Board 10 Chair Charges: ‘City Doesn’t Listen to Us!’

March 8, 2012 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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BAY RIDGE — Can you hear me now?

Joanne Seminara, chair of Community Board 10, hasn’t asked city officials that question, but she said she believes that officials aren’t listening.

Seminara charged that city officials don’t listen to the board, especially when it comes to budgetary issues.

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Each October, the board submits a list of capital projects it believes the city should fund in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, the two communities the board represents. And each year, according to Seminara, city officials turn down nearly all of the items of the board’s list when they send their answers back to the board.

Seminara’s frustration with the lack of progress boiled over at the board’s monthly meeting on Feb. 27.

“Tonight we voted on our response to the responses of the various agencies to our capital and expense budget requests and we reaffirmed our priorities for funding. Having done this, I cannot help but remark the extent to which our requests fall on deaf ears,” she told the board. “It seems to me park maintenance, regular sanitation pick-ups on our commercial strips and sewers that do not overflow our corners in a heavy rain are not too much to ask.”

Bay Ridge has two business improvement districts (BIDs), on 86th Street and on Fifth Avenue, in which property owners pay an added assessment on their city real estate taxes to pay for such items as sanitation services beyond what the city normally provides.

“As neighborhood enhancing as they have been, we should not have to create more B.I.D.s at the expense of our local businesses to get the services that keep our neighborhood vibrant,” Seminara said.

    — Paula Katinas

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