.
In the race for president, Chain defeated the council’s current secretary Lynn Schulman by a 35-25 vote in what was said to be a contentious race with personal differences.
“As far as I’m concerned the campaign is over with, the differences are over with. It’s behind us,” said Treasurer Reisman, declining to comment on any specifics of the dispute between Chain and Schulman. “I’ve always believed in leaving the past behind.”
Chain denied any personal conflict with Schulman and said, “I ran on my record.” Schulman could not be reached for comment.
Judging from the backgrounds of a few of the candidates in the elections, this was no ordinary community race. Schulman, who has worked for several politicians and in many branches of city government, ran against Melinda Katz in the Democratic primary for a seat on the City Council. Katz won the election.
The new secretary, Lobo, a broadcast journalist, also competed against Katz in last year’s city council election. She ran as a Republican in the general election.
Chain, an attorney at the city’s Department of Finance, has a wealth of experience in community work, serving as council president for 5 1/2 years and set to begin a new term July 1. As the result of recent police community council rule changes, no term limits restricted Chain’s wishes to head the 112th’s council.
During the Giuliani administration, former Police Commissioner Howard Safir instituted council laws that limited officials to two two-year terms. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly abandoned that policy this year.
Chain said she plans on continuing to institute programs that foster a positive relationship between the police department and the community.
“We’re providing a way for our residents to interact with our police,” said Chain. “We work in partnership with the police to help them help in our community.”
The council will hold seminars in collaboration with the police on public safety issues, bioterrorism, and crime, she said. Seniors can get lessons on how to protect themselves from scams and homeowners can learn how to deter robberies, Chain added.
Police community councils all over the borough will hold “A Night Out Against Crime” on Aug. 6 when cops will give lessons in crime prevention and safety awareness. Raffles and blood drives will also be held then, Chain said.
Reach reporter Brendan Browne by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or by phone at 229-0300, Ext. 155.