Scissura Quits Beep Race, Becomes Chamber Prez

By Brooklyn Eagle Staff

BROOKLYN — Carlo Scissura, senior advisor to Borough President Marty Markowitz, has ended his bid to succeed Markowitz and instead will become the new head of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

Scissura, who had been actively pursuing a run for borough president and had led prospective candidates in fundraising, "is NOT running for borough president," Markowitz press secretary Mark Zustovitch told the Brooklyn Eagle in an email response to a question left for Scissura.

Markowitz, whose three-term tenure ends in December 2013, said his relationship with Scissura is like that of a parent to a child when the child is grown and ready to leave home.

"I am sad that Carlo will be leaving Borough Hall but happy for Brooklyn businesses," Markowitz said. "When Brooklyn’s businesses do well, all of Brooklyn comes out ahead. To that I say: Bravo!”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg added that Scissura "represents the best of everything Brooklyn has to offer and has continually turned big ideas into real actions and results.”

Scissura, a resident of Dyker Heights, will fill the Chamber presidency and become its chief executive officer on Sept. 1. Rick Russo has been serving as interim president since Carl Hum left earlier this year. Russo, a tenured member of Brooklyn development circles, did not return a call for comment, and a Chamber spokeswoman refused to comment on Russo's future with the Chamber.

Before Hum, the Chamber was led for several years by Kenneth Adams, who now serves as president and CEO of New York’s Empire State Development.

Last summer, Scissura described to a meeting of the Brooklyn Bridge Rotary Club how “a lot of kids whose parents and grandparents left Brooklyn in the ’70s and ’80s” are moving to “neighborhoods that their grandparents ran out of — like Williamsburg and Greenpoint and Sunset Park and Crown Heights.”

But problems remain, Scissura cautioned. There’s high unemployment, especially among young African-American men, and some of Brooklyn’s schools are not what they should be.

“We always say let’s talk about all the great things, but let’s focus energy on places that really need it,” he said.

Now given the role of booster-in-chief for Brooklyn business, Scissura had this to say yesterday in a prepared statement:

“With all of the exciting changes going on in Brooklyn, I can’t think of a better time to take on this wonderful new opportunity…

"We have witnessed the transformation of Brooklyn into a great place to live, work, play, visit and do business, and the time is now for the Chamber to lead Brooklyn as it continues its spectacular rise into a true global city and an international brand. As an attorney, small business owner, former educator, and counsel and chief of staff to Marty Markowitz — the best borough president Brooklyn has ever seen and ever will see — I have learned firsthand the needs and concerns of businesspeople, merchants and entrepreneurs throughout our borough," he said.

“I can think of no better candidate to lead the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce than Carlo Scissura,” said the Chamber’s board chairman, Peter Meyer.

Meyer, president-NYC Market of TD Bank, added, “Carlo brings to the table an unmatched combination of leadership skills and experience, and his depth of knowledge about the borough and the issues facing our business community will serve the Chamber — and our more than 1,000 members — exceedingly well.”

In the campaign finance period reported in January, Scissura reported collecting $126,765, leaving him with $123,000 cash on hand.

“I am humbled by the extensive support my campaign has received from people across our borough,” he said at the time. “Brooklynites need a borough president who can create jobs, increase access to affordable housing and make sure our kids are getting the kind of top-notch education they deserve."

Last year, he was quoted by the New York Post as stating, "I feel like I would be able to do a great job for Brooklyn."