New CB4 Chair Says Outreach is Top Priority
BY EILEEN STUKANE, WITH VIDEO BY DON MATHISEN | A new year heralds new officers for Community Board 4 (CB4). At the December 4 full board meeting, District Manager Bob Benfatto took the count of member ballots and announced the results.
Running unopposed and unanimously elected: Christine Berthet, Chair; Hugh Weinberg, First Vice Chair; Frank Holozubiec, Co-Secretary and Miranda Nelson, Co-Secretary. The position of Second Vice Chair had two candidates in the running: Raoul Larios and Delores Rubin. Each was granted three minutes to address the membership before the vote. Rubin, who said she had kept her name on the ballot out of respect for being selected by the nominating committee before another candidate was nominated from the floor, won the seat.
December 4 was the last full board meeting for the outgoing chair, City Councilmember-elect Corey Johnson — who has been a CB4 member since 2005, and its chair since 2011. Elected officials at the meeting, including NY State Senator Brad Hoylman, Assemblymembers Richard Gottfried and Linda Rosenthal and newly elected Borough President Gale Brewer, offered congratulations to both Johnson and Berthet — who has been serving as CB4’s First Vice Chair.
Berthet told Chelsea Now that her first goal is to do “everything we can to reach out to the new members of the community, and do better outreach so that everybody’s aware of what’s going on. This is very, very important for the future of the board.”
Berthet said she’d accomplish this by putting “a task force together, and I expect the group to define how we can do that [outreach] better. Maybe it involves visiting the block associations, visiting maybe the board of directors of some buildings.”
Another top priority, said Berthet, is board’s ongoing commitment to help ensure the scope and purpose of new construction is in synch with the surrounding area.
“If the development is done in a way where we keep diversity and we keep the neighborhood character,” she said, “this is not an issue. It’s good news.” If not, “Then that is an issue.” Each new project coming before the board, she asserted, “has to be done in a certain way, to integrate with the neighborhood.”