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Monday, July 30, 2007

Election Will Not Happen as Planned

Unlike residents of any other city or state in the United States, the residents of Roosevelt Island are prevented from voting for our local governmental representatives. Roosevelt Island is governed by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp., a New York State public corporation, whose Directors are appointed by the Governor and approved by the State Senate. The RIOC President is also appointed by the Governor.

In the past, prior to the current administration, many residents failed to understand what qualified many of these Appointees for their positions other than being political friends of the sitting State Administration of the time. An improvement has been the appointment of a majority of community residents to the Board, although that does not address the issue of an elected local government which is presumably more responsive to the community than an appointed one.

There was some hope for a recent plan worked out by RIRA and RIOC President Steve Shane for the "election" by the community of Board members to be nominated by the Governor. The "election" was supposed to be held this September but has either been postponed until November or later, cancelled entirely or subject to further review. See the story in Main Street Wire for more details. As of now, this story is available online only as a pdf file of the entire last issue of Main Street Wire.
Update: The New York Sun covers the story here.