Jannie Armstrong, Virginia Bird, Claudette Coles, Annette de Jesus,
Diana Diaz, Dior Doward, Margarita Espinosa, Frank Franz, Maria Garcia,
Roger Gomez, Robert Holliday, Marie Howse, Cindy Ibarra, Sara Logan,
Magdamari Marcano, Thomas Murray, Floretta O’Brien, Rosa Peraza, Rev.
Hiram Ratliff, Wendy Rodriguez, Lissette Torres, and Perquida Williams.
Lorraine Brown, John Colangelo, Yesenia Graciani, Yvonne Murphy, and
Elected officials and their representatives:
Aurea Mangual, representing Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.
Julien Sepulveda, representing Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda.
Nick Simpson, representing State Senator Jeff Klein.
Assemblyman-elect Victor Pichardo, representing State Senator Gustavo
Albert Alvarez, representing City Council Majority Leader Joel Rivera.
Joann Otero, representing City Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo.
I. CALL TO ORDER
The October 9, 2013 meeting of Bronx Community Board #6 was held at
Community School 211, which is located at 1919 Prospect Avenue, Bronx,
New York; and was called to order at approximately 6:45 p.m. by board
Chairperson Wendy Rodriguez.
The meeting’s invocation was delivered by Mr. Thomas J. Murray, chairman
of the community board’s Health and Human Services Committee; it
consisted of a prayer for national leaders.
III. COMMUNITY PERIOD
The following individuals requested to speak as part of the meeting’s
Ms. Betty Gonzales Soto, principal of Community School 211.
Ms. Gonzales-Soto welcomed the community board to her school and thanked
the board for its ongoing support of the facility. She also spoke highly
of the school’s participation in the September 27, 2013 Veterans Day
march to Old Soldiers’ Cemetery which is located at East 180th Street
and Bryant Avenue. She stated that the students who marched that day
found it to be a wonderful experience.
Ms. Lucy Torres, Union Community Health Center
Ms. Torres informed us that in celebration of National Coming Out Day,
the Union Community Health Center will host a panel discussion on the
subject of health care issues facing the lesbian, gay bisexual,
transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) community on Friday, October 11,
2013. She also informed us that the health center hosts a free legal
clinic for the LGBTQ community on the first and third Tuesday of each
month. Lastly, Ms. Torres informed us that on November 2, 2013 the Union
Community Health Center, in conjunction with the March of Dimes and
several other organizations, will host a “baby shower” where pregnant
women will receive free information about prenatal care.
Ms. Jenine Cruz and Ms. Crystal Turner, Phipps Community
Ms. Cruz and Ms. Turner discussed Phipps Community Development
Corporation’s Building Trades Program that offers youths, ages 16 to 24,
with training in the electrical and plumbing fields. They also announced
that the corporation’s Justice Corp program is currently looking for
work sites where it can place its interns.
Ms. Cheryl Pfeiffer, Bronx River Art Center
Ms. Pfeiffer informed us about the Bronx River Art Center’s schedule of
upcoming art exhibitions and low cost art classes. Additional
information about the art center’s activities may be obtained by
telephoning (718) 589-5819.
Ms. Aicha Bamba
Ms. Bamba introduced herself as a representative of city council
candidate Ritchie Torres. She stated that she was present to hear
whatever service complaints the public may have and that she or her
colleague will be attending our future meetings.
Mr. Raul Rodriguez, Fannie Lou Hammer Middle School
Mr. Rodriguez introduced himself as a resident of our community who is
also involved in matters in School District Twelve.
IV. BRONX BOROUGH PRESIDENT’S REPORT
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz’s report was presented by his
community liaison, Ms. Aurea Mangual, and contained the following
● Borough President Diaz is calling for a new law that will impose heavy
fines on gas stations that allow dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles to
be refueled at their locations. Previously, the borough president wrote
to Police Commissioner Ray Kelly asking that the police department
devised a plan of action for addressing illegal dirt bikes and other
● The borough president recently issued a statement praising the 35
million dollar project that will transform an underutilize municipal
parking lot in the Melrose section of the Bronx into a mixed use
facility that will include a Fine Fare supermarket and a large public
● Borough President Diaz has also recently issued a statement commending
the progress that is being made on the Randall Island Connector Project.
