CB9 chaos over elections

Order! Order! Carmen Rivera (r) tries to get Community Board 9 members in order during a raucous meeting over elections.
Photo by David Cruz

Chaos led the agenda at this community board meeting.

What was supposed to be a smooth meeting spiraled into mayhem at Soundview Community Board 9’s first meeting after a major member shakeup.

The next major issue for the board could be a vote on retaining longtime district manager Francisco Gonzalez, who has been at odds with Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

With almost half its longtime members replaced by Diaz – some charge to stack a removal vote on Gonzalez – the board tried moving on with elections of new officers. Several recently axed members, including former chairman Al Heyward, were in the audience at the Tuesday, Sept. 20 meeting at the Bruckner Plaza mall.

“This is dysfunctional!” cried one frustrated member.

By the end of the evening, only two of four offices were filled, including new chairwoman Cheryl Marrow and Valerie Patterson as 2nd vice chair.

Questions of candidate eligibility derailed voting vice chair and treasurer.

CB9 members particularly questioned two members on the ballot who apparently did not complete a two-year term, a condition set by community board bylaws.

“It was horrible,” said newly-appointed member Angel Miranda. “The whole process was improperly done.”

“None of us anticipated going that long,” said Kenneth Thomas, another new member. Some members stalked off. Others turned up the acrimony.

But even with half the elections processed, several members want to see the entire process redone. They believe the officials ballots with the unqualified candidates used for the election were tainted.

Members will vote for the two remaining elections at the next general board meeting set for October 8.

Reach reporter David Cruz at 719-742-3383 or dcruz@cnglocal.com.

David Cruz can be reach via e-mail at DCruz@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3383

More from Around NYC