Crown Heights' CB9 Votes in New Chairman

By Rachel Holliday Smith on June 25, 2014 1:15pm 

 Rabbi Jacob Goldstein, left, served as the chairman of Community Board 9 in Brooklyn for 34 years. Dwayne Nicholson, right, was chosen to take over that role in an election held by the board Tuesday night.
Rabbi Jacob Goldstein, left, served as the chairman of Community Board 9 in Brooklyn for 34 years. Dwayne Nicholson, right, was chosen to take over that role in an election held by the board Tuesday night.
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DNAinfo/Rachel Holliday Smith

CROWN HEIGHTS — Change came to the executive board of Brooklyn Community Board 9 Tuesday night as members voted in new leadership after 34 years with the same chairman.

Dwayne Nicholson, a seven-year CB9 member and a Crown Heights resident of more than 50 years, was chosen as the board’s new chairman with 38 votes out of 43, taking over the position from Rabbi Jacob Goldstein, who had led the board since 1979. Amid pressure from newer members of the board and the borough president’s office, Goldstein opted to not run for reelection, which he spoke about at the meeting held at M.S. 61.

“I’ve given it some thought, and I said to myself, you know, 'I’ve done pretty good. I leave a good legacy behind,'” the Army chaplain and longtime local said, adding that he will remain a board member. “I will be able to sit and watch and judge and see how we go forward from my foxhole, as we say in the Army.”

Going forward is precisely what the group’s new leader, Nicholson, wants to focus on.

“What I’m hoping we can start doing tonight is turn over a new leaf,” Nicholson told the group after the vote was cast. “Let’s start over, let’s begin, let’s move forward.”

Before looking to the future, Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo acknowledged Goldstein for his service.

“I would like for everybody to give a round of applause, a resounding round of applause, for 34-plus years of his life that he’s given to this community and supported his community and gave his all to the best of his ability,” Cumbo said of Goldstein as the meeting attendees gave the former chairman a standing ovation.

Representatives from Councilwoman Darlene Mealy's and Borough President Eric Adams’ offices also thanked Goldstein.

In addition to the new chair, the board also voted in a new first vice chairwoman, the No. 2 spot on the board. Laura Imperiale, a resident of Prospect-Lefferts Gardens for 17 years, took over the position after joining CB9 last year. She, like Nicholson, said she hopes that as the neighborhood changes, “the board changes with it.”

The election also included three appointments of unopposed candidates to the executive board. Demetrius Lawrence will serve as CB9’s second vice chairman, a role he held last year. Rosemarie Perry will serve as secretary and Diana Richardson will serve as treasurer.

CB9 will not hold regular monthly board meetings in July and August. The next meeting will take place on Sept. 23.

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