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CB14 struggles under the budget axe

Community Board 14’s anticipated budget cuts just got a bit deeper.

On top of an expected $33,000 slash, the board was recently informed by the mayor’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that another $7,068 would be lopped off by July 1, the start of the new fiscal year, according to Doris Ortiz, the board’s district manager.

“That’s about $40,000. That’s a lot of money,” Ortiz said.

The cuts could result in a reduction to the board’s three‚ąímember paid staff.

Board 14, which encompasses Midwood, Flatbush and Kensington, operates on a budget of $189,000, money used to cover expenses, personnel, as well as supplies and mailings.

“When we have a staff comprised of three people, staff reduction are dramatic to say the least,” said Alvin Berk, the chair of the board. “This can disrupt people’s lives—it’s not a trivial thing.”

The deep recession has prompted the mayor to call for cuts across every city agency. Last summer, the City Council restored all of the money that the mayor initially proposed cutting from the city’s 59 community boards.

The hope is that the Council — with urging from board members and the public — can once again restore the funds. Ortiz asked board members to continue their own outreach to preserve the board’s budget.

Still, the district manager remains hopeful. “I’m just going to be optimistic and hope we get our money,” she said.

The city’s 59 community boards, 18 in Brooklyn, act as a middleman between the public and city agencies. Each board has 50 members, all of whom are volunteers.

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