New chair, manager for CB7

Community Board 7 has undergone a major change in leadership, and finally after several months, chosen a new district manager.

It also saw changes to its first and second chairs, treasury and secretary posts.

The board will now take its gripes to Socrates Caba of Fordham, a soft-spoken former CB7 member working in the health care field.

“I hope to hit the ground running,” said Caba, 52. His post is effective July 1st.

The board also voted to name Adaline Walker as its new chair.

A pro-education, business-minded Bronxite, she replaces Paul Foster, who did not seek re-election for the two-year term.

Caba replaces Fernando Tirado, who resigned last October after an often rocky relationship with the board. Caba doesn’t look to repeat that.

“I look forward to having conversations with the new chair…talk to all the community board members to see their thinking,” he said.

Caba was chosen by CB7’s Search Committee, presenting their recommendation to members during its full board meeting on June 18, it’s last until September. Caba, absent at the meeting, was voted in 13-3, with 8 abstaining.

Walker abstained from the vote on Caba, but she didn’t consider silence as a vote of no-confidence for Caba.

“It’s nothing against him, personally. I don’t know him,” said Walker, adding “I hope we work out well.”

What she was sure of was her agenda of “more engagement and more expansion.”

“I’m not about sitting and talking,” said Walker. “I’m about moving.”

Walker made strides in helping to keep the much-loved MS 80 opened after it was placed on the Education Department’s turnaround list last year. She also spread awareness on the toxic dangers at P.S. 51, which sparked a city investigation.

The board covers Fordham, Bedford Park, Norwood, and Kingsbridge, where the world’s largest ice skating rink inside the Kingsbridge Armory is under review.

Walker is in favor of the mega-rink project that will bring nine ice rinks and a concert arena to the cavernous building.

“I think it’s a phenomenal idea,” said Walker, praising the project’s after-school program.

She’s also backs the city’s Webster Avenue revision plan, which Walker sees as the next SOHO.

“I’ve already been knocking on doors, talking to property owners, asking them if they’re willing to see an Olive Garden here,” said Walker.

Foster will stick with the board, as the review process for the Kingsbridge Armory ice project gets into the board’s hands. He’ll be a part of a four-member advisory panel looking over the plan.

As for his thoughts on role of a chairperson, the post sets the tone.

“You have to work with people,” said Foster. “That takes time to develop, and if you don’t have it you don’t have it.”

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

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