Robert Perris, longtime District Director of Community Board 2, to resign • Brooklyn Paper

Sign up for our PoliticsNY newsletter for the latest coverage and to stay informed about the 2021 elections in your district and across New York City

Community Board 2 district director Robert Perris plans to step down on December 26, saying he wants to focus on his family after 17 years as head of the Downtown Brooklyn Civic Panel.

“Seventeen years is a long time,” Perris told Brooklyn Paper. “It is in part [because of] family obligations, I’ve been the only one in the office for nine months during the coronavirus.

Perris’ departure was first announced in an internal notice that board chairman Lenny Singletary aired on December 18, where the chief thanked Perris for managing the mostly-composed board. of volunteers and for providing expertise in the internal workings of municipal government.

“Over the years, the community council has benefited from Rob’s considerable knowledge and years of experience working in municipal government,” Singletary wrote. “Rob went above and beyond, reporting in the office every day, overseeing staff remotely and playing a vital role in our virtual community council meetings. We thank Rob for his long years of service and wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors. “

Prior to joining the board of directors as district director in 2013, Perris worked in the planning departments of former Borough Presidents Howard Golden and Marty Markowitz on issues such as parks, open spaces and issues. by the sea.

His tenure at CB2 was not without controversy. In 2018, the board voted to suspend Perris without pay for a month in a closed-door meeting, after a two-month absence from the staff member, who, unlike volunteer board members, is an employee paid municipal worker who earns a handsome salary of $ 105,360, according to public records.

Singletary did not respond to a request to further explain Perris’ suspension in 2018 or the weeks leading up to it.

For his part, Perris said it was because he was accused of two “explosions”, which he attributed to the stress of work and the need to take care of family obligations.

“I was charged with a few explosions and to a large extent that can reflect how exhausted I was at one point,” Perris said. “Not the fact that it happened, but it kind of indicated to me that I had to both do this job and take care of my family obligations – it was a big load to bear.”

Shortly after this incident, one of the other two paid employees resigned, but when contacted by Brooklyn Paper, the former board employee declined to comment on the story.

The employee’s departure left only Perris and Carol-Ann Church, deputy district director, tasked with overseeing the charged board, which receives numerous monthly requests for development, monument preservation issues and landmarks. liquor license in areas such as Downtown Brooklyn, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Clinton Hill, Dumbo, Fort Greene, Navy Yard, and Vinegar Hill.

Just as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the city in March, the board of directors was granted permission by the city to hire two additional staff, who Perris said were instrumental in the posting of monthly panel meetings.

The board will release and appoint Perris’ replacement “when the time comes,” Singletary wrote in the notice released Dec. 18, adding that the three remaining staff would continue to work in their current roles.

“I want to assure you that we plan for as few interruptions as possible in office operations in the meantime,” the civic guru wrote.

Daniel E. Murphy