In The Age of Community Boards

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: positions on Community Boards should have term limits.

Community Board 5’s monthly meeting last Wednesday is the latest example of the point.

After some discussion of holding the Sept. meeting in person, the Board ultimately decided to do it on Zoom once again.

Fine, whatever.

But before the members could get to saying the Pledge of Allegiance completely out of sync with their speakers on, another 20 minutes were spent figuring out how to get the Zoom working smoothly. It’s quite hilarious, but also a bit uncomfortable to view an important and eventful meeting, with public hearings regarding the Fiscal Year 2024 Capital and Expense Budget, and the proposed conversion of streets in Glendale. How many times can one hear, “speak up?”

Too bad the entire meeting was extremely hard to follow, filled with formal jargon and bickering, and inaccessible to people new to the community and maybe even longtime residents.

“Community” is literally in the name of the agency, shouldn’t that be what it’s all about?

A burst of energy came through the screen when Eric Butkiewicz, the young Middle Village man who was recently appointed chair of the Transportation Committee, spoke about the committee’s evaluations of the two-way Glendale streets proposed to be converted into one-ways.

Butkiewicz spoke clearly, eloquently and actually seemed passionate about what he was discussing.

Can’t say the same for some of the others.

There was some confusion toward the end of the meeting on whether or not the board should vote on a matter or table it.

If the chairman of the board has to settle a disagreement with “Tell me what you want to do before I shoot myself,” it might be time to re-think some board positions.

Invite younger people to become engaged with matters concerning the community instead of making decisions for a demographic you no longer represent.


Helen Valenti passed away on Sunday, September 11, 2022 at the age of 89. Beloved Wife of the late Frank. J. Valenti. Loving Sister of Margaret Shepherd and the late Richard Wiggins and Donald Wiggins. Cherished Aunt and Great-Aunt. Private Cremation held on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 at Fresh Pond Crematory, Middle Village, NY. Entombment of Cremains to follow at Lutheran All-Faiths Cemetery, Middle Village, NY under the direction of Papavero Funeral Home, 72-27 Grand Avenue, Maspeth NY 11378.


Vito Pascullo passed away on Wednesday, September 14, 2022 at the age of 81. Beloved Son of the late Anna & Antonio Pascullo. Loving Brother of Angela Cutrone, Dominick Pascullo, Pasquina Molfetta, Lucy Iacobazzi and the late Teresa Loiacono. Mass of Christian Burial offered at St. Adalbert’s Church on Monday, September 19, 2022 at 10 AM. Entombment followed at Cimitero di Palo del Colle, Bari, Italy under the direction of Papavero Funeral Home, 72-27 Grand Avenue, Maspeth NY 11378.


Tessie Balagot Tabile passed away on Tuesday, September 13, 2022 at the age of 68. Beloved Wife of Benjamin Tabile. Loving Mother of Edward (Justine) Tabile and Terence Tabile. Cherished Grandmother of CAsey. Mass of ChristianBurial offered at St. Sebastian Church on Saturday, September 24, 2022 9:45 AM. Interment followed at St. John Cemetery, Middle Village, NY under the direction of Papavero Funeral Home, 72-27 Grand Avenue, Maspeth NY 11378.


Cesar Cabezas Burneo passed away on Saturday, September 17, 2022 at the age of 90. Beloved Husband of Josefina Cabezas. Loving Father of Marcela C. Rapaport, Yanira Cabezas, Xavier Cabezas, Marizol Cabezas, Jose Cavezas and the late Cesar Cabezas. Cherished Grandfather of 14 grandchildren and great-grandfather of many great-grandchildren. Mass of Christian Burial offered at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church on Monday, September 19, 2022 10:30 AM. Entombment followed at Ferncliff Cemetery Rosewood Mausoleum, Hartsdale, NY under the direction of Papavero Funeral Home, 72-27 Grand Avenue, Maspeth NY 11378.

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