CB 11 narrows candidate list for new district manager

It may be a while before there’s a new district manager at Community Board 11, but the process is steadily moving along.

The selection committee received 31 applications to replace John Fratta, who has been leading the district for 15 years. Recently the committee narrowed the field to 12.

“We have some very qualified people applying,” said selection committee member Joe Thompson. “We’re fortunate to have the quality of applicants we have. It’s going to be a very difficult choice.”

District officials declined to name any of the candidates, but state that professionals from various fields, like attorneys, psychologists and educators, have all applied for the position.

Current board members and representatives of local elected officials are vying for the position as well. These candidates were automatically asked to interview before the selection committee because of their experience, Thompson said.

The board was expecting anywhere from 20 to 40 applications for the position, and competition remains fierce.

“It’s a coveted position,” Thompson said. “Especially with the job market the way it is, and managers being one of the professions that have taken a big hit.”

The board will select either one or two candidates from the 12 who will go before the entire board. Each of the roughly 50 members will give an up or down vote on the candidate.

Thompson said the board is choosing the final applicants based on their past experience and knowledge of community boards.

“We’re trying to find a balance of the most qualified, with a person that can work within this type of system. And someone who knows what a community board is and how it works,” Thompson said. “We got some highly-educated people, but their background didn’t fit. We’re going for the whole package. They didn’t have the qualities or background that we needed.”

The selection committee plans to begin the interviews by early December, and to have a candidate before the board at the next general meeting on December 16.

The new district manager will replace Fratta, who has worked in city government for 35 years, and gained a reputation as a strong fighter and fair repersentative of the district. Before joining the board Fratta was a youth coordinator for CB 7, and a clerk at the Comptroller’s office before that. He also served on the Campaign Finance Board.

“The process is going smoothly,” Fratta said, who will not be able to cast a vote for his replacement. “There are some really good candidates that applied, and I think they’re going to get a good district manager.”

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