In the early 1980s, The Riverdale Press ran several stories about Community Board 8’s relationship with Kingsbridge, Kingsbridge Heights and Marble Hill. One story, published in 1981 read, “Critics charge board 8 turns back on Kingsbridge.”
In it, “down the hill” residents accused a small group of “up the hill” Riverdalians of controlling the interests of the community board and ignoring Kingsbridge. Three decades later, board members agree that things have gotten better, but many think it could still improve.
As members discuss creating a satellite office or moving the Community Board 8 office to a more centralized location, the issue of how well the board represents Kingsbridge, Kingsbridge Heights and Marble Hill has once again risen to the surface.
CB 8 has held 67 total meetings since January, including full board meetings and committee meetings. Of those, 52 took place in Riverdale, 10 were held in Kingsbridge and three meetings convened in Kingsbridge Heights. One met in Marble Hill and one at Classic Residence in Yonkers, outside of CB 8.
Of the 15 meetings not held in Riverdale, a number of Land Use, Traffic and Transportation, Economic Development and Youth committee meetings were held at a wide range of locations in an attempt to match up locales with the issues that would be discussed. CB 8 Chair Bob Fanuzzi said the board made a concerted effort to reach out to find hosts throughout the community instead of bringing people into the board office.
And while Maria Khury, the new vice chair who previously chaired the Economic Development committee, held meetings at Ibiza Lounge in Kingsbridge and Santa Fe Bar and Grill on Broadway, she and others say the Board could be doing more to reach out to Kingsbridge residents.
“Geographically, I think that we still have room to grow,” Ms. Khury said.
Despite the efforts of some chairs, the majority of meetings over the last year have not only been held in Riverdale, but in North Riverdale, where CB 8’s office is located, at 5676 Riverdale Ave.