The community board for Flatbush and Midwood on Monday elected Shawn Campbell, a longtime Brooklyn Democratic political aide, as its new district leader, capping an intense —and secretive — month-long search.
Campbell, 45, a Detroit native who has lived in Brooklyn since 1988, will replace 34-year board veteran Doris Ortiz on July 1.
“We wanted to make sure we got the best fit for the job,” said Ortiz. “I will pledge to work with Shawn so she knows who the bad guys are, who the good guys are, who to say yes to and who to say no to.”
Campbell worked for the last nine years as legislative aide to Assemblyman Jim Brennan. From 1997 to 2000 she was director of community affairs for then-state Sen. Marty Markowitz. Before that, she was executive director of the Flatbush Family Network, an indoor play space run out of a church.
After five weeks of deliberating behind closed doors, a search committee, appointed by Chairman Alvin Berk, said it vetted six serious candidates out of 12 applicants. The committee refused to disclose the names of the other candidates.
Berk said the selection process was an executive session to protect the applicants, some of whom were concerned about their current employers finding out they were looking for other jobs. He also said he wanted to make sure the committee members were able to speak freely.
Campbell’s pay had yet to be determined, but the salary can range from $49,492 to $212,614, according to the city. The gig includes pension and benefits. Ortiz earned $100,608 in 2010, according to public records.
The district manager does not have a voting role on the board, but handles complaints from the community, implements policies voted on by the board and runs the office. Besides aides and clerical staff, the district manager is the only paid employee of the community board; voting members are volunteers placed on the board by the borough president and council members.
Campbell said her immediate goal was to get the lay of the land.
“It’s not about me, it’s about the 50-member board,” she said. “I need to get to know this board and embrace [its] goals.”