No term limits for community boards

By Henry Euler

The NYC Charter Revision Commission is currently considering various changes to the city charter that would amend various governmental practices in our city.

Public hearings have been held, giving the people a chance to give their opinions on governmental matters that need to be changed or improved. The commission will then issue a report that will discuss findings and recommendations to change the city charter.

These changes will be brought before the voters for their approval or disapproval in the general election.

There have been proposals that community board members should be term limited. I disagree with that stance. I have served on my local Community Board 11 for several years and have seen firsthand the importance of experience on my board.

The institutional knowledge that our seasoned board members possess assists with decision making with frequent regularity.

Many of the experienced people on my board have lived in their communities for long periods of time and understand the needs and workings of those communities.

This year six new members joined my board. Last year, six other new members joined as well. We still have six vacancies on my board.

I believe that we have an excellent mix in terms of diversity, age, and viewpoints.

My board is changing naturally, with longtime members gradually leaving the board and those positions being replaced by new people every year.

There is no need to remove from the board knowledgeable unpaid volunteers who have served with distinction and integrity over the course of several years to better their communities.

I believe that this is the case for many of the boards across the city. Term limiting will result in weaker boards, in my opinion, because of the loss of experienced members.

Every board member must renew their membership every two years. The local City Council member and the borough president decide whether to reappoint the board member or not.

If there are issues with a board member, that member may not be reappointed, so serving on a local board is not a lifetime appointment.

It is important that all community voices are heard on our community boards.

Even though boards are only advisory in nature, all sectors of the community merit representation on those boards.

I would urge all community members who are interested to consider joining their local boards. Applications (they are online at queensbp.org) are filed in January, with appointments announced in March.

Henry Euler


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