2012-10-12 / Letters

RBCA Needs A Revival

Dear Editor,

I just got my notice of a Rockaway Beach Civic Association (RBCA) meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 2 at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Beach 90 Street.

I hope you are as excited as I am because it has been so long since the last RBCA meeting I thought the organization had disappeared.

The by-laws require 10 meetings per year but President for Life Delores Orr doesn’t view the by-laws as “laws,” she considers them more like “guidelines.”

I call her President for Life because she has really figured out how to be president for life. She simply cancels the election!

Then she forgets about it.

If anyone brings it up, they are accused of being nasty and abusive.

There has not been an election for about three years. It’s been so long, I forget. The by-laws require annual elections, but they are not really laws, are they?

At the meeting, Delores Orr will not only claim to be president even though there was no election, but she will then go on to say there’s nothing anybody can do about it. You see, it is not on the agenda. We can only discuss things on the agenda. She won’t mention that she decides what is on the agenda. This is where she will suddenly consider the by-laws as absolute law.

RBCA does not have meetings because Delores has no time for this job. It is time for her to admit it, withdraw and move on. Make it simple and make it clean.

Delores has been president for more than 10 years. Is RBCA better off now than 10 years ago? When she was elected we had monthly meetings, annual elections and over 100 members. RBCA was one of the most important civics in Rockaway. Political debates sponsored by RBCA were always a packed house.

Now RBCA is held hostage by Delores’ social calendar. We have occasional meetings, no elections and enormous erosion in membership. RBCA has become so weakened that other associations encroach on our territory with impunity. The current Executive Committee has been in place for more than 10 years, the average age is almost 70, it is time for a new leadership team.

There are enormous changes taking place in and around Rockaway Beach, yet the membership of RBCA has no vehicle to have a say about any of them.

The membership should elect new leadership right away. We should not wait for the annual meeting in February. We didn’t have an election this year and we want one now.

We need five residents of “Rockaway Beach” for officers. Three officers must be on the Executive Committee. That leaves two extra spots on the Executive Committee. So we need a minimum of five candidates and a maximum of seven. This will be the new leadership team.

We need volunteers to run for office. Please get in touch with me.

“Rockaway Beach” as defined in the by-laws is Beach 79 Street to Beach 108 Street from the ocean to the bay.

Since I do not live in “Rockaway Beach” I am not eligible to be an officer of RBCA. I hate to say it, but in order to vote we probably have to pay membership dues to a board that has repeatedly and unapologetically violated the by-laws. It is best to come to the October 2 meeting with a $20 bill, a filled out membership application and proof of a Rockaway Beach address (a driver’s license or a utility bill).

Any “property owner” in “Rockaway Beach” is automatically qualified for membership. Any residential tenant in “Rockaway Beach” is eligible for membership if approved by the executive board.

VINCE CASTELLANO

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