Community Board 11 will lose a longtime leader and elect a new chair next month.
The Queens board will bid farewell to Jerry Iannece, who is term-limited due to the board’s bylaws. An election to replace him will take place March 3.
“It was an awesome ride,” said Iannece, whose term ends March 31. “It was exciting, exhilarating. It’s been a labor of love in many ways.”
Iannece was first appointed as board chair in 2002, stepping down in 2007 due to term limits. He returned to take back the board’s helm in 2009.
Under his leadership, Community Board 11 was at the forefront of a $125 million ravine improvement project at Oakland Lake. The massive upgrade, which was more than 10 years in the making, fixed a flooding problem in Bayside Hills.
“It saved Oakland Lake, and it saved the ecosystem,” Iannece said. “It’s sort of a textbook case of how a civic can identify a problem, employ their resources and get a problem solved.”
But after a roller coaster, decade-long tenure — and multiple failed bids for political office — the civic leader plans to step down for good.
“It’s an exhausting, full-time job without pay. I think my time as chair of Community Board 11 has come to an end,” said Iannece, who most recently ran for City Council in 2009 and suffered a devastating defeat in his bid for state Assembly in 2012.
“Running for office for a few years took a lot out of me,” the attorney said. “It just wasn’t meant to be, but it’s OK.”
Board members will nominate and then vote in a new chair at the end of the March 3 meeting, which starts at 7:30 p.m. at 46-35 Oceania St. in Bayside.
The board covers Auburndale, Bayside, Douglaston, Little Neck, Hollis Hills and Oakland Gardens.
“I think it’s always good to have fresh blood, to have someone with new ideas,” Iannece said. “We’ll find somebody that’s more than capable of filling my shoes and doing a great job.”
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