Community Board 5, Queens works to improve the Ridgewood, Maspeth, Middle Village and Glendale communities, which are part of Community District 5, Queens. Within our borders, we also have a small portion of Woodside and Rego Park. There are currently 47 members of our Board. The members of the Board are all volunteers. There is a small paid staff consisting of a District Manager, two Community Associates, and a Community Assistant.
Each Board Member is asked to serve on at least two committees of the Board. Each committee is responsible for understanding and working towards improving services, or making recommendations for improvement in such areas as Transportation, Public Transit, Land Use, Parks, Sanitation, Health, Education, the Environment, Housing, Libraries, Public Safety, and Youth Services.
Every second Wednesday of the month, we conduct a full board meeting that is open to the public. During the month, committee meetings are also conducted. The board is meant to serve as a local representative body of City government. Board members must live within the boundaries of the board area, or have a significant employment interest in the area.
Community Board 5, Queens conducts public hearings related to the city budget, zoning issues, capital projects, and other important matters. Like the monthly board meeting and committee meetings, the hearings give the public and board members the opportunity to have input and express their views. The recommendations made by the Community Board are advisory, but the Board can play an important role in zoning matters, and in getting things accomplished for the community.
During the past 20 years, for example, Community Board 5 in Queens has successfully advocated for the resurfacing of many roadways, the reconstruction of all or part of numerous local parks, and the reconstruction of the area sewer lines. Some of the most important capital projects that we have pushed for include: Reconstruction of Rust Street, Reconstruction of the L & M Train Station at Myrtle and Wyckoff Avenues, Reconstruction of Mafera Park, Maurice Park (now Frank Principe Park), Reconstruction of Middle Village Playground and parts of Juniper Valley Park, Reconstruction of Frontera Park and Grover Cleveland Park, and numerous other improvements costing thousands or millions of dollars. We have worked with area elected officials to achieve these and numerous other capital improvements. Yet, it is important to note that the goal of Community Boards is to be a non-political community based entity. We seek to work with residents and business to improve our portion of the city.
Every day, the Community Board staff responds to complaints and requests for service, from area residents and business. We work with the Police Department, Sanitation Department, Fire Department, Department of Transportation, Department of Environmental Protection, and other City agencies to stabilize and improve the neighborhoods that are in our jurisdiction. Essentially, we are an important link between big city government and the community. We believe that our board members and staff have played significant roles in helping to reduce crime, improving the cleanliness of the neighborhoods, upgrading the condition of roadways and the public transit system, and doing whatever possible to help to stabilize and improve the areas within our borders.