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Budget Cuts Hit Board Seven Hard

SUNSET PARK — Community Board Seven members had to say goodbye to one of their staff members, who was laid off from her job because of city budget cuts.

The staff member was laid off a few days before Christmas, said Board Seven District Manager Jeremy Laufer, whose disappointment with the sad turn of events was evident from the tone of his voice as he delivered his district manager’s report at the board meeting on Jan. 18.

The layoff of the office worker leaves Board Seven with three employees in the district office at 4201 Fourth Ave. “We were the last Brooklyn community board that had four employees. Now we are like everyone else,” Laufer said.

In other news, Laufer said Neighbors Helping Neighbors, the Sunset Park-based community service organization, has donated a water cooler to the Board Seven office.

The board’s holiday toy drive was highly successful this year, according to Laufer, who said more than 350 toys were collected.

The board sponsors a toy drive each holiday season. The toys are donated to local charities. One of the largest contributions to the toy drive came from members of United Senior Citizens Center of Sunset Park. Laufer praised the center’s members, as well as director Grisel Amador, for their generosity.

The board is considering tightening the rules on block party permits, Laufer said. Residents are required by law to obtain a permit from the local community board in order to hold a block party.

Under the current rules, a block would be allowed to hold two block parties per summer. “But only one of the two can be on a Saturday,” Laufer stated.

Board Seven also limits the total number of block party permits it issues to 10 a day.

Board member Randolph Peers said that any changes in block party permit rules should come as a result of a discussion and a vote by the full board “rather than an arbitrary ruling.”

Peers defended block parties as an important part of the quality of life in Brooklyn.

— Paula Katinas

January 26, 2012 - 11:51am


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