Career public servant Rosemary Ginty takes over CB8


It’s unanimous. Rosemary Ginty will succeed Daniel Padernacht as the new chair of Community Board 8. 

And with decades under her belt as an urban planner, she could very well be one of the most experienced government leaders this part of the Bronx has ever had. 

In fact, anyone who enjoys the greenbelt around Riverdale might have to thank Ginty. She helped develop the Natural Area District that protects it while working in the New York City planning department. 

By the early 1980s, she was working in the Ed Koch administration, chairing the Board of Estimate, presiding over the adoption of franchises, city contracts, and all land use ranging from zoning text and map changes to site election and the sale of city land, according to her bio.

“I always tell people that Rosemary is 10 times smarter than me, and 30 times more experienced than me on just about every issue that comes our there,” Padernacht said at Monday’s CB8 meeting. “We don’t always agree on issues, and we don’t always agree on approaches. But at the end of the day, we both speak to each other and with the other officers, and come to a conclusion on how we’re going to go out there.”

Like Padernacht, Ginty also is an attorney. 

She spent seven years with the Koch administration, and then joined the law firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan in 1989 in the firm’s newly formed environmental law and land use group. 

In 1993, she was a founding partner in the firm Osborn & Ginty, and later Wachtel & Masyr. 

Ginty joined the New York Botanical Garden in 2003 as associate vice president for government and community relations. Her work there included fundraising at all levels of government for the garden, and interacting with local elected officials.

She was the first executive director of the Catholic Community Relations Council in 2008, a not-for-profit organization formed by the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn to examine, promote and participate in public policy issues such as education, housing, human services and real property, according to her bio. She retired from that role in 2012.

She was first appointed to CB8 in 2009, and would serve and chair a number of committees, becoming vice chair of the entire board in 2014.

Ginty becomes chair of the board whose officers also include Paul Ellis as vice chair, Amy Joy Robateau as treasurer, and Karen Pesce as secretary. 

“Thank you for choosing me, and this truly is a privilege and an honor to work with this board,” Ginty said Monday night. 

“I promise I will do the job to the best of my ability, and thank you for trusting me.”

Padernacht will step down from his leadership role at the end of the month, but will remain on the board. In fact, he’ll replace Michael Heller on the Special Greenway Committee, looking to bring the greenway to the Hudson River. Heller left the committee after being hired as CB8’s district manager in April.

Padernacht was elected chair in 2014 in what some viewed as a controversial election, beating out then vice chair Maria Khury to take over. Khury complained of racial bias in the voting, 

He did have some parting words for the board as he got ready to gavel his final meeting.

“There are a lot of issues that come up, and we are all different parts of the community board,” Padernacht said. “Certain issues are probably a bit more personal than others, but the community comes first. And our own personal agenda must get pushed to the side.”

New board members will be announced later this month, and regular CB8 meetings will resume after a summer recess.