As a member of Community Board 11, I take exception to the Jan. 14 TimesLedger Newspapers editorial “The ‘Dangerous’ Sign,” in which you ridiculed the vote by the board to have the illuminated sign in front of Bayside High School removed.
Illuminated signs are allowed in certain zones under certain conditions. This particular sign is illegal for this particular site. An unlit sign with removable letters would have been acceptable to the surrounding community. Perhaps the school administration should have reached out to its neighbors to work out a mutually agreeable solution before the sign was erected.
You also belittled the fact that there are those who have issues with a church being constructed in a residential Bayside neighborhood. Community facilities can pose problems depending on where they are constructed and how they affect traffic flow, parking availability and the quality of life for existing adjacent homeowners. Homeowners are naturally concerned with how any project will affect their neighborhood. Community facility regulations need to be reviewed and updated by the City Council with input from all community members.
There are many other problems that lace our neighborhoods. At the community board, we have heard how certain businesses show a lack of respect for their residential neighbors. Community advocate Mandingo Tshaka recently spoke about the problem with some of the auto-related businesses along Northern Boulevard. He explained how some of the businesses degrade his neighborhood by parking cars on the sidewalk and ignore conditions in their variances, and in some cases neglect to renew variances.
The community board is made up of almost 50 unpaid volunteers. As different area issues come up, we hear many different opinions expressed. I do not always agree with every decision the board makes, but board members give their time and energy in listening to and addressing community problems and concerns. The community board is a venue for public discussion of the issues that affect us all.
Rather than be dismissive and sarcastic of community board actions, I would recommend the editor attend community board and civic association meetings to get a better understanding of the issues of the day and how they affect local residents.