By Phil Corso
The Bayside Village Business Improvement District held its fourth annual meeting Monday, electing a somewhat new board with one spot still to be determined. BID executives also discussed the group’s financial outlook throughout the past year while its new executive director outlined plans for the future.
In its mostly uncontested election, the BID welcomed back most of the same board that served through the last year, with some new faces representing property owners and commercial tenants. Of those new faces, Mark Boccia and John DeFina will represent property owners on the board, and David Lilienthal and Edward Teran will represent commercial tenants. The new board will also meet in the coming months to appoint its new executives.
Current Chairman Jim Riso said he will not return to the executive position, but was reelected to serve as a board member.
The only contested spot went toward the board’s sole resident position for either Mitchell Catanzano or former Executive Director Gregg Sullivan, but due to questions regarding proxy votes in the election, the position has been put on hold for now, the BID said.
Sullivan said he originally expected to be considered in the race to represent commercial tenants instead of residents, but the city clarified that commercial tenants must be lease holders with properties within the BID, which Sullivan was not.
Though the election process was met with some outcry for a lack of contest, Riso said the BID had given several public notices urging members to inquire if interested in assembling their own slate to run.
City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone) serves as one of the board’s elected officials and said the board would remain somewhat the same because there were not enough applicants for the election process.
Riso said he hoped that anyone interested in serving on the board who might not have been in the election could still contribute by serving on committees before trying to run in next year’s election.
In previous public meetings, new Executive Director Lyle Sclair was a new face working to establish a dialogue with his new colleagues in the Bayside Village business district.
But by the BID’s annual meeting Monday, Sclair spoke with conviction, outlining his plan to re-brand Bell Boulevard and establish an identity.
“Moving forward, we need to answer the question, ‘What is Bayside Village?’” Sclair said. “It is much more than just eating and drinking. I am hoping we can create a sense of place here and engage the public in branding Bayside Village.”
Sclair outlined his plans to incorporate various events into Bell Boulevard’s business district to promote the area while servicing both business owners and residents through the BID’s $131,368 budget.
BID members and city leaders spoke in favor of the BID’s performance, including Halloran and city Comptroller John Liu.
“It is hard to believe it has been four years already,” Liu said. “But you can clearly see a great deal of progress.”
Halloran said the BID has seen a lot of growth through its first four years and he hoped to see more progress under Sclair’s leadership.
“This BID has really started to take off and do things other BIDs would be jealous of,” Halloran said.
Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 718-260-4573.