After a major change in committee structure and the appointment of a new chairman, business at Community Board 11 is running smoothly.
After almost a year of trying neighborhood-based committees, the board went back a few months ago to issues committees.
The old – and now revived – format has committees based on neighborhood issues, such as parks, sanitation, public safety, and youth.
Newly appointed CB 11 chairman Anthony Vitaliano, said the old structure has been more effective.
“The experimental structure wasn’t working,” Vitaliano said. “In some committees, there were never any issues. However, it did seem to be working in Morris Park. What was happening was Morris Park was becoming almost like a baby community board, so I felt we should go back to issues committees.”
Vitaliano was appointed to the position after longtime chairman Dom Castore passed away in November.
Vitaliano hand picked chair people for each of the new committees after the board voted to switch back to the old structure.
“I picked people that I thought would be strong as committee chairs, and it is working,” he said. “I even picked people that voted against the switch, and even those people like it the way it is now.”
Some of the issues CB 11 is looking into this year are smoke-free housing in more apartment buildings and dealing with the second phase of the Pelham Parkway reconstruction project.
The board is also looking at several projects this year, including an expansion and renovation of the Van Nest playground, adding angle parking along a nine-block stretch on Morris Park Avenue, increasing funding for youth recreation and after-school programs, and increasing police patrol operations.
Each committee normally meets once a month – if there is pressing business.
“A big problem we were having last time, is these committees were having meetings and basically just looking at each other’s faces,” Vitaliano said. “That was demoralizing the objective. I said to them, ‘Listen, I don’t want you to meet just to meet. Meet when you have a reason to meet,’ and they liked that. That is an important part of the reason I think this is working.”
Vitaliano said each of the committee chairs is doing an excellent job, even those who were opposed to the change.
“A lot of them have come to me and said they like it better this way,” Vitaliano said.
Kirsten Sanchez can be reach via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (718) 742-3394