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For Immediate Release
July 18, 2012


New Borough Commissioners in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island
For Second Time in Four Years, Staff Rotation to Increase Efficiency and Productivity

Buildings Commissioner Robert LiMandri today announced a rotation of the Department’s Borough Commissioners in an effort to increase the efficiency and productivity of the agency’s operations. For the second time in four years, the Borough Commissioners have been rotated to further standardize plan review operations and streamline the construction project approval process citywide. Each Borough Commissioner oversees the review of construction-related applications and plans in their respective boroughs, and in 2011, Department plan examiners reviewed more than 450,000 sets of construction plans. Effective immediately, this latest rotation shifts experienced professionals into new leadership roles to better facilitate development and ensure builders, developers and design professionals follow the City’s strict safety standards. The Borough Commissioners have a combined 124 years of experience in the architectural, engineering and construction fields.

“Our Borough Commissioners serve as stewards of development in neighborhoods throughout the City, and this rotation will ensure construction projects continue to move forward in a safe and timely manner,” said Commissioner LiMandri. “Construction is critical to the economic growth of this great City, and these leaders understand their work leads directly to the creation of new homes, new offices and new jobs for millions of New Yorkers. Their skills and knowledge are the backbone of this agency, and I am proud to serve with them as we work to accelerate development citywide so more New Yorkers can get back to work.”

The new Borough Commissioners are as follows:

Ira Gluckman, Brooklyn and Staten Island Borough Commissioner – Ira Gluckman, who will oversee operations at the Brooklyn and Staten Island offices, is a New York State Registered Architect with more than 32 years of experience in architecture and construction. He joined the agency in 2006 as a Deputy Borough Commissioner in Staten Island and was later appointed Borough Commissioner in 2007. Most recently, he has served as Queens Borough Commissioner. Before joining the Department, Borough Commissioner Gluckman operated his own firm, Gluckman & Scire-Chianetta Architects, and served as a Field Inspector for Merritt & Harris Engineers, where he worked on construction projects for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Derek Lee, Queens Borough Commissioner – Derek Lee is a New York State Registered Architect with 35 years of experience with commercial, industrial and institutional buildings. Joining the Department in 2000 as a Plan Examiner, Borough Commissioner Lee was promoted to Plan Examiner Squad Leader in 2001, then Deputy Queens Borough Commissioner, where he participated in the structural assessment of buildings in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2011, and the jetliner crash in Belle Harbor, Queens. In 2006, he was appointed as Queens Borough Commissioner, then Brooklyn Borough Commissioner in 2008 and Manhattan Borough Commissioner in 2009. Prior to joining the Department, Borough Commissioner Lee served as a Principal at Lee Associates, an architectural and engineering firm, an Architectural Designer and Construction Manager at Graf & Chan Architects and a Designer at Galson & Galson Consulting Engineers.

Martin Rebholz, Manhattan Borough Commissioner – Martin Rebholz is a New York State Registered Architect with 32 years of experience in architecture and construction. He joined the Department in 2011 as Deputy Borough Commissioner in Manhattan. Prior to that, Borough Commissioner Rebholz served as the Director of Building Code Compliance for the New York City School Construction Authority and operated his own architectural firm. He also served as a project manager and designer for Waltz Design and a designer/draftsman for Saltini/Ferrara Associates, PC and William B. Tablor Associates.

Werner deFoe will continue to serve as Bronx Borough Commissioner. A New York State Registered Architect, Borough Commissioner deFoe has more than 25 years of experience in architecture and construction. Executive Director of Technical Affairs Constadino (Gus) Sirakis, a New York State Professional Engineer, has been promoted to Deputy Borough Commissioner in Manhattan, and Brooklyn Acting Deputy Borough Commissioner Frank Marchiano has been promoted to Deputy Borough Commissioner in Staten Island. John Gallagher, a New York State Registered Architect, will resume his position as Deputy Borough Commissioner in Brooklyn. Marshall Kaminer, a New York State Professional Engineer, will now serve as the Executive Engineer for Technical Affairs.

Since 2008, the Department has improved the plan review process, including the creation of the NYC Development Hub, a new state-of-the-art facility that accepts and reviews digital construction plans, and an expanded eFiling program under which more than 150,000 documents are prepared and submitted online each year. As of June 2012, initial construction permits have increased more than 5% when compared to the same period last year.

Contact:    Tony Sclafani/Ryan FitzGibbon                              (212) 566-3473
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