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Queens Chronicle

Koo to chair Parks Committee, Holden gets Technology in Council shakeup

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Posted: Thursday, June 13, 2019 4:19 pm | Updated: 4:03 pm, Mon Jun 17, 2019.

City Councilman Peter Koo (D-Flushing) is replacing chastised colleague Barry Grodenchik (D-Oakland Gardens) as the chairman of the Committee on Parks and Recreation.

Koo's predecessor was earlier this year facing Council disciplinary proceedings for sexually harassing a female former staffer. He admitted to the behavior and stepped down from the committee leadership to avoid facing formal consequences.

The new chairman was a member of the committee prior to his new appointment.

"From the world famous Central Park to local treasures like Kissena Park, New York City’s parks serve as places of refuge for every community in the five boroughs where residents and visitors can enjoy the benefits of the natural world," Koo said in a prepared statement. "As the representative of over 350 acres of parkland in Council District 20, I know firsthand just how important it is to ensure every park and playground serves its residents as a safe space for recreational opportunities, programs, and activities."

According to the New York Post, the committee also underwent a couple of other changes. When Grodenchik led it, all of its members were men. Now, the publication reported, Councilwomen Adrienne Adams (D-Jamaica) and Carlina Rivera (D-Manhattan) have been appointed to the committee.

Before his new appointment, Koo headed the Committee on Technology. Councilman Robert Holden (D-Middle Village) will now chair that body. The southwest Queens lawmaker, a freshman who has not previously headed a committee, already has an idea of what he wants to tackle in the role.

"I intend to focus on improving the 311 system to ensure that all constituents' quality-of-life concerns are properly and promptly addressed," Holden said in a statement. "I will also place more emphasis on the need for TV and movie film crews to abide by the [Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment] code of conduct and be sensitive to the neighborhoods in which they are filming."

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