After Community Board 9 crowned the wrong person as chairwoman at its election last week, the woman who was first awarded the seat has asked city officials to investigate the election with the hopes there may be a do-over.
At the board’s March 14 meeting in Woodhaven, CB 9 officials said members voted 18-17 to elect Joan DeCamp as the new chairwoman.
However, they recounted the ballots the next day and discovered that the vote was actually 18-17 in favor of the sitting chairwoman, Andrea Crawford.
“I’ve put in an objection to the way the election was sponsored,” said DeCamp, who served as the board’s chairwoman in the early 1990s. “A new election would be my request.”
DeCamp said she believes the board did not follow the city’s parliamentary guidelines for community boards.
“In my reading of the guidelines, if paper ballots are used, they have to be signed, which ours weren’t,” DeCamp said. “Second, everybody has a right to vote or abstain, but the total number of votes were not the same as other votes taken that night.”
DeCamp submitted her formal objection to Queens Borough Hall. Dan Andrews, the spokesman for Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, said officials referred the matter to the city’s top attorney.
“It was decided that we should have the city’s corporation counsel make the determination on these concerns, not our office, which is supposed to provide guidance to the community boards,” Andrews said.
Crawford said the board will implement tighter controls on future elections.
“The way it happened, it can be chaos sometimes,” Crawford said. “Everyone’s talking, the staff is running around to collect the votes.”
Crawford, who is entering her sixth year as chairwoman, said she hopes to spend this year as the group’s leader pressuring the city Department of Buildings to better enforce zoning.
Additionally, Crawford said she wanted to focus on making the old LIRR Rockaway line into a greenway.
“There’s a lot of interest in the greenway from elected officials and City Hall,” Crawford said.