Jan 222013
Image source: Stock Monkeys.com via Flickr.

Image source: Stock Monkeys.com via Flickr.

Beginning in February, the city is planning to do away with parking privileges that for decades have allowed the 59 chairpersons of its community boards to park for free on metered streets, writes Colin Mixson for Brooklyn Daily.

The free parking placards from the Mayor’s Community Assistance Unit will be done away with for the unpaid position of community chair, but not for the district manager – which is a salaried post.

Bay Ridge/ Dyker Heights Community Board 10 Chairwoman Joanne Seminara thinks the new rule will only serve to make her volunteer duties more difficult.

“I found it very disappointing and disturbing,” Seminara told Brooklyn Daily. “We’re volunteers, and we spend countless hours every week traveling throughout the district to attend different meetings.”

From Brooklyn Daily:

Seminara and her peers have lorded it over regular motorists for years by routinely displaying two parking permits from the Mayor’s Community Assistance Unit, one for the unpaid chair and another for the salaried district manager, allowing free parking at most metered spots in the city for up to three hours.

But that’s all coming to an end on Feb. 1, and the grass roots gladiators are cringing at the thought of having to cut short their civic meetings because they have to move the car.

“If I park at a meter that only takes an hour’s worth of quarters, I can’t stay at the meetings the whole time,” said Community Board 15 chairwoman Theresa Scavo.

District managers, who get to retain their parking privileges, are backing up the CB chairs by portraying city hall as blind to the needs of community activists who they say spend hours of their free time selflessly helping their neighborhoods.

“They’re doing the community a favor,” said Community Board 18 district manager Dorothy Turano. “I’m doing it as part of my obligation, and there’s no question I deserve to have this pass, but so does [Community Board 18 chairman] Sol Needle.”