By Laws



Article I: Membership                                                         

Article II: Officers and their duties                                                

Article III: District Manager                                               

Article IV: Committees                                             

Article V: Election of Officers                   

Article VI: Meetings                                

Article VII: Minutes                                                 

Article VIII: Voting                                              

Article IX: Amendments       

Article X: Community Board Actions/Public Hearings                                       

Article XI: Executive Committee                                         

Article XII: Individual Responsibilities of Members                                      

Article XIII: Committee Responsibilities                                        



The By-Laws for the Brooklyn Community Boards shall conform to all New York City Charter provisions pertaining thereto, including Local Law 84 and Section 2800. Nothing in these By-Laws shall be construed as to change, modify, or amend the Charter of the City of New York. 

The purpose of this organization shall be to exercise the powers and duties of Community Boards as set forth in Chapters 69 and 70 of the Charter of the City of New York, within the area designated by the Board of Estimate as Brooklyn Community District #17 on December 23, 1976. 

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Article I


Ex-Officio Members of the Board

1. Members of the New York City council and New York State Legislature and United States Congress whose districts include any part of Community District #17 shall be ex-officio, non-voting members of the community Board. 

Conflict of Interest

2. All members shall serve on the board in their capacity as private citizens only. Their actions shall not be instructed by or responsible to, any other organizations with which they may be affiliated. Any member participating in the Board’s consideration of a matter involving self serving or conflict of interest shall identify such interests prior to participating in the discussion and abstain from voting on such matters. 

Membership Public Activity

3. Any member appearing before a governmental body or otherwise making a public statement which conflicts in any respect with positions adopted by the Board shall clearly state that such public statement is not the position adopted by the Board, and is the position of such a member. No member shall represent the Board’s position before any governmental body, or agency, or otherwise make any statement on behalf of the Board unless designated to do so by the Board Chairperson. 

Board Member Attendance Requirements

4. Members of the board shall make every effort to attend Board meetings. 

Removal for cause as outlined below shall include three (3) consecutive, unexcused absences in any calendar year or a total of five (5) unexcused absences in any calendar year from regular Board meetings. 

Removal of Officer or Member

5. Any officer or member of the Board may be removed from the Board for cause, defined as including, but not limited to the attendance requirements as stated above, as well as misconduct of a substantial nature, indicating some neglect of duty by the member, or something which materially affects his or her official acts or standing or reflects upon his or her character, by the Board in the following manner: 

a) Motion made to institute removal proceedings can be made at any regular meeting of the Board. 

b) Approval of such a motion must be made by a majority of the appointed membership of the Board present and entitled to vote.  

c) The member in question must be afforded the right to a hearing upon due notice,  before the Executive Committee of the Board. Where appropriate the hearing shall be conducted by an Administrative Law Judge supplied by the Department of Personnel. The member in question shall have the right to due process, including receiving written Charges and responding in writing, and to counsel to be heard in his or her defense, and to call witnesses on his or her behalf. Such hearing shall be conducted no later than thirty (30) days, or any reasonable adjournment thereof, from the date on which the motion to institute removal proceedings of the officer or member was approved. At the next duly designated meeting of the Board, removal may be voted on by a majority of those members present and eligible to vote. A finding of guilt must be based on substantial evidence. 

Resignation of Board

6. Resignation from the Board by a member shall be submitted to the Chairperson in writing 


7. A copy of such resignation shall be forwarded to the Borough President. 

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Article II

Officers and their duties:

A) The Officers 

Board Officers

1. The Officers of the Community Board shall consist of a Chairperson, First Vice Chairperson, Second Vice Chairperson, Secretary, and Treasurer. Each officer shall perform such duties as are incidental to their office as enumerated below and in accordance with generally accepted rules of parliamentary procedure. 

Terms of Office

2. Terms. Each officer shall serve for the fiscal year, with the term beginning on July 1 and terminating on June 30 of the following year. 

