EDITORIAL

Check politics at the door

Posted

Eric Dinowitz really gets around the community. And it’s no surprise — he’s running for city council.

Yet, at many of these different stops, Dinowitz is not wearing the cap of a candidate for office, but instead as chair of Community Board 8’s aging committee. And it’s great to have that kind of community interaction, to the point that Dinowitz is likely the most traveled CB8 committee chair since, well, Andrew Cohen held the same position on his way to earning the city council job Dinowitz himself hopes to get someday.

It’s obvious that Dinowitz is simply following the same election path that worked for our current councilman. And, hey, if that means members of our community — especially senior citizens — are getting face time with a potential city leader, then fantastic.

But Dinowitz needs to ensure there’s a clear line between his campaigning, and his representing the city in an appointed position that is supposed to have nothing to do with politics. That line was blurred in recent weeks after the Metropolitan Transportation Authority released its plans to curtail express bus service in the Bronx. Such a move could have detrimental effects to many in the community, especially seniors.

CB8 is taking a hard look at it — through its traffic and transportation committee. It just so happens, this committee is chaired by Dinowitz’s political rival, Dan Padernacht. Yet, Dinowitz tried to skip ahead by trying to make this purely a seniors issue, to the point of passing a resolution condemning the cuts.

This isn’t how an effective board operates. Yes, issues might stretch across multiple committees, but someone has to take the lead, and that was Padernacht’s committee. They already had MTA officials scheduled to attend its December meeting, and this would have been a perfect opportunity for everyone — including other committee chairs, like Dinowitz — to attend and to have their specific issues addressed.

CB8 is about achieving results that are beneficial to our neighborhoods, not for political grandstanding.

Keep the campaign where it belongs — in the election. When it comes to CB8, everything else should be checked at the door.

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