CB 7 district manager resigns

It may have been over philosophical differences.

Or maybe his enemies slipped him a symbolic glass of hemlock.

But either way, Socrates Caba has resigned as district manager at Community Board 7 after less than six months on the job.

In a resignation letter to Board Chairperson Adaline Walker-Santiago, Caba cited “unsatisfactory” procedures from the board’s executive committee as cause for his departure.

The Fordham resident’s final day as district manager was Friday, Dec. 13.

Walker-Santiago said she was surprised to hear that Caba had decided to leave after only half a year at the helm.

The board had been very active in the last few months, including working on approval of the Kingsbridge Armory ice rink project, which netted the community a substantial benefits agreement.

“He called me out of the blue,” said Walker-Santiago. “But I wish him all the best.”

Caba’s resignation letter is a bit cryptic over his reason for leaving.

It claims that “new procedures” adopted by the executive committee forced him “in good conscience” to resign from his post.

Board setback

Paul Foster, CB7’s former chairman called the loss a “shame” for the board, which covers Bedford Park, Fordham, Kingsbridge Heights, Mosholu, Norwood and University Heights.

“You need a real people person, someone warm, and he fit that mold,” said Foster, who served on the selection committee that recruited Caba. “I oppose whatever drove him to leave.”

Foster said that Caba clashed with at least one member of the executive board on a personal level. But the outgoing district manager insisted in his goodbye letter that “I hold no personal animosity toward individual members of the board.”

Caba’s departure leaves CB7 without a district manager for the second time in two years.

In October 2012, former District Manager Fernando Tirado resigned from the post after battling with the board over a slew of issues for nearly a year.

The job was vacant until Caba was voted into the district manager role 13-3 in June. The former healthcare professional took over on July 1.

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Like each of the City’s 59 community boards, CB7 is tasked with connecting city agencies with local voices. A community board’s power is technically advisory, but boards can have major influence over land use and zoning issues.

Walker-Santiago said the board is now taking resumes for the open position, which it hopes to fill by April.

Tom Lucania, who oversees local community boards for the borough president, will serve as an interim district manager until the position is filled.

Ben Kochman can be reached via e-mail at BKochman@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742–3394