● Upcoming special events that the borough president is either directly
sponsoring or co-sponsoring include:
- The Bronx Diva Talk on Friday, October 18, 2013.
- An Italian American Heritage and Culture Month celebration on
Thursday, October 17, 2013 at the Bronx Zoo.
- The 19th Annual Tour de Bronx on Sunday, October 27, 2013. The
starting time and location is 9:30 a.m. at the Grand Concourse and East
- The Bronx’s Annual Pumpkin Fest Halloween Spooktacular on
Thursday, October 31, 2013 at 955 Tinton Avenue.
V. ELECTED OFFICIALS’ REPORTS
Senator Jeff Klein
Senator Klein was represented by Mr. Nick Simpson who invited us to
attend the senator’s ceremony celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month that
will be held on Saturday, October 12, 2012 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
at the Havana Café. He also invited us to join Senator Klein as he
participates in the Bronx’s Columbus Day Parade, mass, and pre-march
breakfast on Sunday, October 13, 2013. Individuals may RSVP for either
or both activities by telephoning the senator’s office at (718)
Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda
Assemblyman Sepulveda was represented by his son, Julian Sepulveda, who
informed us that the assemblyman will sponsor a community forum on the
Affordable Health Care Act on October 15, 2015, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30
p.m., at the Wings Academy High School. He also informed us that on
October 5, 2013 Assemblyman Sepulveda and a group of community
volunteers commemorated “It’s My Park Day!” by cleaning and beautifying
Senator Gustavo Rivera
Senator Rivera was represented by State Assemblyman-elect Victor
Pichardo, who stated that he is honored and proud of the support that he
received from the voters in the recent primary election. He further
stated that he looks forward to working with the community board in his
capacity as a state assemblyman in order to bring improved services to
Assemblyman-elect Pichardo also informed us that Senator Rivera and
Congressman Jose Serrano will co-host a housing forum on Saturday,
October 12, 2012, at Monroe College. Representatives from numerous
organizations will be present to answer questions on a myriad of housing
City Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo
Council Member Arroyo was represented by Ms. Joann Otero who reported
that as a result of the recent redrawing of the city council’s district
lines, the boundaries of Council Member Arroyo’s district (district #
17) has expanded eastward and now includes portions of the East Tremont
and Crotona neighborhoods. Ms. Otero also reported on the services that
Council Member Arroyo’s office provides to her constituents. The
services are provided on a walk-in basis.
City Council Majority Leader Joel Rivera
Majority Leader Rivera was represented by his Chief of Staff, Mr. Albert
Alvarez, who thanked the public supporting him in the recent primary
VI. DISTRICT MANAGER’S REPORT: Ms. Ivine Galarza
Ms. Galarza’s district manager’s report included the following
● A reference to recent meetings and special events at which Ms. Galarza
represented the community board.
● An announcement that the community board’s annual youth conference
will be held in January, 2014, during the Martin Luther King Jr.,
holiday weekend. The conference is being planned and coordinated jointly
by the community board’s Youth & Education and Law Enforcement
● An announcement that the community board’s Transportation Committee
will meet with the Bronx commissioner of the New York City Department of
Transportation for the purpose of conducting a site visit of the Crotona
Avenue and Southern Boulevard Shared Bike Lanes. The community board
objects to the department’s decision to install the bike lanes without
our knowledge or approval.
● A copy of an opinion issued by the New York City Conflict of Interest
Board that states that community board members and staff may not accept
complementary tickets to New York Yankees baseball games.
● An announcement that Ms. Galarza is putting together a group of
community board members to attend Borough President Diaz’s October 18,
2013 Diva Talk event that will be held at the Pregones Theater. Free
transportation will be provided from the community board’s district
office to the theater by community board member Maria Garcia.
VII. SPECIAL CEREMONY
At this point, with Minister Kim Osorio officiating, community board
secretary Floretta A. O’Brien was sworn in as a Lay Chaplain with the
New York State Chaplaincy Task Force.
VIII. ROLL CALL ATTENDANCE
A roll call attendance was then taken, verifying the presence of a
quorum of twenty-two (22) members.
