Frequently asked questions about community boards

What is a Community Board?

New York City is divided into 59 geographic Community Districts, each one having a respective Community Board. The Community Boards are municipal bodies of up to 50 representative Board Members.  Board Members are appointed by their respective Borough President, half of them at the recommendation of their local City Council Member. They serve in a voluntary capacity for two year staggered terms. Board Members are your neighbors – people who live, work, own a business, or have some other significant interest in the Community District.  The Community Board hires a District Manager who is responsible for running the District Office.

Who are the Board Members?

Sandy Aboulafia,Yakov Abramov, Gabriella Amari, Abe Berkovic, Anna Cali, Jacob Daskal, Hersh Deutsch, Alan J. Dubrow, Joel Eisdorfer, Simcha Eichenstein, Roberta Feinstein, Annie Ferdous, Vincent Fiordimondo, Jules Fleischer, Rabbi Bernard Freilich, Jacque Friedman, Sharon Fuchs, Rabbi Edgar Gluck, Jacob Haas, P.E., Edward Handler, Mamnunul Haq, Douglas Jablon, Joseph Jacobs, Larry Jayson, Mordechai Katz, Akiva Kizelnik, Aaron Kohn, Lee Leung, Joseph Levy, Lily Marinelli, Aaron Minz, Yidel Perlstein, Morty Pupko, Peter Rebenwurzel, Mendel Reiner, Morris Senderovic, David Shlomovich, Yeruchim Silber, Samuel Stober, Dr. Stanley Sussman, Akiva Tauber, Margaret Tobin, Aaron Tyk, David Vogel, Sol Wahba,Berish Weiz, Ruben Werczberger, Moshe H. Wieder, Rochelle Zami, Mendel Zilberberg.

What does the Community Board do?

The Community Board is the official municipal body whose primary mission is to advise elected officials and government agencies on matters affecting the social welfare of the district. Community Board Twelve (CB12) meets on the fourth Tuesday of each month, except during July and August.  All meetings are open to the public.  In an attempt to maximize accessibility, the general meetings are held at Amico Senior Center, 5901 – 13th Avenue, corner 59th Street 3rd floor, enter on 59th Street. Location of meetings may vary month to month so please note location on the calendar tab or call CB12 at 718-851-0800.

Who does CB12 Brooklyn represent?

CB12 represents the neighborhoods of Borough Park, Dahill, Kensington and Midwood over 200,000 people choose to call CB12 their home. CB12 also hosts some of the most vibrant commercial shopping areas in Brooklyn including 8th Ave.13 Ave., 16th Ave, 18th and Coney Island Avenues.

What issues does CB12 get involved in?

Community Boards in general have three distinct areas of focus – land use, budget, and service delivery. CB12, in its advisory capacity, sponsors public meetings where topical issues involving the projects, programs and policies that affect the district will be presented, discussed and, at times, debated in an open forum.  

Land Use.  The Community Board routinely reviews applications that involve the acquisition, disposition and/or significant change of use of City-owned properties.  It hosts Public Hearings and sponsors open meetings to discuss and formulate recommendations on land use matters coming before it.  The Community Board is the first stage at which land use matters are formally reviewed in accordance with the City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP).  

In addition to matters pertaining to City property, the Community Board also reviews items related to private properties where property owners are seeking approval to use, develop or otherwise modify a property in a way that would not automatically be allowable under the property’s zoning designation. Other forms of land use reviews may involve properties in Landmark Districts or voluntary informational presentations by property owners.  

Budget.  The Community Boards are required to submit to the Mayor and City Council their Capital (projects) and Expense (programs and services) budget priorities for consideration in the formulation of the City’s budget.  CB12 is constantly receiving input from the public on projects, programs and services that are needed within the district. While the Community Board submits budget priorities on behalf of the district for consideration, the final decision over which projects, programs and services get funded in the City’s budget is made by the Mayor and the City Council, with input from the Borough Presidents.  

Service Delivery. The day-to-day processing of citizen complaints and requests for municipal services are handled by the District Office under the supervision of the District Manager.  The District Office is prepared to take complaints and requests for service from any constituent of the district.  It is important to contact the District Office with complaints and requests for services so that the Community Board can monitor and work toward improving service delivery in the district. Calls such as these also provide the Community Board with important indicators of the levels of resources that might be most needed in the district, reflected by the types of calls received.

What does the District Office do?

The CB12 District Office has two primary functions – to process citizen complaints and requests for services, and to provide administrative support for the Community Board. The District Office maintains all the public records of the activities of the Community Board and is responsible for setting up and preparing notices of all Community Board meetings and functions.  The District Office is a professional, non-partisan office and there are no fees for any services provided. 

What is the role of the District Manager?

District Managers play many different roles. They are at once complaint takers, municipal managers, ombudspersons, information sources, community organizers, mediators, advocates and much more. They are above all public servants with the most direct ties to their local communities. 

A District Manager is hired by the Community Board and serves at the Board’s pleasure. The District Manager establishes an office, hires staff and implements procedures to cut through red tape that impedes the delivery of City services.

What kinds of complaints does CB12 handle?

Just about any complaint that involves a municipal service can be called in to the District Office.  This includes such items as, but is not limited to:  

> Reporting a pothole 
> Missing or damaged signs 
> Malfunctioning street light 
> Clogged catch basin 
> Missed garbage collection 

These are some examples of the more common complaints that are called in to the District Office. Although most of the complaints deal with municipal services, any community-related complaint may be handled by the District Office. By acting as the community’s eyes and ears and reporting items such as this to the Community Board you can take away the satisfaction of having made a positive contribution to improving the quality of life in your neighborhood. The biggest mistake people make is that they assume that someone else will report a problem. Many problems go unreported because of this.  You have the power to make a positive change in your community with just one phone call! 

How do I report a complaint?

Call the District Office at (718) 851-0800.  If you choose to, you can also write, fax us at: 718-851-4140 or email us at bkcb12@gmail.com. Please note all pertinent information (e.g., exact location or street address, cross streets, etc.) related to the type of complaint you wish to report.  Not having sufficient information may only serve to delay our efforts to help resolve the problem. We suggest that you try to have as much information as possible available at the time that you call.  Remember, in order for us to help resolve your complaint, you must help us by accurately identifying the problem. The District Office will follow up with you in writing.

How can I get more involved in CB12?

Easy!  There are several things you can do to get more involved in CB12 – 

1) Report a service complaint or request for service to the District Office. 

2) Attend a meeting of the Community Board. Call the District Office and ask to be put on the monthly meeting Mailing List CB12 with their respective location and agenda.  

3) Sponsor or attend a Block, Civic or Merchant Association meeting. CB12 has many active organizations in the district that focus on issues, problems and concerns at a more grassroots level. If you want to know whether your block has an association, or would like information regarding any other community-based organization, call the District Office.  

4) Apply to the Community Board.  You may do so by either contacting the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office at (718) 802-3870, or by contacting your local Council Member.

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