Rotation of Board Officers

3. Rotation of Board officers shall provide the greatest opportunity of service for each member. No Board officer shall serve more than four (4) consecutive terms in the same office and shall be ineligible to run for said office for the next four (4) years. 

B) Duties of the Chairperson 

Chairperson’s Duties

1. To perform all duties as prescribed in the Charter of the City of New York and any other duties prescribed by law. 

2. To receive calendars and notices of meetings of all City Agencies which are required to refer matters to the Community Board pursuant to the Charter of the City of New York and to inform the members of such calendars and notices. 

3. To attend any meetings required by the Mayor and Borough President pursuant 

to the Charter of the City of New York, or to designate their representative to attend. 

4. The Chairperson shall serve in whatever capacity is required or mandated by law. 

5. To preside at all regular and special meetings of the Board. 

6. To interpret and enforce Robert Rules of Order except as otherwise provided by the By-laws herein. 

7. To represent a stand for the Board and to perform all necessary functions according to the decision duly made by the Board, including communication with the governmental agencies. Such communication shall be through the Borough President’s office or simultaneously forwarded to the Borough President’s office. 

8. To authenticate all acts, orders, and proceedings of this Board, including the Countersigning of all letters or other correspondence going out from the Board and, to be the sole spokesperson for the Board in relation to the news media, agencies of government and the public at large except as he or she specifically authorizes. 

9. To appoint, suspend or remove Chairpersons and members of the standing and ad hoc Committees of the Board as may from time to time be deemed necessary for the best performance of the Board’s functions. The Chairperson shall appoint co-chairs of a Committee as necessary. All such chairpersons and members shall serve only during the term of the Board Chairperson appointing him or her. The Board Chairperson shall be an ex-officio member of each Committee. 

10. To prepare and deliver the Chairperson’s annual report. 

11. To turn over all records to his or her successor. 

12. To send an agenda to the Borough President’s office in sufficient time for designation of Borough President’s liaison personnel to attend meetings. 

13. To send a notice of the time and place, and subject of a Public Hearing for all actions for publication in an issue of the Comprehensive City Planning Calendar, to be distributed not less than ten (10) days prior to the date of the meeting. 

14. To represent the Board at all meetings of the Borough Board as provided in Section 85 of the Charter of the City of New York. 

15. To advise the First Vice Chairperson of all information, orders, directives and other matters coming to the Chairperson’s attention. 

16. In the event a vacancy occurs for a position other than the Chairperson prior to the expiration of his or her term in office, the Chairperson with approval of the Executive Committee shall within thirty (30) days appoint a Board member to the vacant position until the next regular monthly Board meeting. 

c) Duties of the First Vice Chairperson 

First Vice Chairperson’s Duties

1. The First Vice Chairperson shall preside at the regular monthly Board meeting in the place of the Chairperson when the Chairperson is absent. 

2. The First Vice Chairperson shall assist the Chairperson when necessary and required. If the Chairperson can no longer serve, or is unable to serve as Chairperson before his or her term expires, the First Vice Chairperson shall succeed the Chairperson until the Board elects a new Chairperson at the next regularly scheduled monthly Board meeting. If either the Chairperson or the First Vice Chairperson is unable to serve, the Second Vice Chairperson shall act as temporary Chairperson until the next regularly scheduled monthly Board meeting. 

3. The First Vice Chairperson shall oversee the functioning and attendance of standing and special Committees. He or she shall report excessive absences of committee members to the Board Chairperson for appropriate action. 

D) Duties of the Second Vice Chairperson 

Second Vice Chairperson’s Duties

1. The duties shall be as assigned by the Chairperson or otherwise enumerated in these by-laws. 

E) Duties of the Secretary 

Secretary’s Duties

1. The Secretary shall be the recording officer of the Board, taking minutes of the Executive Committee and the Board’s monthly meetings or special or emergency meetings and, shall be assisted in the compilation of such minutes by such secretarial assistance as shall be provided by the Board Office/District Manager. 

