Flatlands Civic Prez Calls For More Cash to Power Activists

By Charles Hack

President-elect Aiden Pursoo of the Flatlands Civic Association wants a stronger and better funded association under his leadership. Pursoo talked about the need for more fundraisers, and reviewing the association’s constitution at the meeting held at the Flatlands Civic Association at the Glenwood Senior Center at 5701 Ave. H on Jan. 26. Pursoo, editor of the monthly newsletter, The Lantern, and former public relations officer for the association, was elected in December as the new president. He said he wants to open a dialogue with members. He also spoke of the need for hosting informational events that engage the community. The first event for the new year will be a talk by a guest speaker in March on drug plans under Medicare Part D, because the May 15 deadline for seniors to select their drug plans is fast approaching. “We need to know exactly what we are supposed to do and when we have to do it,” said Pursoo. “So that we can get the most out of the new plan.” The civic association is also updating its constitution to make the group stronger, he said. A special board meeting was held on Jan. 12. to recommend updates for the full board to vote on. “We do have a few recommendations and the general body will vote on it,” see Pursoo. “Once we get those passed we will go to the next step of making it a legal document.” Secretary Ancilla Friday announced a number of proposed amendments to the constitution including increasing dues from $5 to $10 — to match the current charges. Pursoo stressed the need to raise funds through subscriptions and fundraisers to pay for services such as publishing The Lantern and providing refreshments at meetings. “We already had a change in the dues,” said Pursoo. “But it wasn’t written into the constitution, so that was fixed.” Article five of the constitution was also amended to state that elections would be held by paper ballot. The board voted to approve consolidating officers’ positions to make the board more streamlined. These included consolidating the treasurer and financial secretary positions, and merging the corresponding and recording secretary jobs under one secretarial title. But the board voted to retain second and third vice presidents. It was decided to retain up to 10 members at large, and to omit the name of the chair – currently vacant — from all correspondence until the position is filled. It was also decided to create a hospitality committee. In addition, the board voted that each board member must serve on at least one committee, and to prepare a job description for the secretary and public relations officer — because there had been some overlap in their responsibilities. Pursoo played these changes down. “These are minor changes that do not affect the running of the organization,” said Pursoo. “We are able to combine certain positions based on the number of people we have.” The association voted to accept the resignation of Joseph Burke as treasurer. Theresa McElroy replaces Kim Chavez as the 63rd Precinct community affairs officer. McElroy said that she would report back next meeting on how an investigation was going of a drive-by shooting, in which shots were fired at midday into a parked SUV on E. 57th Street between Avenues H and I. “It is very unusual to see or hear such a thing,” said Pursoo. Civic association member Marion Mazur said that someone had created a nightclub at a house near the corner of East 58th Street and Flatlands Avenue, and the pounding music was bothering her. She also pointed out that a large number of cars were parking up and down the street. “At weekends they start at 12 and go to all hours of the morning,” said Mazur. “My house shakes.” McElroy said that her precinct would investigate the problem, but to serve a summons they must observe the problem for at least 10 minutes. The community officer also warned residents to take care and not leave their cars unlocked or keys in the ignition when dropping into a store. This gives enough time for thieves to take something of value, such as keys or a pocket book. “You don’t need the hassle of canceling your credit card, or going to the precinct to make a report,” said McElroy. “Just lock the door; it takes just two seconds.” But overall, McElroy said that this year so far appeared calmer in the precinct than the previous year. Pursoo advised residents to be careful with identity theft, having become a victim himself. Someone opened a credit card account in his name using their own password and out-of-Brooklyn address. With a report, the credit card company cancelled the card, to avoid further transactions. Pursoo said that after closing the account, he arranged for the credit bureaus to not allow anyone to open a credit card in his name without direct authorization from him. “You’ve heard about it, you’ve read about it, but it’s real,” said Pursoo. “You have to be very careful.”

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