Brooklyn’s CB1 plunged into chaos after longtime district manager suddenly resigns

After 45 years and 65 days on the job, Brooklyn’s Community Board 1 director Gerald Esposito announced his retirement, effective immediately, to a stunned board at a meeting Aug. 31.

Or rather, he let President Dealice Fuller do it for him. Although Esposito said he gave his opinion two weeks prior, this was the first time CB1 had heard of it.

“Learning about it like this is like a shock,” said CB1 member Maria Viera.

One of the first questions everyone asked was, of course, what will happen to the car?

Esposito came under scrutiny a few years ago when THE CITY reported that he spent $26,000 of taxpayers’ money on a car. The car was purchased with money from a one-time city council grant, given to the city’s community councils, but “the Williamsburg council was the only one of the city’s 59 community councils to use one of the 42 $500 budget-booster to purchase a vehicle,” writes THE CITY.

Car issues aside, CB1 must scramble to figure out how to quickly fill the vacancy left by Esposito, though the loss of nearly 50 years of institutional knowledge will certainly sting. A district manager is a crucial position for a community council. While the board is made up of volunteers, district directors are paid staff members in charge of the board office.

Without a clear transition plan in place, members expressed frustration at the lack of direction and asked President Fuller why they hadn’t heard the announcement sooner. Fuller said it hadn’t occurred to her to brief the full board at the time and she thought she would announce it at the next meeting.

In a follow-up meeting on Sept. 6, President Fuller said that although she contacted the borough president’s office, she was told they couldn’t hire someone for the position until then. the end of the financial year in 2023, due to budget constraints. It was suggested that the current Community Associate, Johana Pulgarin, take over the management of the office.

“One person can’t do that,” member Del Teague said in response. “They can’t keep the office open five days a week and hold all committee meetings at night.”

In the meantime, Fuller advised committee members to take some of the slack until they find a solution.

“The members of the board of directors must contribute? What do you mean?” Teague replied. “Board members have to come in and out of their jobs and come in from 9am to 5pm and run the office? That’s nonsense.

Daniel E. Murphy