Martin Prince, a 21-year veteran of Community Board 10, has been elected as its new chairman.
Prince is a Co-op City family man who is a now retired after working 33 years in the federal government. He said that being Community Board 10’s chairman was a goal after serving on the board’s executive committee, and as secretary, treasurer and vice-chairman.
Prince, 59, spoke about his commitment as a volunteer who is trying to ensure that the local community gets its fair-share in city budgets, which can be shaky in terms of finances.
“You gain awareness of the political process as far as the acquisition of services, and in terms of getting your portion of the municipal budget, meaning our fair share in terms of what we put in as taxes,” he said. “You get a chance to advocate for our neighborhood as it presently exists, and also for its future.”
He said that his goals as the boards’ new chairman is making sure that the board’s communities remain family-friendly, maintaining one- and two-family homes in residential areas, and dealing with what appears to be the area’s long-term need for better infrastructure.
“My big concern looking towards the future is the infrastructure of our board, because we do see so much development near our existing infrastructure, and it is really beginning to wear down under the burden,” he said, adding that you can only “kick the can down the road” so far on infastruture.
He added that he also wants to address ever-present and ever-changing quality-of-life issues, fostering good police and community relations, and deal with concerns specific to his home community of Co-op City.
Prince grew up in the Forest Houses in Morrisania, and also spent a good deal of time living with his grandparents in Manhattan’s Harlem. He went away for college for a year, and then came back completed his education at City College of New York.
He moved to Co-op City shortly before he became a board member. Co-op City was a great place to raise his four children with his wife Mary, he said, and he wants to do what he can to ensure that future generations are able to have the same quality-of-life and remain in the areas where they currently live. He feels that he can do this where he is, at the board.
“It is public service at its very heart,” he said. “You want people to have a decent place to live and to have a future there. To help see that happen is the rewarding part.”