March 25


Changing of the Guard: Bergen Beach Civic Welcomes New President as Sal Calise Bids Farewell

March 25, 2024

Vol. 104 No. 13

After six years of dedicated service, Sal Calise, president of the Bergen Beach Civic Association (BBCA), is passing the torch to Michael Trotta. Calise, who assumed office in May 2018, leaves behind a legacy of commitment to the safety, cleanliness and unique character of Bergen Beach.

Reflecting on his tenure at the March 12th BBCA meeting, held at the Hudson River Yacht Club, 2101 Bergen Avenue, Calise expressed pride in his efforts to fulfill residents’ needs and preserve the neighborhood’s identity. “I did my best to keep the neighborhood safe and clean and get the residents what their taxes pay for. I protected Bergen Beach to keep it the unique neighborhood that it is today,” he stated, when asked about his service to the community.

Calise’s departure from his role as president coincides with the end of his term limit on Community Board 18 (CB18), where he served as a board member for two terms. However, he reassures the community that he will remain involved and continue to attend meetings as a Bergen Beach resident, despite stepping down from his official positions.

During the meeting, the BBCA Board conducted its official election process, unanimously approving and adopting the proposed slate of officers for the upcoming term. The transition to President-elect Trotta will be formalized at the next meeting, marking Calise’s final official gathering as president.

Trotta pledges to continue the association’s traditions, including the publication of The Beachcomber, BBCA’s newsletter, which serves as a vital communication tool for residents, providing local news, updates, issues and happenings in the area.

Residents raised various community concerns, including issues with bus parking, illegal dumping and enforcement of pet regulations, emphasizing that no one should walk their dogs where “NO PETS” signs are posted, especially in parks where children play, as the Parks Department will issue summonses.  Despite the challenges, the Department of Sanitation was commended for their efforts to maintain neighborhood cleanliness.

Significant progress has also been made with the cleanup along Avenue Y, and the area between Avenue Y and the Belt Parkway, though ongoing funding limitations hinder project completion of this initiative.

As Calise concludes his tenure, members and attendees extended their gratitude for his steadfast leadership and unwavering dedication to Bergen Beach’s well-being. Amid the transition, they express confidence in Trotta’s ability to continue advancing the community’s interests.

The changing of the guard at the BBCA marks a significant moment in the neighborhood’s history. With new leadership on the horizon, residents remain optimistic about the future, poised to address challenges, and embrace opportunities for growth and improvement.  As stated by the BBCA, “Our voice does get heard and does carry weight,” reflecting on its influence as an organization respected by the city and state.

In bidding farewell to Calise and welcoming Trotta, Bergen Beach residents affirm their commitment to preserving the spirit and vitality of their beloved community.

The next meeting of the BBCA will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 14th, at the Hudson River Yacht Club.  There is no meeting scheduled for April.

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