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Queens Chronicle

Katz taps Comrie as deputy beep

Names Bond, her former Assembly and Council aide, as chief of staff

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 5:18 am, Wed Dec 24, 2014.

Borough President-Elect Melinda Katz has tapped a longtime associate and a former rival for key positions in Borough Hall come January.

Councilman Leroy Comrie (D-St. Albans), who dropped out of the borough president race this past summer, will serve as deputy borough president, while Jay Bond, a former policy advisor to Katz during her tenure on the City Council and in the state Assembly, will be brought on board as chief of staff.

Katz, in a telephone interview on Tuesday, said both men have knowledge and experience vital to the effective operation of Borough Hall.

She said Bond’s responsibilities will include coordinating a staff of more than 50.

“Also important to me is that he worked with me in land use when I was chair of the Council’s Land Use Committee,” Katz said. “Since the Borough President’s Office has a lot to do with land use, that expertise is important.”

Bond most recently worked as policy director for the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

Comrie, the deputy majority leader in the City Council and leader of the Queens delegation, is being forced out of office by term limits after 12 years in City Hall.

He had been rumored as a possible deputy ever since shutting down his own campaign for the borough’s top slot.

Katz said Comrie had an eclectic background in Queens public service long before joining the Council, including posts as chief of staff to former Councilman Archie Spigner and on his local school board in the former District 29 prior to the establishment of the city’s community education councils.

“And the expertise he brings as chairman of the Finance Committee for the last four years also will play an important part,” she said.

While Katz said Comrie’s duties will be more clearly defined in the coming weeks, she said they will not necessarily include supervision of Queens community boards.

Those now are overseen by current Deputy Borough President Barry Grodenchik.

“I might appoint someone to that,” said Katz, who herself had the task under one of her mentors, Claire Shulman, though there also was a deputy borough president.

Both men were upbeat in a statement issued by Katz’s transition team on Tuesday morning.

“Now, more than ever, Queens needs Melinda’s vision for a more prosperous and equitable borough,” Comrie said. “Over the 20 years I have worked with her, Melinda has proven herself a tireless and honest public servant with a real plan to move our borough forward.”

Bond said the borough president-elect has shown tangible results during her career of public service.

“I’m excited to build on that progress by helping Melinda assemble the most qualified team possible from every walk of life and every corner of our city,” he said.

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  • CleanUpJamaicaQueens posted at 6:54 am on Fri, Dec 6, 2013.

    CleanUpJamaicaQueens Posts: 121

    Mr. Comrie, care to explain to the tax payers why you supported a shady clinic and doctor to the tune of $5000 in tax payers money. We would all like to know.

    And so the Jamaica leaders scandal continues: Shirley Huntley, Malcolm Smith, Gregory Meeks, Ruben Wills, Vivian Cook and could Comrie be next.[sad]

  • CleanUpJamaicaQueens posted at 5:25 pm on Thu, Dec 5, 2013.

    CleanUpJamaicaQueens Posts: 121

    Councilman Leroy Comrie, the supposedly well-loved Jamaica Councilman (who is saying this, the PR machine, because many people I talk to in Jamaica do not feel this way), who for twelve years has done very little to help improve the quality of life in Jamaica and whose 3rd term ends at the end of this year and he gets a nice big fancy promotion with increase in pay (courtesy of us tax payers) as Deputy Borough President (which this has been known was going to happen) in incoming Queens Borough President Melinda Katz’s administration. Talk about a travesty, but at the end of the day, it is all just political bull where one hand wipes another hand.

    But what exactly has Mr. Comrie really done to help improve the quality of life in Jamaica. I mean sure he helped secure funding for millions of dollars for the cultural arts such as restoring the former First Reformed Dutch Church of Jamaica into the Jamaica Performing Arts Center (which is totally underutilized) and to help upgrade the Queens Library and some of our parks, but what great strides in quality of life has he really done in twelve years. So you secure millions in funding for a library, while the immediate area surrounding is filled with garbage everywhere.

    Comrie took office in 2001 and since that time, Jamaica has become more filthy than ever with a major garbage problem, there are more vacant lots and vacant homes since that time, more 1-2 family homes have been torn down to put up low-class poor quality 3-4 story apartment buildings which have destroyed the esthetics of many neighborhoods (not too mention that many of these places are problematic), very little businesses of quality have come into the community, abandon cars litter our streets, crime is still high, a huge amount of shelters have been dumped into our communities causing many problems (all given a rubber stamp by Comrie and Community Board #12) and we have a high amount of illegal apartments, more than ever. So exactly what has Mr. Comrie done to help improve the quality of life in Jamaica and have him elevated to Deputy Borough President?

    The article states “Insiders have pointed out that Comrie, who heads the City Council’s borough delegation, is well-liked and well-informed, and he has deep roots in southeast Queens civic and political circles.” But what about actual accomplishments that have helped improve the community of Jamaica greatly. This line is your typical political junk when you cannot really name any major accomplishments.

    I wonder what these insiders think of the below dumping ground in Comrie’s own backyard of St. Albans where the St. Albans Little League (where Comrie is one of the sponsors) has been a notorious dumping ground for some time.

    And so the political BS and nonsense continue.