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Joe Conley, Community Board 2 Chair, is stepping down

Joe Conley (third from left)

Joe Conley (third from left)

Dec. 4, 2014 By Christian Murray

Joe Conley, the long-serving Community Board 2 chair, is stepping down.

Multiple sources said that Conley, who has been chair for over 25 years, will be making the announcement tonight when Community Board 2 has its full monthly meeting.

Conley’s departure from the community board will result in the biggest shake up the board has seen in nearly 30 years. For the past decade, the same leadership structure has been in place: Conley as chairman; Steve Cooper, first vice chairman; Patrick O’Brien, second vice chairman; Lisa Deller, secretary, and Diane Ballek, treasurer

Tonight the board will be holding an election for all these positions and at the very least there will be a new chairperson. At this point, the field is wide open, according to sources. Board members were only alerted to Conley’s departure yesterday.

“It will be an interesting transition,” said Lisa Deller, who is the head of the land use committee. “Joe has contributed a lot. He has given his heart and soul to the board, and whether people are for or against what he has done…it should not be forgotten that he has gone above and beyond.”

Joe-Conley-250x2501Conley could not be reached for comment.

Conley, who has always been the recipient of great praise from his fellow board colleagues, was instrumental in turning the prostitute-ridden Long Island City into the thriving neighborhood it is today. He was also was the chair during the Sunnyside-Woodside rezoning.

The chairperson has significant control of the board. He/she decides which members sit on what committees and also who chairs them. The chair is also the one who runs the monthly meetings and is the public face of the board.

While the community board is deemed advisory, it does have significant influence– particularly when it comes on land use, liquor license and transportation issues.

The new chair will take the helm at a time when there are many ongoing issues. There is the ongoing debate about backyard seating in Long Island City, the debate over affordable housing throughout the district, continued development and the possible construction over the Sunnyside Yards .

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10 Comments

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Anonymous visitor

Thanks for 25 years of service and hopefully moving towards no Sunnyside yard development and use of backyards!

Reply
Doreen

I hope the next Chair does not own a business in LIC. I would say that is a conflict of interest.

Reply
helping

Would be great to see some brand new blood on the board! Maybe even someone from the younger end of the community. Before you get all hot and bothers about tower people vs the rest of us, that isn’t my intention. I would just like to see someone step up who is a little more in tune with the times, and realizes the need to include both the new and the old opinions in the community. Not everyone thinks a quiet street with a baker is the best direction for LIC and their voices are clearly underrepresented with the current appointees.

Reply
PO

His resignation won’t change a thing. Those that sit on the community board are all intertwined and connected to each other in a way that the power structure is concentrated. Take a look at how some of the appointees to the board got there. Trace their involvement on the board to what they (or their business) have been involved in within the community. Some of these “public servants” are really there to serve themselves and not those that benefit the whole of the community. Term limits would be a great thing to implement. But not sure if it would be possible.

Reply
PO

His resignation won’t change a thing. Those that sit on the community board are all intertwined and connected to each other in a way that the power structure is concentrated. Take a look at how some of the more recent appointees to the board got there. Then trace their involvement

Reply
LIC_Dude

Time for some new, younger blood for sure. And someone outside the current political spectrum.

It’s not always about Democrats vs. Republicans. I’d like to see someone not with either party in any way shape or form.

I’m sick of the same handful of people taking pictures at every damn LIC event…all fighting over who’s in front and their most photogenic angle.

Reply
Doreen

Hmmmmm, very mixed emotions here. There is an old saying that goes something about “the devil you know”.

Hopefully we will have term limits soon.

In any event, best wishes to you Joe Conley.

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