Bay Ridge

Cruz takes helm at Community Board 10

New chairperson says, ‘We plow through and get things done’

September 23, 2016 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Jonas and Lily Cruz came to the community board meeting to see their grandmother, Doris Cruz, officially installed as the new chairperson. Eagle photo by Paula Katinas
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The Community Board 10 meeting this week marked the official debut of the new chairperson, Doris Cruz, who took the oath of office from Councilmember Vincent Gentile and immediately issued a call for unity on the board and in the neighborhoods the board represents.

“When I look out at our board, I see an incredibly diverse community,” Cruz said, noting that the neighborhoods Board 10 covers, Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Fort Hamilton, have seen an influx of immigrants in recent years. “We have come together to work together,” she told the board at the meeting Monday night at Shore Hill at 9000 Shore Road.

Cruz, who has been a Board 10 member for more than 20 years, was elected by her peers in June to serve as their new chairperson for the 2016-2017 term. She actually became the chairperson on July 1, but the Sept. 19 meeting, the first of the new term for the board, marked her public debut.

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Cruz succeeds Brian Kieran who served as the board’s chairman for three years. Chairpersons serve one-year terms and are eligible to serve for three consecutive terms.

Gentile (D-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst) also presided over an oath of office ceremony for Board 10’s executive officers: Vice Chairperson Lori Willis, Secretary Jaynemarie Capetanakis and Treasurer Sandy Valla.

Cruz is a civic activist who was a member of the Alliance of Bay Ridge Block Associations for many years. In her remarks, she paid tribute to the late Rosemarie O’Keefe, a friend of hers who was a former commissioner of the Mayor’s Community Assistance Unit in the Guiliani Administration. Prior to her work in city government, O’Keefe was a Bay Ridge civic leader and a member of Board 10 and the Alliance of Bay Ridge Block Associations. Cruz called her a cherished friend. O’Keefe died in 2009.

Cruz said she is looking forward to her new role. “It is an honor and a privilege to serve on Community Board 10. We plow through and we get things done,” Cruz said.

Several of Board 10’s past chairpersons, including Kieran, Joe Bova, Craig Eaton, Steve Harrison, and Joanne Seminara, took part in a symbolic passing of the gavel ceremony, handing the gavel to one another down the line until it was given to Cruz.

For Cruz, the meeting was a family affair. Her grandchildren, Jonah Cruz, 9, and Lily Cruz, 6, were on hand for her big night.

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