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BID looks ahead in Bayside

City Councilman Dan Halloran (c.) helps review election results at the Bayside Business Improvement District's annual meeting. Photo by Phil Corso
TimesLedger Newspapers

With its new board mostly intact, the Bayside Village Business Improvement District has nowhere to look but forward after hosting its annual meeting last week, and with new Executive Director Lyle Sclair at the helm, the supply of ideas is not at a premium.

Former BID Chairman James Riso, who was re-elected to the board at the group’s annual meeting July 16 but said he would not serve again in his previous executive position, said the BID had a lot to offer Bayside.

“We have a say in government. We are all in this together,” Riso said. “We can speak as a group. In numbers, there is strength. That is what we have.”

In the BID’s annual election, two of the three classes of board members were elected in uncontested matches, but as for the resident spot on the board, under a Class C classification, a contest between former Executive Director Gregg Sullivan and Mitchell Catanzano was put on hold due to an issue regarding proxy votes.

Sullivan said he was told by BID management that he would run as a commercial tenant under the uncontested Class B category, and only learned of his change in designation when the slates were projected on the wall at the meeting.

Board leadership argued, however, that Sullivan could not run as a commercial tenant because he did not own commercial property on Bell Boulevard through his business, BaysideLiveTV.

The Bayside Village BID includes properties along Bell Boulevard between Northern Boulevard and 35th Avenue, including the east and west portions of 41st Avenue near the Long Island Rail Road station. The group was established in 2007 and promotes local businesses in Bayside through different methods, like street fairs.

Sclair, who approached the BID’s annual meeting with a detailed plan for the future, said he was excited to bring his ideas to the board with hopes that the community will help bring them to fruition. Though there has been some focus on the more tangible aspects of the BID’s reach, such as street fairs or decorative banners along Bell Boulevard, Sclair said he hoped to prove there were other ways the group could be effective in promoting business.

“One of our main focuses will be on improving communication both internally and externally,” Sclair said.

Sclair said he hoped to increase the relevance of the BID website by promoting specials from Bayside businesses and circulating important updates via the new weekly newsletter he had helped assemble and already distribute to nearly 150 members.

City leaders were also on hand at the meeting, including City Comptroller John Liu and City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Whitestone).

“I believe in BIDs,” Liu said. “They are a strong example of a public-private partnership that could really improve the quality of life.”

The executive director, who was appointed earlier this year, also announced some upcoming events, including a “Roll Up the Gates” event to promote available property Sept. 10 and monthly sidewalk sales to allow merchants to set up outside their businesses to attract customers, probably in September.

Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at pcorso@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

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