2. If the Chairperson and the First and Second Vice Chair-persons are absent from a meeting, then the Secretary shall assume the duties of the Chairperson for that meeting only. 

F) Duties of the Treasurer 

Treasurer’s Duties

1. The Treasurer shall have supervision according to the guidelines adopted by the City of New York of the financial records of the Board and its fiscal operations. 

2. The Treasurer shall prepare a written operating budget for the Board, for the upcoming fiscal year by June 10th, of the current year for submission to the Chairperson. 

3. The Treasurer shall prepare a final year-end expense report for submission to the District Manager and Borough President’s office, no later than (May 10th ), the tenth day, of the eleventh month, of the fiscal year. 

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Article III

District Manager:

District Manager’s Duties

The District Manager shall: 

1. Have responsibility for processing service complaints. 

2. Preside at meetings of the District Service Cabinet. 

3. Shall employ such additional personnel as the Board may authorize. 

4. Attend all Executive Board meetings, the Board’s regular monthly meeting. 

5. Manage the daily operations of the Board. 

6. Attend all meetings authorized by the Chairperson and the Board. 

7. Perform other such duties as are assigned by the Community Board. 

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Article IV


Committee Appointments

1. All Board members of Committees shall be appointed by the Chairperson of the Board and shall serve during the term of the Chairperson by whom appointed. 

Standing Committees

2. There shall be the following standing Committees: 

a. Land Use and Landmarks Preservation and Historic Districts 

b. Personnel 

c. Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs 

d. Youth Services 

e. Transportation, Traffic, Franchise, & Revocable Consents 

f. Human Services (Social Service, Health, & Mental Health) 

g. Budget 

h. Commerce, Industry, and Neighborhood Revitalization 

i. Environmental Protection & Sanitation 

j. Public Safety 

k. Executive 

l. Housing 

m. Education 

n. Beautification 

Non-Board Members on Committees

3. The Chairperson may appoint to such Committees persons with a residence or significant interest in the community who are not members of the Board but, each Committee shall have a member of the Board as its Chairperson. 

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Article V

Election of Officers:

Appointment of Election Committee

1. At the Community Board’s regular meeting in the month of April, the Chairperson shall appoint an Election Committee consisting of five Board members and shall designate one of their number to be Chairperson of said Committee. 

2. As promptly as possible after appointment, the Election Committee shall contact all Board members regarding their interest in being nominated for office. The Election Committee shall ascertain from all Board members their willingness to run. 

Interim Report of Election Committee

3. At the May Board meeting the Election Committee shall give its interim report which shall consist of all nominations for all offices that have been accepted by the candidates. 

Separate Elections

4. At the June Board meeting the Election Committee shall give its final report for each office which shall consist of all nominations for all offices that have been accepted by the candidates and conduct a separate election for each office. If the Election Committee presents a slate for election, any person who is included on the slate is precluded from accepting nominations for any other position. 

At that time only, members of the Board may make additional nominations from the floor. Where there is only one candidate for a position, the Election Committee, without objections, shall declare that person elected. 

Provisions for Run Off

5. The person receiving the highest number of votes for each office shall be deemed elected. Where there are more than two candidates for a particular office, a candidate must receive a majority of all votes cast, excluding blanks, to be elected. Where no candidate receives a majority, a run off shall be held between the two persons receiving the two highest votes. 

Paper Ballot Voting 

6. Voting for office shall be paper ballot which must be signed by the Board member voting. Members must be present to vote. No write-in or proxy voting is allowed.

In the event the Mayor of the City of New York or the Governor of the State of New York introduces an emergency declaration that prevents members from submitting. vote by paper ballot and prevents members from being present. to vote, then the Board shall conduct voting for officers by remote means.

Filling of Vacancies

7. The filling of any vacancy of an officer of the board shall be filled by election at the next monthly meeting of the Board (after the vacancy has occurred).

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Article VI


Regular Meetings 

1. The Board shall have one regular meeting each month, except during July and August. However, meetings during July and August may be held as provided for in Section 4 of this Article. There shall also be one Public Hearing each month. A quorum to convene any meeting shall be a majority of members appointed to the Board. 

Public Vote 

2. The adoption of a Community Board recommendation shall be by a public vote which results in approval by a majority of the appointed members present and entitled to vote during the presence of a quorum at a duly called meeting. 

Adopted Recommendations of the Board 

3. A Community Board recommendation shall be in writing and shall include a statement of the proposal, the time and place of a meeting at which the recommendation was adopted and the vote by which the recommendation was adopted. 

Meetings Called by Borough President 

4. The Board shall meet upon the request of the Borough President to hold hearing on the City Budget or any other public matter. 

Special Meetings 

5. There may be special and emergency meetings. A special meeting shall be a meeting other than the regular monthly meeting and shall be called by the Board Chairperson: 

a) At the Board Chairperson’s volition 

b) At the Borough President’s request 

c) Upon resolution adopted by a majority vote of the Board members present and entitled to vote at Board meetings. 

d) Upon written notice of at least one-fifth of the Board members, computed without fractions, and presented to the Board Chairperson 

Notice for Special Meetings

6. A special meeting shall be called upon seven (7) days notice in writing, with a  specification of the purpose of the meeting and delineation of the agenda of such meeting. Any decision at special meetings shall be made by a majority of those Board members in good standing, then present and eligible to vote. Only items specified on the notice shall be considered. 

Emergency Meetings 

7. An emergency meeting shall be a meeting in the manner of a special meeting, but in circumstances where time is of the essence and decisions are required immediately, the seven (7) days written notice cannot be given, notice of an emergency meeting may include telephonic and other rapid means of communications and must include reasonable notice to the parties directly concerned. 

Notice for Regular Meetings

8. An agenda shall be drafted by the Chairperson of the Board at least ten (10) days before each regular monthly meeting. The agenda should outline the Board Chairperson’s and the Borough President’s suggestions of business to be transacted at the meeting. The agenda should also contain items suggested by the Board members, community organizations and other recognized parties in the community. The agenda plus the notice of time and place of the meeting, together with the minutes of the last meeting, shall be forwarded to each Board member at least seven (7) days before the regular monthly meeting of the Board. 

Public Notice 

No matter of substantial public interest and concern shall be decided by the Board (e.g., site selection, zoning changes, public project, park playground, etc.) at a regular Board meeting without that matter having been placed upon an agenda forwarded to the Board members. All matters of substantial public interest and concern (as described above) shall, whenever possible, when coming before the Board for the first time be assigned to a Committee for review before being acted upon, at a subsequent meeting, by the Board. The Board shall give notice to the affected communities in the local press and by other appropriate means. 

Meeting Agenda 

9. The agenda shall consist of the following: 

a) Roll call and opening of the meeting 

b) Public hearing 

c) Adoption of minutes 

d) Chairperson’s Report 

e) District Manager’s Report 

f) Special Reports, Board members 

g) Legislative Session 

h) Community Session 

i) Roll call for action items 

j) Old Business 

k) New Business 

l) Adjournment 

Public Session 

Community Session. That period in which an individual who is not a member of the Board may address the Board for no more than three (3) minutes on any item the speaker believes to be of interest to the community or the Board. No more than one hour shall be allotted for Community Session unless the majority of those Board members present and eligible to vote shall approve an extension of time. This session shall constitute the Board’s required monthly Public Hearing pursuant to the Charter of the City of New York. 

Executive Session 

The public is always invited to be present as observers of the Board’s proceedings except when the Board decides, upon a majority vote of the members present and eligible to vote, to go into Executive Session. 

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Article VII



1. Minutes of each meeting shall be transmitted to the President of the Borough of Brooklyn and the City Planning Commission and each of the Board Members. 

