By Mark Hallum
Community Board 11’s District Manager Susan Seinfeld is retiring at the end of June, it was announced at the Monday monthly meeting.
Chairwoman Christine Haider Haider broke the news suddenly and reactions reverberated throughout the auditorium at MS 158 in Bayside with several people exclaiming “No!” in near unison.
An ad hoc district manager search committee will be assembled by Haider to find a replacement for Seinfeld, who has served the community board for well over a decade.
Seinfeld was a spokeswoman for former Councilman Sheldon Leffler (D-Hollis) before becoming the district manager for CB 11 and now has grandchildren she would like to spend more time with.
Her son currently lives in Florida, while her daughter lives in the Chicago area.
Seinfeld expressed the desire to “relax and enjoy.”
She had recently taken part in getting a Long Island Rail Road yard in Bayside cleaned up with the help of state Assemblyman Edward Braunstein (D-Bayside) and state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside). Tucked within a highly residential area, the yard became a point of contention between the LIRR and homeowners in February when complaints surfaced about a large diesel engine used for repair work idling long hours and many times into the late night and early morning. People in surrounding homes raised concerns over their health, the foundations of their homes from the vibrations and the toxic exhausted emanating from the machine.
James Lollo said the freshly treated railroad ties brought in on trucks carried with them caustic fumes, which burned eyes and irritated throats.
On another front, Henry Euler, a CB 11 member, proposed that the community board endorse a pair of bills which will address building violations and illegal conversions.
Intro 1133, sponsored by Councilman James Vacca (D-Bronx), will deny building permits to property owners or developers who owe more than $25,000 in violations on the property in question.
“For example, if a developer owns four properties and he/she owes $8,000 in building fines on each property, that adds to $32,000, which is over the $25,000 threshold. No building permits would be granted to that person until fines are paid,” Euler said.
Councilman Barry Grodenchik (D-Oakland Gardens), who was in attendance, spoke in favor of the bill, according to Euler.
Intro 1218, sponsored by Councilman Vincent Gentile (D-Brooklyn), fines property owners for converting single room occupancy dwellings to suit any more than what is indicated on the certificate of occupancy. Owners would pay up to $15,000 for every unit beyond what is allowed.
When a complaint is filed to the Department of Buildings, it is usual for the agency to close the case after making two failed attempts to enter the building,” Euler said. “With this bill, the [DOB] would then be able to get a warrant to enter the building after the failed attempts to gain entrance to the building to determine if violations exist.”
A lien could be placed on properties with outstanding fines until a resolution is reached. If not, the city may seize the property after a time and sell it, according to Euler.
There are 20 co-sponsors for the bill, including Councilmen Paul Vallone (D-Bayside), Peter Koo (D-Flushing) and Grodenchik.
A motion of approval for CB11 to issue a letter of endorsement for these bills gained a majority of votes.
Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhall