Former Flushing assemblyman and political lobbyist Barry Grodenchik was named deputy borough president on Tuesday by Borough President Helen Marshall.
Grodenchik replaces Karen Koslowitz, who was elected to her old Forest Hills City Council seat. She had been term limited out of office in 2001.
As deputy, Grodenchik, 49, will serve as director of community boards and be responsible for park-related and other issues. His position is mandated by the City Charter.
“Barry is a seasoned public servant with experience at the state and county level,” Marshall said. “He has been involved in the planning and fruition of many projects in Queens and has the experience and knowledge to serve our county well.”
Grodenchik was elected in 2002 to the newly created 22nd Assembly District in Flushing. Two years later, he lost to Jimmy Meng in the Democratic primary and went to work for the Parkside Group, a powerful political consulting firm and lobbying group. As such, he helped his former boss Claire Shulman push for the Willets Point redevelopment project. Shulman heads the Flushing,Willets Point, Corona Local Development Corp.
Grodenchik, who left Parkside last fall, said he is returning to his roots, having served as chief of administration from 1991 to 2002 when Shulman was borough president. Before that, he was the Queens regional representative for the state Department of State and served as ombudsman for Queens County under Gov. Mario Cuomo.
“I am delighted to be back at Borough Hall and grateful to Helen Marshall to be able to serve the people of Queens,” Grodenchik said.
Borough Hall insiders say several former political candidates had applied for the deputy borough president position. Many had recently run unsuccessfully for office. The job pays $135,000.