Public Inspection

2. Minutes shall be kept in the district office and forwarded to all public libraries within Community District #17 and shall be available to any person or organization requesting same. 

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Article VIII


Open Voting

1. Voting on public issues shall be through a show of hands, and/or roll call votes with total votes (those for, those against and abstentions) then being publicly announced and recorded. All such votes must take place in open session. 

No Proxy Voting

2. All voting at board meetings shall be in person only. No proxies will be accepted. 

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Article IX


Sponsorship of Proposed

1. Amendments to the By-Laws may be proposed by any member of the Board only 

Amendments at a regular or special Board meeting, or by the Mayor or the Borough President. However, a Board member’s proposed amendment must be sponsored by at least twenty five (25) percent of the total membership of the Board, in person, before it can be acted upon. 

Referral to Committee

2. All proposed amendments shall be referred to the Executive Committee for a review of what impact, if any, the proposed amendment will have on Board operations or these By-Laws. The Committee will issue a report which shall neither change the text of the proposed amendment nor include a recommendation to approve, disapprove or modify it. Said report will be presented at the second consecutive meeting on which the proposed amendment appears on the agenda. 

Procedures to Adopt

3. A copy of the amendment will be mailed to all Board members with the meeting notice. No amendment shall be voted on unless the text of the amendment shall have been placed on the agenda of two successive regular meetings or as an insert or mailed with the notice for the Board’s regular monthly meeting notice. The amendment will be voted on at the second meeting. To take effect, the amendment must be approved by a majority of members present and eligible to vote at a regular or special meeting of the Board. 

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Article X

Community Board Actions/Public Hearings:

The Community Board will adhere to the guidelines, minimum standards, and procedural requirements set for Community Boards, Borough Boards and the City Planning Commission in the exercise of their duties pursuant to Section 197-c of the Charter of the City of New York. 

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Article XI

Executive Committee:


1. Shall be made up of the Officers and Chairpersons of standing committees. 


2. Shall facilitate the general administration of the Board, and to coordinate the activities of the District Manager, and to coordinate the activities of the standing and ad hoc Committees of the Board. 

Meeting Schedule

3. Shall meet monthly. 

Presiding Officer

4. The Chairperson of the Board shall preside over all Executive Committee meetings, and it shall be the Chairperson’s responsibility to call such a meeting. 

Executive Committee

5. The Chairperson shall render a written Executive Committee report of the Board and such report shall become a part of the minutes of the Board. The report must be distributed to all Board member with the notice of the Board’s regular monthly meeting. 

Budget Timetables

6. The Executive Committee shall be responsible for the preparation of a timetable for the consideration of the following years capital and expense budget, and to ensure that appropriate timetables and hearing are set for the Community Development Fund request and other fund requests. 

Board Members’ Committee Attendance

7. The First Vice Chairperson of the Board, upon receipt of information indicating that a Board member has been absent from three (3) meetings of a Committee to which the member has been appointed, shall contact the Board member and request a written explanation of the specific circumstances of such absences. The explanation will be presented to the Board Chairperson for appropriate action pursuant to Article II B) Duties of the Chairperson, Section 9. 

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Article XII

Individual Responsibilities of Members:

Responsible for Board Meeting Attendance

1. Consistent attendance at Board meetings is the responsibility of all board members in order to allow the Board to function in an expeditious manner. 

Excused Absences

2. A member seeking an excused absence must contact the district office no later than 4:00 pm on the day of the scheduled regular meeting of the Board. Such excused absence shall be subject to approval of the Chairperson 

Requirement for Board Members to Serve on Committee

3. Each member shall be a member of at least one standing Committee of the Board, and actively participate in the workings of such committee. 

4. Each member shall observe the canons of courtesy and order at Board meetings and shall refrain from the use of harsh, obscene or provocative language, and shall not engage in personal defamatory remarks or arguments with anyone attending Board meetings. 

