CB8 elects committee chairs


Rosemary Ginty was elected the next chair of Community Board 8 this week, but that wasn’t the only leadership position the community board approved. More than a dozen subcommittees had their chairs approved, including a few new faces on some.

David Gellman will take over the budget committee from Mary Yamagata. That’s because she will now lead the public safety committee, previously run by Joseph O’Brien. 

O’Brien isn’t retiring from chairing committees. 

Instead, he takes over traffic and transportation, which was previously run by now district manager Michael Heller. 

Omar Murray will lead health, hospitals and social services, taking over for Lenora Croft, while Steve Sarao is the new chair of the housing committee, replacing Paul Ellis, who is now vice chair of CB8.

Several chairs will continue in their roles from last year, including Lisa Daub on aging, Sergio Villaverde on economic development, Sylvia Alexander on education, Laura Spalter on environment and sanitation, Martin Wolpoff for rules and ethics, Marvin Goodman for libraries and cultural affairs, Bob Bender on parks and recreation, and Lamont Parker for the youth committee.

And then, of course, there’s Charles Moerdler, who will continue to lead the land use committee — a committee that for many wouldn’t be complete without the longtime attorney at the helm. 

It’s OK to survey

As Pride Month recognizing the LGBTQ community continues through June, Bronx borough president Ruben Diaz Jr., is looking to see if the city is providing that community everything it needs through a new survey.

“Our LGBTQ population is growing and becoming more and more vocal about their needs and what services and amenities they would like to see in the Bronx,” Diaz said in a release. “Through this survey, my office will acquire detailed information about our borough’s LGBTQ residents, and how we can provide this important community with better government, cultural, medical and other services.”

The survey is available online at tinyurl.com/BronxLGBTQ. 

Hard copies also are available at the community board offices, including Community Board 8 at 5676 Riverdale Ave., Suite 100.


Gjonaj’s chief counsel passes away

Funeral services were held this week for William J. Madonna, chief counsel to Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, who died June 9 at his Bronx home. He was 55.

Madonna was raised in Yorktown Heights and earned his degrees from Northeastern University in Boston and the New England School of Law. He started his career in the corporation counsel office for the city’s law department. and maintained a private practice in Morris Park since 1994. 

He is survived by sons Matthew and Eric, as well as parents Nicholas and Phyllis. 

Gjonaj, whose district reaches a bit into the Kingsbridge area, was first elected to the Assembly in 2013.


Schneiderman challenges travel ban at SCOTUS

As another federal court rejects Donald Trump’s travel ban, state attorney general Eric Schneiderman is leading a coalition of 17 colleagues in various states to try and fight a potential battle in front of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Schneiderman and the other attorneys general are filing a friend of the court brief in opposition to Trump’s ban, preventing travelers from entering the United States from a half-dozen predominantly Muslim countries. 

The ban itself has not been implemented because the president’s executive order has been blocked by a number of courts, questioning its constitutionality.

“As we’ve argued, President Trump’s second executive order is just a Muslim ban by another name,” Schneiderman said in a release. “And the courts have agreed.”

Other states joining New York in the filing are California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and both Washington state and Washington, D.C.