GENERAL BOARD MEETING COMMUNITY BOARD
Meeting Minutes For
Thursday, February 18th, 2016
|Present: Benigno Cuevas, Daniel
Porro III, Dwayne Gathers, Felipa Manaiza, Henry Pelayo, Jr., Jennifer
Ellison Lackard, Jesse Mendoza, Juan Torres, Justin Westbrook-Lowery,
Linda Brown, Loretta Masterson, Michael Beltzer, Mohammed M. Mujumder,
Nicholas Himidian Jr., Nicole Washington, Rogier F. van Vlissingen,
Rosemary Ordonez-Jenkins, Reverend Dr. Sidney Hargrave, Sarwar Jahan,
Venus Williams, William Rivera (DM)
Excused: Arthur Walker, Jaime Feliberty, Sabrina Ladson
Absent: Brandon Ganaishlal, Helen Foreman-Hines
Meeting called to order at 7:00pm
1. Mr. Mohammed M. Mujumder, the 1st Vice Chair, was the first guest
speaker. Mr. Mujumder announced the date for the International Mothers
Language Day celebration. He added that he is displeased with violence
being shared and spread through social media and that he encourages
everyone to report to the NYPD if they see or know of anything.
2. Ms. Meiling Viera, from the Department of Health, was the second
guest speaker. Ms. Viera announced that DOH is visiting all 59 districts
in the City to properly inform the community of the Zika virus outbreak.
3. Mr. Lothar Krause, a resident, was the third guest speaker. Mr.
Krause said that he spoke on behalf of the neighborhoods in the vicinity
of Pugsley Creek Park. He reminded the audience about the ferry service
that will be coming to the district. He said while they are in favor of
the ferry service, they would like for the ferry service to include
shelters for individuals that are
waiting for service while caught in a storm, to include more parking by
extending bus lanes, and to make more of the parks accessible from the
location of the ferry. Mr. Krause and the Pugsley Creek community also
submitted a FOIL request to view all documents in reference to the
4. Ms. Julia Rodriguez, a resident, was the fourth guest speaker. Ms.
Rodriguez came up to the podium and announced to audience that there
will be a homeless shelter being placed at 2086 Bruckner Blvd. She was
very upset that many people did not know about this and that she is
tired of homeless shelters being placed in the Bronx. She wanted the
audience to spread the word and help fight against this shelter.
5. Ms. Aurora Carrion, the President of the 43rd Precinct Council, was
the fifth guest speaker. She spoke against the Samaritan Village
homeless shelter being placed at 20186 Bruckner Blvd. Originally, she
believed that the shelter was going to be placed in the vacant church on
Bruckner Blvd. Ms. Carrion consulted the District Manager and she found
out that the shelter would be placed in an empty lot. Ms. Carrion
stressed that shelters should be placed in other boroughs aside from the
6. Mr. Walter Nestler, a public member, was the sixth guest speaker. Mr.
Nestler announced that he would be speaking about two topics. The first,
had to do with veterans. He said that he comes to Board meetings and
that it is customary to pledge allegiance to the flag. Mr. Nestler
addressed a Board Member who is a veteran, Mr. Dwayne Gathers. Mr.
Nestler presented Mr. Gathers with an American Flag.
Note: Mr. Nestler asked the audience to please stand for the pledge of
Mr. Walter Nestler addressed that this month’s Land and zoning meeting
was cancelled and that he wants the Board to keep to their schedules. He
said that previously if a Chairperson of a Committee was not there to
conduct a meeting, that either the Chairperson of the Board or the
District Manager would conduct the meeting. Mr. Nestler also reminded
the audience to be wary of who they elect to office.
7. Ms. Christina Rivera, from the Bronx Charter School of Excellence,
was the seventh guest speaker. Ms. Rivera announced that the school is a
free public charter school. She said that applications are open and
available for the following locations: Parkchester and Morris Park. She
invited the audience to an open house for both locations on March 5th.
Note: The District Manager came up to the podium and announced that the
Fire Department will be making a 15-20min presentation due to recent
fires happening in the district.
1. Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda, was the first speaker. Mr. Sepulveda
announced that he, Ms. Julia Rodriguez, and Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. would
have a meeting regarding Samaritan Village. He said that while he has
nothing against being homeless, but he does have problem with
oversaturation in these communities. Assemblyman Sepulveda asked if this
community is filled
with shelters, why they are building another one. Why not in Throggs
Neck? Assemblyman Sepulveda addressed to the residents of Parkchester
and announced that he knew of the proposed increase to the rent by
15.2%. He said that they have sought out an attorney to put in an
injunction to stop this increase. The Assemblyman explained to the
audience how local elected officials go about preparing and requests
funds for the budget. He said that the budget is a three (3) chamber
process. He explained that getting funds can be met with resistance by
Republicans in certain items. Assemblyman Sepulveda stressed that when
an individual says that the politicians are not doing anything, that’s
not an accurate statement.
2. Ms. Helen Jerome, from Senator Ruben Diaz Sr.’s Office, was the
second speaker. Ms. Jerome reported that the Senator was asked to meet
with Samaritan Village and he refused because he did not support the
Corporation that was backing Samaritan Village. She said he was very
adamant and upset that this was going to be another homeless shelter.
She reported that the Senator opposes the homeless shelter and that he
is in support of affordable housing.
3. Ms. Taisha Guy, from Assemblyman Marcos Crespo’s Office, was the
third speaker. Ms. Guy announced a Black History Concert being held at
the Sonya Sotomayor Community Center. She said the event runs for
12pm-4pm and that there will be a jazz band, an art gallery, and food.
