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Charge boro shortchanged on parks workers

Bronx Times

Officials at two east Bronx community boards are seeing red over what they say is the city Parks Department shortchanging them on green workers.

That’s the word from Community Board 10 and Community Board 11 on the 414 new hires by Parks.

While the Bronx contains about 25% of all parkland in the city, the borough received not even close to that percent of new hires in maintenance workers and Parks Enforcement Police.

A parks department spokesman said that of the recent 414 citywide hires, 207 were general parks workers, 96 maintenance and trades workers, 30 climbers and pruners and 81 Parks Enforcement Police officers.

Board resolution

East Bronx Community Board 10 district manager Kenneth Kearns griped that just 20 to 40 of those workers and 17 PEP officers were being assigned to the Bronx.

The board passed a resolution at its June general board meeting calling on Parks to assign more of the new hires to the borough.

“There are so many parks here that Pelham Bay Park and Van Cortlandt Park alone would absorb that amount of workers,” said Kearns.

In a July 9 letter to Parks Commissioner Veronica White, board chairman John Marano stated that “...our borough, once touted as the ‘Borough of Parks and Universities,’ is graced by the presence of so many fine parks that it requires a large number of people to operate them effectively, and we request additional staff to do so.”

Board chair

‘incensed’

Community Board 11 chairman Anthony “Tony” Vitaliano, citing slightly different numbers, was incensed that only one Parks worker out of a reported 35 recently hired were going to be sent to Board 11, which spans Morris Park, Pelham Parkway, Van Nest, and Allerton.

“Someone in the parks department told me personally they are short three or four guys. One worker is ridiculous,” he complained. “We have Bronx Park East, Loreto Park, and other major parks. We didn’t get our fair share.”

Patrick Rocchio can be reach via e-mail at procchio@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 742-3393

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