Three New Members Appointed to Community Board 2

Updated 8:06 p.m.

Community Board 2 has some new members! The 50 member board’s composition hasn’t changed dramatically with the arrival of three new members but it is different.

Off the board: Dodge Landesman, who ran for City Council at age 18 five years ago (and seems to have moved over to Community Board 6), Florent Morellet, formerly of Meatpacking District restaurant Florent, and Judy Paul, proprietor of the Washington Square Hotel.

Now on the board: Daniel Miller who runs a film production company and is on the Board of Directors of Greenwich Village Little League (with, it should be noted, C.B. 2 Parks Committee Chair Rich Caccappolo), Sandy Russo, who lives in the West Village, is a retired Legal Services attorney who represented poor tenants in Housing Court from 1983 to 2006 (when she retired) and is now a licensed Real Estate broker (with her wife, Robin), and seems very active on issues surrounding that area (including Hudson River Park Air Rights – against them), and Shirley Smith, who is a psychotherapist and social worker with a PhD who has been on the Board before at various points over the years (at one time resigning in 2004 because committee meetings were held on Martin Luther King Day).

These appointees come with the advent of Gale Brewer as Manhattan Borough President.

A bit more about the process from Downtown Post which covers Community Board 1 activities (the editor, Therese Loeb Kreuser, wrote the piece for The Villager on the C.B. 2 Parks Committee meeting March 5th covering the Board & community discussion of the Washington Square Park Conservancy):

Each New York City community board is comprised of 50 people who volunteer their time and serve two-year terms. They are selected by the president of each of the city’s five boroughs in consultation with the city councilmember for each district within the borough.

This year, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, instituted a new method for interviewing and selecting community board members. There were 328 new applicants and 268 renewal applicants. All were asked to participate in an interview process that included role playing and simulations. Staff members and independent community leaders evaluated the applicants for interpersonal skills, respect for the opinions of others, analytic ability, thoughtfulness in decision making, potential for leadership and problem-solving skills.

What will it mean for Washington Square Park? Well, on the Board’s controversial role and path to “approve” the private conservancy, the evening of the vote (June 2013), Landesman was not present, and both Morellet and Paul voted for the Conservancy and against the initial motion to postpone. Judy Paul, in fact, immediately after the vote went to sit next to Sarah Neilson, Washington Sq Park Administrator and “Executive Director” of the Conservancy, to comfort and congratulate her. The Conservancy ladies had been ‘working’ on getting Paul’s endorsement prior to coming before C.B. 2, and obviously it worked. The idea that there are a few less business people with business interest (tho’ only two) on the Board is probably a good thing.

Whether these members are up to speed on the issues at Washington Square Park is unknown. The Community Board has been shockingly lax and wishy washy in its response to the documentation this blog uncovered. The only path forward is a reversal of the vote to approve the private conservancy and a start from scratch via an open and transparent process with the truth being told – the way it should have occurred the first time around.

Community Board 2’s boundaries are as follows: the south side of 14th Street, the north side of Canal Street, the Hudson River and the west side of the Bowery/4th Avenue. C.B.2 oversees neighborhoods including: Greenwich Village, Little Italy, SoHo, NoHo, Hudson Square, Chinatown, and the Gansevoort Market.

Wishing best of luck to the new Board members.

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2 thoughts on “Three New Members Appointed to Community Board 2”

  1. There was an issue with the appointment process as I filled out someone else’s term 3/4ths through and mine technically started in April of 2013, thinking I had to reapply in 2015. Sorting it out now. For the record, I would have voted in opposition to the conservancy. As noted, it seems to be a blatant attempt to privatize the park, keeping in line with Bloomberg’s vision of a city based upon exclusivity, even after he’s gone.

  2. Hi Dodge,

    Thanks so much for writing. I did not know the history of your time on CB2. I hope it gets sorted out. You are so right. I wish more on the Board had seen – and do see – this.

    Stay in touch!



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