Thursday, March 24, 2016

NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright Introduces Legislation This Week To Bring Major Changes For Roosevelt Island Governance - RIOC CEO To Be Appointed By Board Directors And CEO Must Live On Roosevelt Island

Roosevelt Island's NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright

 Image Of Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright At 2015 Roosevelt Island Town Hall

introduced Bill A09605 which, if passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor, would bring major changes to the governance of Roosevelt Island by the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC).

According to Assembly Member Seawright:
This bill allows the board to appoint the CEO of RIOC, determine the term of office and requires that the CEO complies with the rules that apply to public officers. It is a pivotal step towards self-governance for Roosevelt Island residents, creating accountability and requiring greater transparency.
The legislation, introduced on March 22, would also require the RIOC CEO to be a resident of Roosevelt Island or become one within 6 months of being appointed to the position.

Below is the purpose, summary and justification for the legislation as outlined in Bill A09605:

To establish the position of chief executive officer of the Roosevelt Island operating corporation, and the requirements for such position.


Section one of the bill makes a technical amendment, and provides the following:

1. The board shall appoint a chief executive officer of RIOC, who must be a resident of Roosevelt Island or become a resident within 6 months of appointment;

2. The board shall determine the term of office, fix the compensation and prescribe the duties for the position; and

3. The CEO must comply with, and be subject to, certain rules that apply to public officers.

Section two provides that this act shall take effect immediately, except that the term of the current chief executive officer shall end at such time as a successor chief executive officer is appointed.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) was created in 1984 to manage Roosevelt Island, oversee its continued development through the Master Plan and allocate state capital funding and operational support.
The directors of RIOC board are not elected but rather appointed. Presently, there is neither residency requirement for all RIOC board directors nor for the President/Chief Executive Officer. The President/CEO is primarily responsible for operations of daily life on Roosevelt Island. There has never been a RI resident appointed to this position but rather only persons who reside outside the community once appointed, the President/CEO has never moved into the community.

This bill provides a step toward self-governance for Roosevelt Island residents by requiring the next newly appointed CEO to be a resident or become a resident within six months of his/her appointment. This residency requirement will ensure the CEO is a member of the community.

This bill would make the next CEO more accountable to the residents he/she will serve. The RIOC Board of Directors will appoint the CEO, determine the term of office, fix the compensation to be paid, prescribe the duties and responsibilities and may remove him/her for cause. This bill requires greater transparency because the next CEO will be subject to the Public Officers Law including financial disclosures and a Code of Conduct.
and the contents of the full Bill.

Image From NY State Assembly

Click here for more information on Bill A09605 introduced by NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright regarding Roosevelt Island governance.