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Queens Chronicle

New leadership for Woodhaven civic

Martin Colberg will succeed Ed Wendell as block association head

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Posted: Thursday, December 19, 2013 10:30 am | Updated: 11:34 am, Thu Dec 26, 2013.

After three years as president of the Woodhaven Residents’ Block Association, Ed Wendell announced this week that he will be stepping down at the end of the year.

He will be replaced by WRBA board member Martin Colberg, who was elected president last week.

Wendell said he would still serve as a member of the WRBA board and will devote energy to the Woodhaven Historical Society, where he serves as president.

“The WRBA has worked extremely hard to expand our presence in the community, and the fact that we will now be steered by relatively new members shows that we’ve succeeded in that mission,” he said. “Our new officers reflect our community and the continued progress we will make, in 2014 and beyond.”

Colberg will be joined by Giedra Kregzdys, who will serve as vice president. Stephen Forte will continue as treasurer and Alexander Blenkinsopp, who is also a member of Community Board 9, will continue to do communications for the civic group.

Wendell said he has extreme confidence in Colberg and Kregzdys.

“After Hurricane Sandy, they were out there day and night helping,” he said.

The WRBA took up collections for hurricane victims in neighborhoods to the south after the storm.

“Ed and the rest of the Board have done a tremendous job over the past several years, so I know I have big shoes to fill,” Colberg said. “But I also have a solid foundation to build on, and I’m grateful for this opportunity. I’m looking forward to continuing the WRBA’s good work and its outreach to everyone in Woodhaven.”

The group also recently hosted a public town hall on the plans to develop the former Rockaway Beach LIRR line, which runs along the western border of the neighborhood. Next year, it hopes to be involved in the participatory budget process that Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Ozone Park), who represents most of Woodhaven, has vowed to bring to the community. Members of the board have been lobbying Woodhaven’s other Council member, Elizabeth Crowley (D-Middle Village), to also bring participatory budgeting to the district.

The WRBA’s next Town Hall will be on January 18, 2014, 1 p.m., at Emanuel United Church of Christ, at 91st Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard.

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