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Article XIII

Committee Responsibilities:

Committee Chairs are Members of Executive Committee

1. The Chairperson of each standing Committee shall be a member of the Executive Committee and shall attend Executive meetings. 

Committee Rosters

2. The Committee Chairperson shall maintain an up-to-date roster of Committee members and shall notify the district office of any changes. 

Minimum Amount of Board Members

3. Each standing Committee shall have not less than three (3) Board members. 

Record keeping at District Office

4. Each standing Committee shall maintain attendance lists and minutes of its meetings, in the files of the district office. 

Meeting Notices

5. The Committee Chairperson shall notify the Board office in a timely manner of scheduled Committee meetings. If a mailing notice to Committee members is required, detailed instructions must be supplied to the Board office. (i.e., date, time, place, agenda, lists of guests, etc.). 

Participation of NonBoard Members

6. Non-Board members shall be encouraged to participate on committees with a vote and are invited to attend regular meetings and participate in Public Hearings of the Board, without vote. 

Quorum Requirements

7. A majority of the committee shall constitute a quorum, and the presence of a quorum is necessary to conduct a Committee meeting and to make recommendations to the Board. 

Board Chairperson as Ex-Officio Member

8. The Chairperson of the Board shall be an ex-officio member of each standing and ad hoc Committee of the Board. 

Committee Function

9. Committees shall be expected to meet as necessary and function both to deal with immediate problems and to review and discuss comprehensive planning strategies relating to their respective Committees. 

Referral to Committee

10. The Chairperson of the Board shall, upon receipt of a proposal from any city agency requesting action by the Board, forward such proposal to the Chairperson of the appropriate Committee of the Board. 

Action of Committee Upon receipt of such a proposal, the Committee Chairperson shall initiate action. 

Such action shall include, but not be limited to: 

a) requesting additional information 

b) obtaining a Committee recommendation to hold a Public Hearing and make recommendations to the Board. 

Committee Reports

11. Final reports to the Board shall be in writing and shall contain a statement of findings, conclusions and recommendations. Such final report shall be distributed to all members of the Committee prior to delivery to the Chairperson of the Board. 

Committee Chairs Shall be Board Members

12. Every meeting of a standing Committee or ad hoc Committee shall be chaired by the Committee Chairperson or such person designated by the Committee Chairperson or Board Chairperson; such designee shall be a member of the Community Board. 


The Chairperson of each standing and special Committee shall be empowered to appoint from such Committee membership a Sub-Committee and a Sub-Committee Chairperson. 

Attendance Requirements for Committee Meetings

13. Upon three (3) consecutive unexcused absences from Committee meetings meetings, by members of the Board or Community members, the Chairperson of  the Committee must report said circumstances to the First Vice Chairperson of the Board who will take appropriate action. 

Committee Size and Composition

14. Except as otherwise mandated, i.e., Budget & Personnel Committee all standing Committees shall consist of not less than five (5) members. Each standing Committee shall be composed of no less than three (3) Board members. 

Requests and Appointments to Committees

15. Requests for membership to a standing Committee of the Board during each calendar year shall be accepted by the Board office as is submitted. The Chairperson of the Board and the Chairperson of each standing Committee shall thereafter review the Committee membership requests of both Board and Community members at a special meeting called by the Chairperson of the Board at which time appointments to all Committees shall be made during the year at the discretion of the Chairperson of the Board. 

Selection Criteria 

16. In determining the selection of membership to standing Committees, the following criteria may be considered: 

a) The applicant’s previous civic participation 

b) The applicant’s expression of interest and specific qualifications 

c) equal neighborhood qualifications. 

Alternate Members 

17. The Committee Chairperson shall maintain an alternate membership list and as vacancies occur on the Committee, alternates shall be appointed based upon Article XIII, Section 16. 

Majority Voting 

18. A quorum to convene any Committee meeting of the Board shall be a majority of the full members of the committee. All actions of a Committee shall be decided by a majority vote of those members present and entitled to vote. 

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