Jan. 13, 2021 By Christina Santucci
The Queens borough president’s office has launched its first-ever online application for seats on the borough’s 14 community boards.
Those interested in serving on a Queens community board must submit their application by Feb 19. The appointments are for two-year terms that begin on April 1.
This year the application process has been digitized given COVID-19. Previously, the forms had to be notarized, and applicants were required to mail their documents to Queens Borough Hall or drop them off in person.
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said in a statement that the goal of the digitized application was to streamline the process, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic, and attract a more diverse applicant pool of “qualified and civic-minded individuals.”
Richards noted that the online form would be safer, quicker and easier, particularly for those in areas of the borough with less access to public transportation.
“This common-sense overhaul of the outdated community board application process represents a significant step toward ensuring that our 14 Queens Community Boards truly look, sound and feel like the diverse neighborhoods of each district,” Richards said in a statement.
To be eligible, applicants must live, work, go to school, own a business or have a significant interest in the district in which they would like to serve. The application form includes questions about potential conflicts of interest, demographics and access to transportation and technology, as well as an essay section.
Community boards act in advisory roles for elected officials and government agencies about land use and zoning issues in their respective districts.
The boards, which are limited to 50 members and meet monthly, also issue recommendations about the city’s budget, municipal services and other matters specific to their communities.
Community board members, who do not receive salaries, must reapply every two years for their seats and may serve up to four consecutive terms.
Approximately half of the members’ terms expire each year, so appointments of roughly 350 new and returning members are expected to be made this year.