Over the summer, longtime district manager of Brooklyn’s Community Board 1 Gerald Esposito stunned the board and locals alike after suddenly resigning from the position in which he served for 45 years, without a clear transition plan or advance notice to his colleagues.

On an August 31 call, Chair Dealice Fuller made the announcement on Esposito’s behalf. Esposito chimed in to say that he had given his notice to Chair Fuller two weeks prior, and his retirement would be effective immediately. Board members clamored to know why they hadn’t been informed once Chair Fuller knew of Esposito’s decision. She replied that “it didn’t occur to me that we should inform the whole board.”

At a later meeting, the Board ultimately learned from the office of the Borough President that the current budget did not currently include money to hire a new district manager until the fiscal year 2023. As THE CITY reported, Esposito accumulated so much vacation time which needed to be paid out before the Board could even hire a new person in the role.

The situation came up again during last night’s Public Hearing and Executive Board meeting. During the public session of the meeting, two community members spoke out against what they felt was a lack of transparency and competence in handling the situation.

“I’m feeling like the community board that I’ve been really trying to be a part of, it just doesn’t feel like I can be a part of it. It feels like a lot of decisions are very opaque, and I just don’t really understand how the executive board works,” said local Kim Fraczek, who called for the chair and vice chair to step down.


“This has been an embarrassment to our neighborhood and our community, the way that this has been handled. The fact that the chair knew for two weeks prior to letting the Executive Board know is shocking,” said local activist Kevin LaCherra, who called for the Board to take accountability and also asked that the chair and vice chair step down.

Board member Giovanni DAmato introduced a motion of no confidence in the chair and first vice chair, for their failure to carry out their duties as outlined by the bylaws, specifically in terms of failing to inform the board immediately of the intention of the district manager to retire. DAmato also mentioned that the chair had never provided the executive board with a monthly report on the work of the district manager, which he said was outlined in the bylaws.

According to the Board’s bylaws, a vote of confidence is largely symbolic and does not directly lead to anyone’s removal from office.

The vote failed, with 9 in favor of a vote of no confidence, 15 against, and 6 abstentions.

Chair Fuller said when Esposito told her about his intentions to retire, she was going through a family crisis and did not have the energy or time to alert the rest of the Board.

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  1. In regard to the horrible eyesore that 144 Greenpoint Ave (the former Polonaise catering hall) has become, I am glad to see things moving forward, and I appreciate the concern expressed regarding valid community worries about negative impacts on community quality of life with proposed rooftop terraced space in that location– if the proposed rooftop addition and terrace is not restricted to office use. The Community Board just approved yet ANOTHER 20 State Liquor Authority license request, and who knows how many renewals That may be fine if you come in from elsewhere, or own a bar or restaurant, or live on the 30th floor of a waterfront high rise- but not for many residents who need to live next to that.
    However with all discussion of the neighborhood historic district with regard to144 Greenpoint , the REAL and most shameful eyesore in our midst is is what is being allowed to happen to the landmarks designated former Greenpoint Savings Bank, in the heart of Greenpoint, at the corner of Manhattan Ave and Calyer, Doesn’t anyone care?
    This now vacant & soaring domed structure is shamefully being allowed to rapidly deteriorate. This unique building, beautiful both inside and out, is increasingly being covered in graffiti & trash. Even the soaring dome has been defaced with graffiti. The impressive facade, with huge Grecian columns, is not being maintained and starting to crumble. The handsome brass handrails that adorned its entrance stairs were removed in a recent movie shoot, never restored, leaving stumps behind instead. The half-dozen graceful old fashioned lampposts (privately owned – not public) that surround the bank on two sides, are no longer functioning, and/or damaged. Large “For Lease“ signs are illegally plastered across the facade. This, in the middle of the prime shopping district, and adjacent to several new residential developments nearby.
    This is such a waste of space & potential—a waste of an architecturally unique and never to be replicated building.
    We need to address the situation , both with funding to stop the detioration, and ideas to save the building. We need to think about the possibility & potential of repurposing this awesome structure — so that it might once serve an an asset to the community, instead of a shameful eyesore.
    The exterior is designated as a historic landmark, as opposed to the equally beautiful interior (with stained glass, marble and an soaring dome – awesome both inside ad out)- which is not protected. The interior is therefore in even more danger of perhaps being chopped and destroyed destroyed- 99 cent stores anyone? Other similar bank buildings in Brooklyn have been saved, restored and repurposed. The Greenpoint Savings Bank also deserves to be saved, both for us today, and for those who come after us…

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