Lyle Sclair, new executive director of the Bayside Village Business Improvement District (BID), will look to bring variety to Bell Boulevard over the next several months.
The BID held a meeting on Monday to discuss Sclair’s future plans of “branding” the already popular area.
“It’s a place to conduct business,” Sclair said.
Sclair along with Chair James Riso and Councilmember Dan Halloran addressed board members, business owners and residents about upgrading the BID’s strip.
“We have a variety of shopping here on Bell,” Sclair said. “We need to bring out what your customers are looking for in a shopping environment.”
The annual board member elections were also held at the meeting, which resulted in four new uncontested members. Mark Boccia and John DeFina were elected to represent Class A property owners while David Lilienthal and Edward Teran were chosen to represent Class B commercial tenants.
Former executive director Gregg Sullivan stirred up some controversy by criticizing the poor communication between him and Sclair. Sullivan thought he’d be running for a Class B spot, but instead found himself on the Class C resident’s ballot.
Halloran quickly put an end to the controversy by proving that Sullivan did not meet the credentials for a Class B position. Due to a mix up involving the proxy votes of the election, the sole Class C position is still undetermined. Either Sullivan or Mitchell Catanzano will be elected to the final spot.
In addition, a few other individuals were unhappy with the lack of communication from Sclair and Riso, who will be stepping down from his position to join the board.
“The more the merrier,” Riso said to those who were unaware they could run for the board, encouraging them to run for a spot at next year’s election.
Sclair spoke about how an increase in communication between the board and the businesses could improve the strip. A weekly newsletter has been created under his power and improvements to the BID website are in the near future. He believes a team effort will lead them to success.
“It’s everybody together moving forward,” Sclair said.
City Comptroller John Liu also stopped by the meeting to speak about the current state of the city’s economy.
“We have to have policies that start reducing this wealth gap and start filling the middle class up,” Liu said.
Liu added that he was a critic of the city’s economic development policies but was pleased with what he saw on Bell Boulevard.
“Every time you come here, you see more businesses opening. I think that’s a good sign that the economy is going to pick up,” Liu said.