Longtime Board 11 member’s application not renewed

By Patrick Donachie

Members of Community Board 11 expressed frustration that a longtime board member’s appointment was not renewed by the Queens borough president’s office at the board’s monthly meeting Monday.

Board Chairwoman Christine Haider made the announcement during the meeting, held at Middle School 158 at 46-35 Oceania St., that Melvyn Meer’s appointment had not been renewed.

Meer had been a member of the board since 2000, according to CB 11 District Manager Susan Seinfeld. She said it was fairly unusual for a board member’s application not to be renewed, to the best of her recollection.

No explanation was given for Meer’s removal from the board.

At the meeting, some community board members thought that they should draft a letter to the borough president’s office expressing their displeasure about the decision.

Board members are renewed to their respective community boards every two years, according to Sharon Lee, a spokeswoman for Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.

“Appointments and reappointments are made at the discretion of the borough president, pursuant with the city charter, half of which are in consultation with the City Council members,” she said.

Council members can offer guidance about board appointments, depending on how many people in the board live in that council member’s district.

Meer, a retired attorney who was interested in education issues during his stint on the board, said he had not yet received official notification from the borough president’s office about the decision. He said Haider called him to alert him to the news.

“When this happens, you do wonder what’s on their minds, and I really don’t know,” he said in a telephone interview. “I’m an active member, but I’m not particularly controversial.”

The meeting also included a presentation by Christina Farrell, a deputy commissioner at the city’s Office of Emergency Management, to detail the rules and procedures the city follows during emergency situations.

A representative from state Sen. Tony Avella’s (D-Bayside) office also announced the New York State Department of State would hold a hearing about whether or not the state should re-adopt “Cease and Desist” zoning laws that would make it illegal for real estate brokers to solicit individuals about their property. The meeting will be held at Bayside High School April 28 at 6 p.m.

Reach reporter Patrick Donachie by e-mail at pdona[email protected]cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4573.

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