THE COURIER/File photo
Seth Taylor

BY ECLEEN CARABALLO

Some Jackson Heights and Corona community members say they are “celebrating” as news came in that the executive director behind a controversial business improvement district expansion is resigning.

Seth Taylor, current executive director of the 82nd Street Partnership, announced this week he would be resigning from his position.

Starting Sept. 15, he will begin serving as the executive director of the NoHo NY BID. The move, he said, was done because he “felt it was a professionally opportune time to move onto another opportunity — in this case, NoHo.”

Taylor and the committee at the 82nd Street Partnership have been working to expand the business improvement district (BID) to Roosevelt Avenue and tackle issues of graffiti, crime, poor lighting and lack of sanitation.

Yet they have also been faced with the issue of a lack of support from residents and business owners in the area — many of whom claim that the change is not worth the rise of costs and would kick out immigrant business owners.

Marty Kirchner of Queens Neighborhood United, and some members of the Queens community, said they are “celebrating” the news of Taylor’s resignation.

Kirchner, speaking on behalf of Queens Neighborhoods United, a coalition of social justice activists, expressed “feeling bad” for those in NoHo. In a release, he claims that Seth Taylor’s resignation was welcomed with open arms by many members of the community.

“The resignation of Seth Taylor is a victory for the neighbors of Roosevelt Avenue,” said Christian Guiñanzaca, an organizer with the coalition. “Seth Taylor has always looked down on the immigrant communities of Queens. This just goes to show that you don’t mess with the people and come back unscratched.”

Still, Taylor says he feels he has succeeded, and that the general response he has received has been one of gratitude.

“This is an extremely diverse community and people are entitled to think and feel the way they like to,” Taylor said. “When you lead a neighborhood change initiative like we’ve done there’s always going to be individuals and groups of people that are resistant to any kind of change.”

Taylor, who has been the executive director for the 82nd Street Partnerships since 2012, said that although he is excited to begin his journey in a new borough, he considers his time in Queens “extremely positive” and will remain focused on his work here as he transitions over the next week and a half.

In regards to the continuation of the expansion, the 82nd Street Partnership has every intention of continuing with or without Taylor, and Queens Neighborhoods United said they will continue opposing the BID.

The board of directors working on the BID expansion is actively identifying potential candidates to replace Taylor after he moves on in the upcoming week.

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