CB5 members back leadership after calls for resignation
by Benjamin Fang
Nov 19, 2019 | 307 views | 0 0 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CB5 Chair Vincent Arcuri, CB5 District Manager Gary Giordano, CB5 associate Cathy O’Leary and board member Crystal Wolfe at the latest board meeting.
CB5 Chair Vincent Arcuri, CB5 District Manager Gary Giordano, CB5 associate Cathy O’Leary and board member Crystal Wolfe at the latest board meeting.
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At last month’s Community Board 5 meeting, several residents criticized board chair Vincent Arcuri, Jr. and district manager Gary Giordano for how they handled the public hearing for the planned homeless shelter at 78-16 Cooper Avenue.

At least one speaker, Mike Papa from the Glendale-Middle Village Coalition, even called for their resignation, citing their “ineffective, unproductive and divisive” leadership.

Last Wednesday, however, CB5 member Crystal Wolfe called out the “unmerited and uncalled for” behavior toward Arcuri, Giordano and elected officials like Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi.

She said CB5 members are volunteers who donate their time to serve and improve their community.

“Vinny and Gary are two of the most wonderful and caring men I have known,” Wolfe said. “Hevesi is working hard to promote permanent solutions to homelessness.

“These are wonderful people who deserve our appreciation,” she added.

Wolfe said while everyone should have a voice at community board meetings, they should also “abide by the bylaws,” which state that comments in the public forum must not contain cursing, slander, shouting and disruptions.

She said CB5 should not continue attacks on board members from the public.

“These disruptions and attacks are not helping any of us reach our goals,” she said. “It would be more productive to work together than to shout at each other.”

Wolfe even proposed for CB5 to elect a parliamentarian, someone who could keep order at board meetings. She suggested choosing a member who has experience working with the NYPD, and nominated Jerry Drake.

Drake, who said he would be “certainly willing” to take on the role, defended Giordano and Arcuri from the attacks at last month’s meeting.

Wolfe ended her remarks by presenting flowers to the two leaders to show how much she appreciated their kindness and service.

Later on in the meeting, Arcuri said they would have to take a look at the bylaws of the board to consider electing a parliamentarian.

“We can’t just make up things,” he said. “We’ll have to review it.”
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