Julie Menin easily wins council seat, but it’s a very short ride…


As expected, Julie Menin, a Democrat, walloped Republican Mark Foley by a 3 to 1 margin. But while victory’s sweet, it’s short-lived because she gets only two years.

By David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

Julie Menin With Two Years To Go

Julie Menin
Credit: Julie Menin for City Council

Because the 2020 Census requires redistricting, the 5th District, now claimed by Menin, will have new boundaries. That means, after a long haul campaign against six primary opponents and the final run against Foley, her term ends in 2023. She hasn’t got much time to win hearts and minds before gearing up for her next run.

But the new city council member representing Roosevelt Island takes office with some built in advantages. Having recently run three city agencies, Census and Consumer Affairs as well as Media and Entertainment, she comes with experience and connections.

How all that pans out for Roosevelt Island remains unknown, but the circumstances are odd.

First consideration is that, because of Roosevelt Island’s peculiar political set up, no one in city government has much automatic influence over the community. Outgoing Ben Kallos partially solved that by developing cordial, persuasive relationships with RIOC’s presidents. He was especially close with Susan Rosenthal, calling her the best ever.

But Julie Menin, who is more conservative and business oriented, may take a different approach. Her term begins January 1st, two short months away, and from there, she’s got just 22 months before the polls open again.


Ben Kallos exiting the Roosevelt Island Tram
Ben Kallos on one of his frequent visits to Roosevelt Island.

While wishing our new city council member success in office, we say “Farewell and thank you” to Ben Kallos. His devotion to Roosevelt Island outweighed expectation. He’s been generous with funds and a frequent, much appreciated presence.

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