Bayside curmudgeon, civic activist and senior citizen Frank Skala announced at Monday night’s Community Board 11 meeting that he is seriously thinking of retiring from the board at the end of the month.
As of Tuesday, Skala remained undecided but seemed to be leaning toward retirement. “I’m 76 and I’m getting too old for this,” he said. “I don’t like driving at night because it isn’t safe and all the meetings are at night.”
Skala has been on CB 11 for 10 years, is president of the East Bayside Homeowners Association and heads the Bayside High School New Alumni Association. Neither group has been active for some time.
“Our civic hasn’t met in two years,” Skala said. “People only show up when there is an issue they are concerned about.”
He organized the alumni group and put together its directory, which includes over 25,000 listings. “I keep updating the records, but we haven’t had a reunion since 2008,” Skala said.
Skala, who boasts of not having an answering machine — much less voicemail — or computer, is a retired junior high school teacher with two children and two grandchildren.
He has mixed feelings about the success of community boards, calling them “marginally successful,” adding: “Some things never get reconciled such as plane noise, and not much has changed since I joined the board.”
His greatest accomplishment was getting the outdoor flashing digital sign removed at Bayside High School, “but it took four years. It should have taken four days,” Skala said.
He still remains active in All Saints Episcopal Church and enjoys playing the role of Santa whenever he’s asked.