IX. PUBLIC HEARING ON BRONX COMMUNITY BOARD #6’s CAPITAL AND EXPENSE
BUDGET PRIORITIES, AND ITS SERVICE PROGRAM PRIORITIES FOR FISCAL YEAR
2015, WHICH BEGINS JULY 1, 2014 AND CONCLUDES JUNE 30, 2015.
The community board’s public hearing on its fiscal year 2015 capital and
expense budget requests was concluded without any changes being made to
either the requests, themselves, or to their priority ranking.
The community board’s public hearing on its fiscal year 2015 service
program priorities was concluded with recommendations for the following
1. Public Art’s priority is downgraded from a “C” to a “D”.
2. Economic Development Initiatives is upgraded from a “C” to a “B”.
3. Regulatory and Environmental Health Services is downgraded an “A” to
4. Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Alcoholism Services is upgraded
from a “C” to an “A”.
5. In-patient Hospital Care Services is downgraded from a “B” to a “C”.
6. Street Cleaning is upgraded from a “D” to a “C”
X. CHAIRPERSON’S REPORT
Ms. Rodriguez reminded the community board’s committee chairpersons that
they have been appointed to their positions for a period of one year. At
the end of the year, their work performance will be evaluated to
determine whether or not they will continue to chair their respective
XI. COMMITTEE REPORTS
Health & Human Services Committee: Mr. Thomas J. Murray,
Mr. Murray reported on the business that was conducted at the Health and
Human Services Committee’s meeting of October 2, 2013. At that meeting,
the committee discussed the working group that is preparing and
contributing to St. Barnabas Hospital’s community service plan. The
committee also discussed the Bronx Health Link and its efforts to
recruit participants for its assessment of the borough’s health needs.
Lastly, the committee received information about New York City’s Heat
and Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) which helps low-income households
pay their winter heating expenses. The telephone number for additional
information about HEAP is (800) 692-0557.
Law Enforcement Committee: Ms.
Claudette Coles, Committee Chair
Ms. Coles discussed the business that was conducted at the September 24, 2013
meeting of the 48th police precinct’s community council which included a report
from the precinct’s commanding officer on our community’s current crime
statistics. The council’s next meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 29, 2013
at Eros Lounge, which is located at 1973 Southern Boulevard.
Ms. Coles also reported on the business that was conducted at the Law
Enforcement Committee’s meeting of October 2, 2013 which was held at the Braker
Board Room at St. Barnabas Hospital.
Law Enforcement Committee: Ms. Maria Garcia, Committee Co-Chair
Ms. Garcia delivered a report on the business that was conducted at the
September 26, 2013 meeting of the 42nd police precinct’s community council,
which is located in neighboring Bronx Community Board #3.
Housing & Land Use Committee: Ms. Sara N. Logan, Committee Chair
Ms. Logan reported that at its meeting of October 3, 2013, the community board’s
Housing and Land Use Committee met with representatives of the organization
Women In Need (WIN) which operates several homeless shelters in our community.
WIN’s representatives were at the meeting (as a courtesy) in order to inform the
community board that the organization plans to add a substance abuse assessment
component to the array of services that it provides to its shelter clients.
Parks and Recreation Committee: Ms. Margarita Espinosa, Committee
Ms. Espinosa reported on the Parks and Recreation Committee’s meeting of October
2, 2013. She also urged anyone that is interested in participating in the
community board’s October 19, 2013 “It’s My Park Day” activity to contact the
board’s office at (718) 579.6990. For “It’s My Park Day!” the community board
will clean, paint and beautify the Crotona Parkway Malls, the Happy Land
Memorial, and Cicerone Park.
Sanitation Committee: Mr. Roger Gomez, Committee Chair
Mr. Gomez informed us that he accompanied District Manager Galarza to the
October 4, 2013 borough level budget consultation with representative of the
Department of Sanitation. He stated that the consultation consisted of
discussions with senior sanitation officials on topics that included, but was
not limited to, garbage recycling, illegal dumping, and the purchase and
replacement of sanitation equipment.
Senior Citizens Outreach Committee: Ms. Lissette Torres, Committee
Ms. Torres reported on the Senior Citizens Outreach Committee’s meeting of
October 2, 2013.
