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Community Board 2 Names New Chair After Brad Hoylman Steps Down

David Gruber, a Community Board 2 member of 10 years, will become the board's chair July 1, 2012.
David Gruber, a Community Board 2 member of 10 years, will become the board's chair July 1, 2012.
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DNAinfo/Andrea Swalec

SOHO — A longtime member of Greenwich Village and SoHo's community board became its chair Thursday after its previous head, Brad Hoylman, resigned to focus on his campaign for state Senate. 

CB2 voted 35-0 to elect David Gruber, a board member of 10 years, as its new chair after he ran unopposed. 

Gruber, a New York native who has lived in the Village for 36 years, said CB2 has a full plate of concerns he is eager to take on, including deals on NYU's proposed 20-year expansion plan and the proposed rezoning of Hudson Square to allow additional residential development, and a revenue-generating plan for Pier 40 in the West Village. 

"We have a lot of things to do and I'm very high energy," he said. 

Gruber — who has served as chair of CB2's committee on land use and business development and its working groups on the NYU expansion and Hudson Square rezoning — said decades of running his own business, a retail real estate firm, has made him a strong manager skilled at delegating responsibilities. 

"This board has a real depth and wealth of competent people," he said, noting that he hopes to mentor its younger participants. 

"Our younger members are the future of this board. We can't just have the senior people running the show," he said. 

Hoylman congratulated Gruber, who will officially take office July 1, at the meeting in a SoHo church basement and thanked CB2 members and meeting regulars for teaching him to be an effective leader.

"Everything I've learned about community activism, I've learned at your feet," he said. 

Hoylman officially kicked off his campaign for state Senate June 11 after Sen. Tom Duane's surprise announcement that he would not seek re-election after 14 years in office. If elected, Hoylman would represent Greenwich Village, Chelsea, Hell's Kitchen, the Upper West Side and parts of the East Village.

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer followed Hoylman's goodbye with an endorsement, declaring the day "Brad Hoylman Appreciation Day." 

"He has a unique skill set that is about government reform that's needed in the state Senate," Stringer said. "Duane's shoes are big but [Hoylman] will fill those shoes." 

Former board chair Jo Hamilton also accepted a new position Thursday, as CB2's second vice chair. She spoke after the meeting about why she participates on the community board. 

"It's such an important part of how things happen in the city. It's a way to actually have a voice."