Oct, 12, 2021 By Christian Murray
The chairperson of Community Board 2 announced Thursday that she is stepping down from the position—although will remain on the board.
Lisa Deller, who has been chairperson since June 2020, said that she has decided that it is time for a new, younger leader to take the helm. Sheila Lewandowski, a long-time board member, also said she was stepping down as first vice president—the second most senior position on the board.
Deller, a Sunnyside Gardens resident who has been on the board since 1998, said that the board is entering a new era and it was a time for her to pass on the torch. She said that since 2019, nearly half of the 50-person board has changed, with more than one-third in the past year alone.
“I kept telling myself that while I was chair that my job was to bridge the transition to a new era…with new leaders and a younger more tech savvy and diverse membership,” Deller told the board.
Deller unexpectedly became chair when Denise Keehan-Smith, the former chair, was not reappointed to the board early last year. Deller was later elected chair in November 2020.
Next month, the board will elect her replacement.
“I need to step back and serve in more of an advisory role,” Deller said, who has extensive experience on the board. She has served as secretary, chair of the Land Use committee, second vice chair, first vice chair as well as chairperson.
She is currently the chair of the Land Use committee.
Lewandowski, of Long Island City, said that she is not running for 1st vice president for similar reasons as Deller—although she is likely to remain on the board.
“I have decided not to run for the seat as first vice chair or any position on the executive committee,” she said. “I want to make space for others—there are so many qualified people for these roles.”
The board has accepted nominations for the executive positions at next month’s election. The positions are only available for current board members.
Morry Galonoy, a Woodside resident, was the sole nominee to take Deller’s role, while Frank Wu, of Long Island City, was the only nominee for the first vice chair role.
There is also an election for the positions of second vice chair, secretary and treasurer.
Deller was nominated for second vice chair, Rosamond Gianutos for secretary and Kat Bloomfield as treasurer. Gianutos and Bloomfield are both from Woodside.
For a full list of current board members, click here.