Volume 76, Number 50 | May 9 -15, 2007

Tenants, bar owner, government types on C.B.s 4 & 5

By Albert Amateau

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer’s appointments to Community Board 4, which covers Chelsea and Clinton, includes a mix of people in business and in public and private social service agencies.

The Borough President makes all appointments to each of the borough’s 50-member community boards, half on the recommendation of city councilmembers whose council districts are within the community board district. The members are appointed to two-year terms and can apply for reappointment when their terms expire.

This year, Stringer made all the appointments to Manhattan’s 12 community boards by March 26 — a week before the April 1 deadline.

One new Community Board 4 appointee with plenty of indirect community board experience is Hugh Weinberg, a Chelsea resident for more than a decade who happens to be general counsel for Queens Borough President Helen M. Marshall.

“I’ve had a lot of indirect experience with community boards there and I thought, ‘Why not apply it to the place where I live?’ ” he said on April 4 at his first C.B. 4 meeting. He said he has the time now for community board committee meetings because his daughter is old enough to be left alone at night.

Weinberg, whose term expires in April 2009, is one of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s recommendations.

Heidi Seifert, a Chelsea resident, works for the city’s Administration for Children’s Services. She teaches A.C.S. staff members how to identify children who might be victims of child abuse.

“I decided to get involved in the community board after my landlord left us without hot water for three weeks,” Seifert said at her first meeting last week. “When your landlord tells you that you can’t have a shower for three weeks, you think about finding people to help,” she said.

Seifert is one of the Stringer appointments made without any councilmember recommendation and her term expires April 2008.

Amy Johannes, a resident of the far west side of Chelsea on 23rd St. between 10th and 11th Aves., is a Quinn recommendation whose community board term expires in 2009. A former staff member with the city’s Economic Development Corporation, Johannes is a real estate associate with Morgan Stanley.

Michael Mazier, a Clinton resident, is chairperson of the Momentum AIDS Project, located in Chelsea. Momentum is one of the oldest and largest nonprofit private agencies providing nutrition services to people with AIDS. Mazier is a financial company executive and is past president of the National Society of Hispanic M.B.A.s. He is a borough president appointee whose term expires in April 2009.

John Lamb, a corporate attorney who lives on W. 22nd St. between Seventh and Eighth Aves. in Chelsea, is a Quinn recommendation to the board whose term expires in April 2009. He told the board members that he recently became involved in the restoration of his home and is interested in historic preservation.

Tony Juliano, who lives on W. 24th St. in Chelsea and manages XES Lounge, a bar on W. 24th St. east of Seventh Ave., is a Stringer appointment whose board term expires in April 2009.

“I came to the board because I want to give back to the community,” he told the April 4 meeting. He is also on the board of directors of the Greenwich Village-Chelsea Chamber of Commerce and on the board of the Stonewall Democrats political club.

Juliano replaces John Blair, a club owner and manager who has been associated with Club XL in Chelsea, as well as Avalon — the former Limelight — in the Flatiron neighborhood. Blair did not apply for reappointment to the board.

Geraldine Foster, a community board member and resident of Harborview, the New York City Housing Authority development on W. 55th St., and Megan Watkins, a Clinton resident, also did not apply for reappointment. Anne Sewell and Gil Flores, both of Chelsea, were not reappointed to the board.

Last year, the first in Stringer’s tenure as borough president, he created the Community Board Reform Committee — an independent screening panel to overhaul the appointment process and recommend board applicants for appointment.

The committee is comprised of leaders of good-government groups and community organizations including the New York League of Conservation Voters, Partnership for New York City, League of Women Voters, Municipal Art Society, NYPIRG, Brennan Center for Justice, Citizens Union, Women’s Club of New York, the Hispanic Federation, West Harlem Environmental Action, Regional Plan Association, the N.A.A.C.P., the L.G.B.T. Community Center and the Union League.

“This process would not have been able to continue growing and succeeding without the work and commitment of Manhattan’s City Council delegation,” Stringer said. “They have all been active partners in this process and I commend them for their commitment to strengthening this vital form of government.”

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