Public hearings have been held giving the people a chance to give their opinions on governmental matters that need to be changed or improved. The Commission will then issue a report that will discuss findings and recommendations to change the city charter.
These changes will be brought before the voters for their approval or disapproval in the general election.
With regards to community boards, there have been proposals that members should be term limited. I disagree with that stance.
I have served on my local community board for several years and have seen first hand the importance of experience on my board. The institutional knowledge that our seasoned board members possess assist with decision making with frequent regularity.
Many of the experienced people on my board have lived in their communities for long periods of time and understand the needs and workings of those communities.
This year, six new members joined my board. Last year, six other new members joined as well. We still have six vacancies on my board.
I believe that we have an excellent mix in terms of diversity, age, and viewpoints. My community board is changing naturally, with longtime members gradually leaving the board and those positions being replaced by new people every year.
There is no need to remove from the board knowledgeable unpaid volunteers who have served with distinction and integrity over the course of several years to better their communities.
I believe that this is the case for many of the community boards across the city. Term limiting will result in weaker boards because of the loss of experienced members.
Every board member must renew their membership every two years. The local City Council member and borough president decide whether to reappoint the board member or not. If there are issues with a board member, that member may not be reappointed. So serving on a local board is not a lifetime appointment.
It is important that all community voices are heard on our community boards. Even though boards are only advisory in nature, all sectors of the community merit representation.
I would urge all community members who are interested to consider joining their local boards. Applications are filed in January, with appointments announced in March.
Henry Euler is a resident of Bayside.