One of the east Bronx’s most successful community leaders is passing the baton.
Michael McNerney, a former U.S. Marine who led the Country Club Civic Association as its president since 2014 declined another term as president of the organization.
He cited the need to focus on possible upcoming job opportunities for his decision.
McNerney made the announcement during the June CCCA meeting after running unopposed for another two-year term, and told the Bronx Times that he didn’t want to do half a job given the time-consuming career opportunities he foresees on the horizon.
He said he plans on remaining an active CCCA member and is interested in securing another position on the executive board. He added he would help with the organization as it pivots to a still undetermined permanent leader.
McNerney said that the membership encouraged him to stay as president, and that it was a really difficult decision for him to make.
“It was never my intention to fill the presidential position for a long term basis,” said McNerney. “I simply felt four years ago there were things I could do to improve both the CCCA, and Country Club community at large.”
Among the innovations that McNerney developed was the popular annual neighborhood cleanup and a program called ‘Light Up the Night’, which encourages homeowners to install outside lighting in peripheral areas of their homes to discourage crime at night.
He was also instrumental in rallying the organization’s membership in successfully petitioning the Department of State to create a non-solicitation zone in Country Club for homeowners who did not wish to receive real estate solicitations.
Beginning in 2018, homeowners can opt out of receiving solicitations for five yeas.
McNerney said that he believes his biggest accomplishment during his four-year tenure was that the group was able to restore its membership.
“We now have a true system of checks and balances,” said McNerney, adding “That is why we have some of the best attended civic meetings in the Bronx.”
The CCCA leader said that members of the organization are showed respect, and their opinions and concerns are not only discussed for the purpose of conversation, but are fully entertained by the executive board in determining final outcomes.
“It is the membership that runs the organization,” stated McNerney, adding he was able to bring the association back to being “grassroots minded” and reaching out to support neighboring communities more often.
“We also got away from concentrating on topics that were well beyond our control,” he said. “Rather, we took on local assignments that as a civic organization we had actual influence and the authority to remedy.”
Arlene Grauer, who was CCCA vice president, will serve as acting president as per the organization’s bylaws.
Grauer had words of praise for McNerney’s leadership.
“He had tremendous energy, he knew what he wanted to do and had strong feelings about it,” said Grauer. “He is a strong leader and there are no two ways about it: he turned the civic around.”
Before becoming president, McNerney was vice president of the organization for two years.