New York City is home to 59 community boards, each of which is made up of up to 50 unpaid members. Half of these members are nominated by their district's City Council members, while the other half are appointed by the local county president. These boards are responsible for a variety of tasks, from recommending the processing of permits for street fairs and street parties to handling local complaints and providing information to the community. They also help coordinate the provision of municipal services and participate in the city's budget process.
The New York City Charter, § 2800 (d), outlines 21 categories of responsibilities for community boards. According to § 2800 (a) (and () at least half of the members must be selected from those nominated by members of the District Council. Whenever the performance of any act or any determination or decision of a community board is authorized, the act, determination or decision of the majority of the members present with the right to vote during the presence of a quorum shall be considered to be the act, determination or decision of that meeting. The office of Community Board 8 is a small city agency comprised of 50 non-salaried members appointed by the president of the Manhattan Borough.
The first community planning boards were established in 1951 by Manhattan Borough President Robert Wagner. The Community Board, its district manager and office staff act as advocates and service coordinators for the community and its residents; however, they lack jurisdictional authority over City agencies and officials. Community boards are defined as public bodies and government agencies under the New York State Open Meetings Act and the Freedom of Information Act. They play an important advisory role in dealing with issues related to land use and zoning, the municipal budget, and the provision of municipal services. In conclusion, NYC community boards are an essential part of local government.
They provide valuable advice on land use, zoning, municipal budgeting, and service delivery in their districts. They also help coordinate street fairs and street parties, handle local complaints, and provide information to their communities.