What is a Community Board?
Community boards are local representative bodies. There are 59 throughout the city. Each Board consists of up to 50 unsalaried members appointed by the Borough President with half nominated by City Council Members of the Board District. Board members are selected from among active, involved people of each community with an effort made to assure that every neighborhood is represented. Members of the Board must reside in or have a significant interest (work in, own property) in the community. Community Board 14 represents the Flatbush, Midwood and Kensington areas of Brooklyn, within the boundaries depicted on the cover of this pamphlet.
What does Community Board 14 do?
- Handles complaints and requests related to services provided by the City agencies in the community.
- Works with City agencies to plan local projects and monitors delivery of City services to the district.
- Assess the needs of these neighborhoods and make recommendations in the City’s Capital and Expense budget process to address them.
- Reviews proposed Zoning changes and other land use matters in the District. Any change in or variance from the Zoning Resolution must come before the Board for its opinion. Community Boards must be consulted on placement of most municipal facilities in the community and on other land use issues.
- Processes applications for street activities and special events in the community.
- In general, acts as the community’s liaison with City agencies.
How can I participate in the activities of Community Board 14?
Community Board 14 generally meets on the second Monday of each month, except during the summer. At these meetings, members address items of concern to the community. Board actions and decisions are basically advisory. All board meetings are open to the public. The public is allowed to speak during the Public Comment portion of the meeting which usually takes place after all Board business is completed. In addition, Community Board 14 frequently calls public hearings – on the City’s budget, on land use matters, and any other major issue, in order to give the Flatbush, Midwood and Kensington communities a chance to express their opinions.
A meeting notice and calendar are mailed to the Board’s members and community residents monthly. Anyone may sign up to join the Board’s mailing list in order to receive notification of all monthly meetings.
How can I join a Community Board Committee?
Community Board 14 committees do most of the planning and work for the items which are acted on at the Board meetings. The Board encourages non-Board members to apply to join or work on Board committees. All non-Board members of committees may vote on any issue discussed at the committee meeting; however, only Board members may vote at the regular monthly meetings. The Board’s six Topical Committees are: Community Environment; Education, Libraries, and Cultural Affairs; Human Services; Youth Services; Public Safety; and Transportation.
What kind of complaints can be referred to Community Board 14?
In general, anything that involves a City agency. The following are examples:
- Abandoned/derelict vehicles
- Building or housing code violations
- Clogged catch basins
- Garbage collection and street sweeping
- Park maintenance
- Potholes and broken sidewalks
- Social services problems
- Street lights out
- Missing or damaged traffic signs
- Street tree replacements
- Zoning violations
What do I do if I have a service complaint or request?
By order of the Mayor of the City of New York in 2003, most service complaints and requests must be made first by calling 311, the City’s Citizen Service Center. Make sure to write down the complaint/request number that the operator provides you.
If you are unable to resolve your complaint or have your request fulfilled, you may contact the Community Board to assist you. Call us at (718) 859-6357 with your complaint/request, the 311 complaint/request number and the date on which you submitted it. We will do our best to expedite a response from the appropriate agency.
The Community Board plays an important role in key decisions that the city makes, but many people are still not aware of and have not benefited from, their presence. We urge you to learn how your Community Board can serve you. Be the eyes and ears for your local community: if you see a problem that involves a City service, call us at (718) 859-6357.