CB9 Mayhem continues: President ends term in frustration, as District Director’s place remains open

Stuart Balberg and others rush to vote at the end of Community Board 9 meeting, before time runs out (Image by Sam Raskin / Bklyner)

CROWN HEIGHTS— Community Board 9 (CB9) ended its regular summer sessions in even greater uncertainty, with vacancies for key board staff.

In a typically messy meeting on Wednesday, June 26, Patricia Baker, who was elected president of CB9 last July, withdrew her name from the race due to her frustration with the “dysfunctional” ways of the board. The council did not elect a new one and did not indicate how it would proceed to fill the post of district director, which has been vacant for more than three years.

The meeting comes after three members of the executive council withdrew from the May general assembly, preventing the council from having a quorum and in turn hearing from candidates for the district director position. Last week, the board of directors counted the votes for the district director position cast at a special meeting on June 11, only to find that no candidate had reached the necessary voting threshold to be elected. .

The end-of-session general assembly, which lasted over two hours at MS 61, lasted longer than the allotted two hours, leaving board members scrambling to vote for a chair as officers from the NYPD kicked them out of the school building, before deciding they would hold a special session in July to elect their president. CB9 also deferred until September the discussion of how he would select the new district director – a position that will be chosen either by forming a new search committee or by finding the existing search committee by finding new candidates to vote for. .

As a result of the regular community council deliberations (committee reports, presentation from the Department of Transportation on a bike path near Prospect Park along Flatbush Avenue and other elements), around 9 p.m., the next stop at l The agenda was to make a decision on the post of district director. Board member and presidential candidate Fred Baptiste brought forward a motion to suspend discussion of the District Director position until after the summer, as at that time the Board of Trustees was running out of time.

After board member Yaacov Behrman tried several times – and unsuccessfully – to rush the meeting so that there was sufficient time to deal with the district director’s situation, the proposal to discuss the position of district director was approved, with 20 yes votes, seven no and three abstentions, shortly after 9 p.m.

Next on the agenda was a vote for a new CB9 president, with two candidates under consideration: current president Baker and current CB9 member Baptiste. In a surprise twist, Baker said she would not run for re-election, but would stay on the board.

“As of tonight, I withdraw my name,” she said.

She went on to express her dissatisfaction with the recent behavior of the board of directors, calling it “dysfunctional”.

“They are talking about ‘We should all work together’,” she told the crowd, of anonymous board members. “They say these words, but they don’t work. “

Baker also spoke about the productivity of the board, saying that despite chaotic meetings, the work gets done behind the scenes.

“It seems like we don’t do anything, but we do, because this office, regardless of what happens during meetings, this office is running 365 days a year,” Baker said.

Baptiste, the other candidate for the board chair, made brief remarks, thanking Baker for his service on the community board and looked forward to the road ahead.

Patricia Baker addressing Fred Baptiste at the Community Board 9 meeting (Image by Sam Raskin / Bklyner)

“It will be a busy summer,” he said.

This was when the members started voting, and it soon became apparent that it was too late and that they had to leave the building, announcing that they would hold a special meeting next month to elect. a president.

After a rushed vote, Baptiste told Bklyner that the board will officially elect a chairman in July, although no one else is currently in contention.

“We have to have a special meeting to actually end the elections,” Baptiste said.

When exactly will the meeting take place?

“I don’t know,” he said, “the president has to call him. “

Daniel E. Murphy