After serving as president of the 102nd Precinct Community Council for the past seven years, Maria Thomson lost her bid for re-election last week.
Council members attending the meeting at the Moose Lodge in Richmond Hill elected Lachman Budhai as the group’s new leader. Budhai is a member of Community Board 9, on the Queens Borough President’s General Assembly and the community liaison of the Federation of Hindu Mandirs.
Richard Smith, chairman of the CB 9 Parks Committee, was elected as the council’s secretary, replacing Ana Ramphal.
Council First Vice President Harbani Dhillon, Second Vice President Ranjit Singh and Treasurer Sandra Datnarain were re-elected to their posts.
“It’s been a pleasure being your president and I thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to serve you,” said Thomson, the executive director of the Greater Woodhaven Development Corporation, the executive director of the Woodhaven Business Improvement District, a Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association board member, and a 25-year CB 9 member.
In other meeting news, a group of Richmond Hill and Woodhaven residents frustrated with being subjected to loud music from their neighbors came to last week’s meeting to ask police to quell the noise that has been disrupting their quality of life. The residents said the problem seems to be throughout the precinct.
Capt. Martin Briffa, the precinct’s executive officer, acknowledged that noise was a big problem in the precinct and said police were trying to address it.
He added that officers were concentrating their efforts on chronic noise locations in the precinct.
The captain told the audience that on Saturday, June 16, he was scheduled to work from 3 p.m. to midnight, but ended up working until 6 a.m. because of the large number of noise complaints. He said there were 17 complaints between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., and police issued 11 summonses for noise violations.
The captain encouraged the attendees to call 311 with the location of where the loud music was coming from so police could respond.
He added that the precinct has a dedicated noise-complaint response car for just such problems.
An analysis of 311 reports for CB 9, where the precinct is located, indicates that there were 3,295 noise complaints from June 2011 to date.
With July 4 just a few days away, Briffa reminded the residents of the Police Department’s “no tolerance” policy on fireworks.
“We will seize any fireworks and automobiles” transporting them, Briffa said.
According to the NYPD, in 2011 the Police Department confiscated more than 5,000 pounds of illegal fireworks citywide, ranging in size from sparklers to professional pyrotechnics. Police also arrested 70 individuals and seized six vehicles in connection with the transport of illegal fireworks.
“We want everyone to enjoy the Fourth in the city, but fireworks in the hands of an amateur are extremely dangerous and illegal,” said Mayor Bloomberg in a press release.
Several meeting attendees expressed their concerns about problems caused by some students at school dismissal time.
Briffa said that many officers’ meal times have been changed so that they are back on patrol before the schools let out.
“That will put more officers on the street,” said Briffa.
Murray Berger, of the Kew Gardens Civic Association, asked Briffa about the precinct’s stop-and-frisk policy.
“It’s a great tool,” Briffa said.
Briffa explained that when a crime happens, police will try to stop the individual whose description is broadcast on the police radio.
Berger asked Briffa if there had been any complaints in the precinct about the stop-and-frisk policy.
“None at all,” said Briffa.
CB 9 Public Safety Committee Chairman Jim Coccovillo told Briffa that his committee has received several complaints about commercial parking of rental trucks overnight on Atlantic Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard in Ozone Park.
Briffa said he would have his officers go to the location and address the situation if violations are noted.
Coccovillo also raised a complaint about bicyclists riding on the running track in Forest Park damaging the dirt path.
He asked Briffa if he could contact the Parks Department and request that it enforce the rules and regulations of the track.
“I’ve noticed a lot of confrontations between people and kids that are riding bikes and scooters on the track,” Coccovillo said.
He added that the bicyclists were endangering the runners on the track.
The next meeting of the 102nd Precinct Community Council will be held at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, September 18 at the Moose Lodge, 87-25 118th Street in Richmond Hill.