Queens activists and lawmakers are divided over a bill from City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) that would institute term limits for community boards.
The bill, introduced in December, states that starting April 1, 2016, community board members cannot serve more than six consecutive two-year terms. The bill would not apply to current board members. Members are currently appointed by the borough presidents and City Council members.
There was a joint hearing for the bill by the governmental operations and general welfare committees May 11.
The bill has been heard and is under consideration to be heard by the full Council, according to a spokeswoman for City Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan), chairman of the governmental operations committee.
Supporters of the bill say term limits would help make community boards more representative of their communities and prevent a few people from dominating the boards.
“I feel that communities change and I feel that community boards need to reflect the changes in communities,” Dromm said.
City Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst), one of the bill’s co-sponsors, agreed.
“I sponsored Council member Dromm’s legislation to limit the term of community board members to protect our democracy,” Ferreras said in a statement. “Many elected officials are term limited for the same reason. As communities evolve, so should their representatives.”
Opponents of the bill feel that term limits would take experienced members off the boards. They argue that incompetent members could easily be removed.
If you believe in term limits, then remove the people who have stayed too long. Problem solved. (It's funny, but Danny has no problem removing people who have only served one term who disagree with him.)
Also, in many neighborhoods, no one wants to be on the community boards so there's no point in removing people and having a board with empty seats.