Adrienne Adams secured a comfortable victory over Jacqueline Boyce to become the new chairwoman of Community Board 12 after elections held at the body’s Wednesday night meeting in St. Albans.
Adams beat Boyce by a vote of 23-15. It was a far cry from the last time the two women went head to head, when Boyce came out on top by just one vote. After winning, Adams was all smiles, but she became teary-eyed when asked how she felt about the win.
“It feels terrific,” Adams said. “You can expect something new for Community Board 12. I’m very excited and very honored to have the trust of my board members. We are going to move forward.”
Boyce sat stone faced after the results were announced and didn’t say anything, but she did offer Adams a congratulatory handshake and kiss on the cheek.
C. Princess Thorbs was elected second vice chairwoman. Renee Hill became the board’s new secretary. The treasurer is Benjamin Wright, and Yolanda Thompkins picked up the seat of parliamentarian. All of those races were uncontested. Billy Mitchell was disqualified from the second vice chairperson race, because he was one meeting shy of the 70 percent attendance requirement.
Before board members cast their ballots, Boyce and Adams were each allowed to give a speech explaining why she was the best candidate for the job. Boyce spoke about how she was basically thrust into the position after the prior chairwoman was not reappointed, and though she didn’t want the position, she accepted it because she felt an obligation to serve the community. Boyce also talked about her decades of community service and her 18 years on the board.
“I say this to all of you, because this is something I did not aspire to. It was not on my agenda,” Boyce said. “But for some reason the door opened and I was here to do this job. ... I decided right up front that one of our goals should be unity in the community.”
Adams was more specific in her speech, naming the areas she believes the board needs to focus on like healthcare, crime and education. She also said her vision for the board is one of communication and cohesion and suggested that there be inter-committee partnerships, meaning that committee members periodically sit in on meetings other than their own to learn more about the problems affecting the board’s district.
“We have to continue to focus on urgent concerns like the fact that there is no hospital in Community Board 12 — the largest community board in Queens, ” Adams said. “We also have to face the fact that we had a major crisis with Hurricane Sandy, and we had to rely on institutions of learning to become shelters — York College and Hillcrest High School.”
There was some controversy at the meeting, when former city councilman and leader of the Guy R. Brewer United Democratic Club Archie Spigner suggested that the board’s bylaws require that each member read his vote out loud after casting his ballot. Some insiders have speculated that Spigner is the puppet master steering the direction of the board through Boyce, something they both deny.
Tyquana Henderson, head of the nominating committee, and City Councilman Ruben Wills (D-Jamaica), who was also in attendance, assured Spigner that he was incorrect and the ballots were not read aloud. But who voted for whom is public information, Henderson said, and would be available after the election. Spigner’s wife, Leslie, is head of the Bylaws Committee, but she did not intervene.