4. Mr. Tom Lucania, from Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.’s Office, was
the fourth speaker. Mr. Lucania thanked the Board Members for their
service to the community and he also thanked the fire department for
their hard work in this community and the other communities throughout
the Bronx. Mr. Lucania announced that the Borough President gave his
seventh (7) State of the Borough Address. Mr. Lucania announced several
highlights from the address. The Borough President reported that
students who graduate from public high schools and go on to college are
required to take remedial classes in order to be up to date in their
freshman year of college. However, these students need to pay out of
their pocket for the classes. The Borough President is proposing to the
Department of Education that they be responsible for covering the costs
of remedial classes. The Borough President proposed “decking” the train
yard by Lehman College to add affordable housing and to extend the
campus of the college. He also reported that he had ten (10) million
dollars invested (in capital funds) to improve Orchard Beach. He is
hoping that other elected officials will follow suit. The Borough
President addressed the new Metro North stations and said that the
Governor has been supportive of these projects and hopefully in this
Legislative cycle, the full funding will be received to begin these
5. Mr. Jose Rodriguez, from Senator Jeffrey D. Klein’s Office, was the
fifth speaker. Mr. Rodriguez announced that he is the new District
Director and that Mr. Andy Sales will be the District Representative.
Note: Mr. Justin Westbrook-Lowery commented that he has seen the process
of moving a homeless shelter and the ramifications it can cause. He said
that if they do move the shelter, that the battle is not done because
they might move it to a different part of the community. He said that
they should take the issue and address it at the departmental level.
Report was submitted. Nothing to report.
District Manager’s Report
The District Manager reported that the project for the Unionport Bridge
replacement is happening sooner than later. The plans have been
submitted and the project will begin soon. However, he feels that the
project will take too long (4 years) and that it should be done sooner.
The District Manager is concerned about the traffic that will develop
while the project is going on. The District Manager reported that he had
his monthly meeting with the Commanding Officer of the 43rd Precinct and
that he is pleased with this new Commander because he is attending
meetings, responding to complaints given to him by the Community Board.
He announced the Nitelife meeting that’s coming up and it has to do with
gathering businesses and meeting with them and going over safety
protocols, etc. The District Manager said that he will be meeting with
local elected officials at the Preliminary Budget hearings. He said that
the committees are doing a great job addressing issues and that the
responses are positive. The District Manager reported that he
investigated the allegations of a homeless shelter replacing a closed
church on 2094 Bruckner Blvd. He contacted the corresponding agencies
and they said that nothing was filed and that nothing was in the works
for the location. He said he received another address 1986 Bruckner Blvd
and again the corresponding agencies said the same as before. However,
when he contacted Councilwoman Anabel Palma’s Office, they reported to
him that there was a proposed shelter coming in. The District Manager
said that DHS has reported that Samaritan Village has not filed with
homeless services yet. Once they do, they make a presentation to the
Community Board and then the Board will have 30 days to reach out to
local Elected Officials and voice their opinion. However, since most of
the information has been released, the District Manager would like to
meet with Samaritan Village before they officially file.
1. Youth & Education Committee – Mr. Nicholas Himidian, Jr., Chairperson
The Chairperson announced the winners of the New York Yankees Community
Council Youth Leadership Award. They were Ms. Tyiefah Sanders-Alleyne,
Ms. Crystal Ortiz, Ms. Shellie Ainette, Ms. Irania Matos, and Mr.
Kendall Johnson. The Chairperson also announced Mr. Justin
Westbrook-Lowery as the sub-Chair and that he is working on the
Community Board’s First Annual Youth Fair.
2. Public Safety Committee – Mr. Brandon Ganaishlal, Chairperson
Note: The Chairperson of the committee was not present. The District
Manager would be making the report.
The District Manager reported on the Castle Hill Avenue Corridor Safety
Improvements. The District Manager explained the proposed plan and that
he agrees with some of the improvements and disagrees with others
Note: Mr. Michael Beltzer put a motion on the floor to table the Cast
Hill Avenue Corridor Safety Improvements project till the next General
Board Meeting in which time Board Members can comment and make
modifications to the project. The motion was amended by Mr. Justin
Westbrook-Lowery. The amended motion was seconded by Ms. Rosemary
Ordonez-Jenkins. Board Members discussed the motions and clarified the
motions. Mr. Beltzer repeated the motion and the motion was seconded by
Ms. Loretta Masterson. The Board Members discussed and came to the
consensus to table the vote and request more information and be given
more time to make modifications, ask questions, and give opinions about
Note: The Chairperson reported that there was one more item to vote on.
All other committee reports were tabled and the minutes were submitted.
3. Parks Committee – Mr. Jesse Mendoza, Chairperson
Note: Mr. Mendoza asked the District Manager to explain to the audience
about Parks Without Borders and the upcoming vote.
The District Manager reiterated to the audience about “Parks without
Borders”. He explained that the organizations goal is to make parks more
accessible, to address problems in regards to parks, and to add
amenities to Parks. The park/area that is deemed the viable choice is
Hugh Grant Circle. The reason for this is because it serves as the Hub
Station for Parkchester. Many residents utilize the train station and it
would be ideal to beautify it.
Note: Mr. Nicholas Himidian, Jr. put a motion on the floor to
elect Hugh J. Grant Circle/Virginia Park in the Parks Without Borders
competition. The motion was seconded by Ms. Rosemary Ordonez-Jenkins.
The vote was unanimous. The motion was passed.
Note: Multiple Board Members put a motion on the floor to adjourn
the meeting. Multiple Board Members seconded the motion. The vote was
unanimous. The motion was passed.
Meeting adjourned at 9:30pm.
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