CB 9 Member Quits After Board Vote

BY LUIS GRONDA
Staff Writer

Community Board 9 overwhelmingly elected to keep one board member on, while three others walked out during the meeting.

By a 34 -10 vote, Sam Esposito will remain a CB 9 member following a heated and contentious meeting Tuesday evening.

The item was on their agenda this month after three other board members, Wallace Bock, Evelyn Baron and Jan Fenster, requested Esposito be removed for alleged anti-Semitic remarks towards the trio in an email addressed to them earlier this year.

The dispute stems from a board meeting earlier this year over food served to members. Esposito claims that the three said the food was not “Kosher enough” and complained there was not food available for people who observed Kosher. Bock sent a letter, co-signed by Baron and Fenster, requesting Esposito’s removal from the board.

After the board voted to keep Esposito as a member, the trio got up and walked out of the meeting. Bock publicly announced his resignation from CB 9 as he left.

“I cannot, in good conscience, continue to sit on the board that condones this behavior. I resign,” he said.

Baron and Fenster followed Bock out of the meeting. They declined to say whether or not they have resigned from CB 9 as well when asked by reporters. As of press time, the board itself has not been informed either way regarding their membership. All three were among the 10 to vote for Esposito’s removal.

An elated Esposito said the majority vote shows most of the board supported him on this issue and it was a case of most of the executive board trying to get back at him for supporting District Manager Mary Ann Carey.

Jim Coccovillo, the CB 9 chairman, said he ultimately sides with what the board votes because he follows the bylaws.

However, he added that he voted for removal because of past conduct that has been brought before the board, including this incident.

Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, lgronda@queenstribune.com, or @luisgronda.