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people to become engaged with matters concerning the community instead of making decisions for a demographic you no longer represent.

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