Manzola: Civic is breaking its own rules

Denied: John Manzola was denied the opportunity to run for a spot on the Marine Park Civic Association’s board of directors, despite being afforded that opportunity by the civic group’s constitution and by-laws.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

The Marine Park Civic Association played fast and loose with its own by-laws by installing a handpicked slate of officers and denying rivals a chance to run, according to John Manzola, a disgruntled nominee who said folks were too busy feasting on the free food at its end-of-the-year June meeting than following the rules.

“It’s a shame that the people at the meeting were only interested in the sandwich!” said Manzola, a former 35-year executive board member who nominated himself — a motion that was upheld by board member Jim Kelly, in accordance with group rules.

Manzola said he should have been allowed a ballot vote at that point, but none was taken.

Instead, he claimed Vice President Sebastian Crociata asked, “Who doesn’t want John?” and a sizeable — but not unanimous — portion of the board raised hands.

Manzola said when he asked for a ballot vote, Crociata resumed his seat, and the pre-selected nominees were sworn in without a board vote.

Manzola also accused Crociata of circumventing proper procedure by presenting the nominees without making a motion from the floor.

The group didn’t present the nominee selections at its last meeting because then-veep Maria De Lisandro, and her husband Charles, another key officer, resigned suddenly.

President Jim Ivaliotis said his group didn’t break any rules because Manzola didn’t voice an objection to the nominees.

“There was no opposition to the slate that was presented,” he said.

Manzola thinks Ivaliotis is way off base.

“Jim’s a wacko!” he said. “Just because he can speak the English language doesn’t mean he can speak sense.”

Manzola has been a thorn in the side of the grassroots group since he publicly attacked the Parks Department at a recent group meeting for dragging its heels on the Marine Park fieldhouse project, prompting De Lisandro and her hubby to step down.

“John made the job too stressful,” said De Lisandro at the time. “He made it impossible to do anything.”

Reach reporter Colin MIxson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.

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