Beginning in June, Community Board 10 will have a new district manager on the job.
A CB 10 search committee selected the Matthew Cruz from among three finalists on Friday, March 31.
Cruz was unanimously voted in on Thursday, April 20 by the full board.
He replaces Kenneth Kearns, who resigned and stopped working at the board in September, but remained on the payroll for some time because of accrued vacation.
Cruz comes to CB 10 from the NYC Department of Buildings, where he worked in intergovernmental relations.
He said requests for zoning enforcement from CB 10 are a frequent part of his work at DOB, and knows that it is a top board concern.
Cruz, a ‘millennial’ who is 25-years-old, said he believes that the board chose him for his energy and work ethic.
“I think they wanted someone who knew the district well and who had great relationships with the stakeholders of the community,” he said, adding that he cannot wait to get started.
His first day will be on Monday, June 5.
Prior to being at the DOB, he worked for Councilman James Vacca for over two years as a constituent liaison.
He lives in Morris Park, a community he’s called home since he was 16-years-old.
Prior to that, he grew up in the George Washington Carver Houses in Harlem.
The new DM sees traffic issues like speeding and mitigating congestion, as well as working with the 45th Precinct on crime related matters as some more of the board’s key concerns.
One of the best parts of a community board is the differing viewpoints of board members on issues, and he hopes to facilitate debate in which everyone trusts each other, he said.
“One thing that we all have in common is that we are stakeholders,” he said, adding “I want my board members to go home and feel that they got their voice in and that we made an informed decision as a board.”
Cruz attended All Hallows High School before moving onto Pace University for an undergraduate degree.
He is currently wrapping up work on an Urban Planning Graduate Degree at Hunter College.
Cruz believes that this planning background is another one of the reasons the board selected him.
“A community board has a pretty important role because they are planning institutions,” said Cruz, adding “I think I can help articulate (the board’s) voice and message.”
He describes himself as someone from humble beginnings, pointing to his experiences growing up in public housing.
He has had success, and now wants to give back and share what he has learned, he said.
Cruz said he believes he will be a resource in his new position.
“The district manager can be a resource, not just for the board members, but for the residents at large,” said Cruz.
Vacca, who first hired Cruz as an intern and then as a staffer, said he appreciated his tenacity in terms of working on behalf of constituents.
“I realized right away that he was extremely committed to our mission,” said Vacca of Cruz.