Mendez picks chief
New City Councilmember Rosie Mendez has tapped Lisa Kaplan, a leading member of the Coalition for a District Alternative political organization and former chairperson of Community Board 3, as her chief of staff. Kaplan made the announcement and resigned from C.B. 3 at the boards December meeting.
Kaplan, who has an extensive background in low-income housing development, also quit her job at Banco Popular as vice president of community development and took a substantial pay cut to work for Mendez.
She was on C.B. 3 more than 20 years, during which time she led board task forces on Cooper Unions building plans and the citys traffic plans at Astor Pl., the Cooper Square Urban Renewal Area and Con Edisons expanding its E. 14th St. power plant.
Lisa has a wealth of knowledge on the issues, particularly in this district, Mendez said. Her background in land use and her degree in urban planning will certainly be very helpful to my office. Her background as chairperson of Community Board 3 and on the community board gives her experience working on proliferation of bars and noise and other problems that were identified as problems by constituents.
Mendez said her budget only allowed her to hire three other staffers: Jasmin Torres, her scheduler, and Gregory Geller and John Fout, who worked for her predecessor, Margarita Lopez. Mendezs office is in the same building where Lopezs was, 237 First Ave. at E. 14th St., but is in a larger space on the fifth floor, room 504. She said theyre still connecting phones and Internet access.
People have sort of been working from their cell phones, she said.