Joanne Seminara has a bone to pick with New York City.
Seminara, chair of Community Board 10, charged that city officials don’t listen to the board on budgetary issues.
Each October, the board submits a list of capital projects it believes the city should fund in Bay Ridge and Dyker Heights, the two communities the board represents. And each year, according to Seminara, city officials turn down many of the items of the board’s list. The city usually sends its answer in January or February.
Seminara’s frustration with the lack of progress boiled over at the board’s monthly meeting on Feb. 27, where she let the city have it.
“Tonight we voted on our response to the responses of the various agencies to our capital and expense budget requests and we reaffirmed our priorities for funding. Having done this, I cannot help but remark the extent to which our requests fall on deaf ears,” she told the board. “Every year we spend several hours trying to prioritize the many ordinary and ongoing needs for regular maintenance and services, only to hear again and again that funding is not available, or we should bring our request to the attention of our elected officials.”
The frustrated board leader continued, “It seems to me park maintenance, regular sanitation pickups on our commercial strips and sewers that do not overflow our corners in a heavy rain are not too much to ask.”
Bay Ridge has two business improvement districts (BIDs), on 86th Street and on Fifth Avenue, in which property owners pay an added assessment of their city real estate taxes to pay for such items as sanitation services beyond what the city normally provides.
“As neighborhood-enhancing as they have been, we should not have to create more BIDs at the expense of our local businesses to get the services that keep our neighborhood vibrant,” Seminara said.
- Paula Katinas