Transportation Committee: Ms. Magdamari Marcano, Committee Chair
Ms. Marcano reported that the Transportation Committee met on October 3, 2013
and, at that time, viewed a presentation from representatives of the New York
City Department of Design and Construction regarding Phase 2 of the department’s
Fordham Plaza Reconstruction Project. Following the presentation, the committee
agreed to recommend that the full community board issue a letter approving the
second phase of the reconstruction project.
Ms. Marcano further reported that the committee also met with the Bronx
commissioner for the New York City Department of Transportation. The committee
discussed with the commissioner the need for additional street lighting in
portions of the West Farms area. In response, the commissioner stated that she
would have the department conduct a lighting survey of the area.
On another matter, Ms. Marcano reported that the committee and the commissioner
will conduct a walk thru of the Crotona Avenue and Southern Boulevard “Shared
Bike “Lanes” on Saturday, October 12, 2032, beginning at 10:00 a.m. The walk
thru will begin at the intersection of East Tremont and Crotona avenues.
Youth & Education Committee: Ms. Perquida Williams, Committee
Ms. Williams informed us that she met with the chairpersons of several of the
community boards committees on October 2, 2013 for the purpose of planning for
the community board’s January 2014 annual Youth Conference. It was agreed that
the theme of the 2014 conference will be improving our youths’ attitude towards
XII. ADOPTION OF MOTIONS
1. A motion to adopt the minutes of Bronx Community Board #6’s meeting of
September 18, 2013 was made by Ms. Virginia Bird, seconded by Mr. Murray and
unanimously adopted by acclamation.
2. A motion to amend the community board’s bylaws to include a statement, to the
effect, that if a member leaves a community board meeting before the meeting’s
motions are considered, that member will be recorded as having been absent from
the entire meeting, unless he or she left due to an emergency, was made by Ms.
Espinosa, seconded by Ms. Rosa Peraza, and adopted by a vote of twenty-one in
favor, one opposed (D. Diaz), and zero abstentions.
3. A motion for Bronx Community Board #6 to issue a series of letters that
a) Urges our elected representatives to draft legislation requiring all
applicants seeking renewal liquor licenses to appear before the community board
(if requested to do so) and requiring that the State Liquor Authority deny or
delay the issuance of licenses of renewal to applicants that fail to appear when
b) Urges our elected representatives to draft legislation that will subject
liquor license applicants with two or more consecutive negative community board
resolutions to automatically be subjected to an SLA hearing before a reissuance
of a license is granted;
was made by Ms. Logan, seconded by Ms. Marcano and adopted by a vote of
twenty-two (22) in favor, zero opposed, and zero abstentions.
4. A motion to approve Phase 2 of the New York City Department of Design and
Construction’s Fordham Plaza Reconstruction Project was made by Ms. Logan,
seconded by Mr. Murray and adopted by a vote of twenty-two (22) in favor, zero
opposed and zero abstentions.
5. Pursuant to a motion made by Ms. O’Brien and seconded by Ms. Logan, the
community board adopted its fiscal year 2015 capital and expense budget requests
as presented, and adopted its fiscal year 2015 Service Program priorities with
the following changes:
● Public Art’s priority is downgraded from a “C” to a “D”.
● Economic Development Initiatives is upgraded from a “C” to a “B”.
● Regulatory and Environmental Health Services is downgraded an “A” to a “C”.
● Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Alcoholism Services is upgraded from
a “C” to an “A”.
● In-patient Hospital Care Services is downgraded from a “B” to a “C”.
● Street Cleaning is upgraded from a “D” to a “C”.
Ms. Diana Diaz
Bronx Community Board #6 member Diana Diaz informed us that tenants of a housing
development in Riverdale, New Jersey have found a solution to the issue of dog
owners failing to clean up their pets’ excrement. The tenants are required to
register their dogs and to provide samples of the dogs’ DNA. Canine waste that
is not removed can therefore be traced back to the specific dog and its owner.
There being no other business to discuss, the October 9, 2013 meeting of Bronx
Community Board #6 was adjourned at approximately 9:10 p.m.