When I talked with State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright one afternoon by the big window in Nisi, I stressed – as others had before me – that RIOC must be changed. That is, in ways that make the state agency more responsive to Roosevelt Islanders. In a healthy partnership with Senator José Serrano, she came through in flying colors. The following is her public statement on the big win.
Seawright Wins Battle for Residents’ Control On Roosevelt Island Governing Board
The New York State Legislature this week approved Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright’s legislation giving residents a majority vote on the governing board of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation.
The measure is part of a series of reforms to bring greater accountability and transparency to the board, which serves more than 12,000 residents.
Under the Seawright legislation, five of the nine appointees to the board, and majority, must reside on the island. The governor appoints four resident board members. The mayor appoints one resident board member.
“The Founding Fathers’ cry of “no taxation without representation” has somehow eluded the Board of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation,” said Seawright. “This long overdue reform will finally give residents a majority on the governing board to fight for a better Roosevelt Island.”
State Senator José M. Serrano sponsored the companion bill in the Senate. The measure now moves to the desk of Governor Kathy Hochul for her signature.
Other provisions of the Legislature’s act would:
- Clarify the residency requirement for certain public appointments to the Board of Directors of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation and stipulate for their immediate resignation from the board upon the termination of such residency;
- Provide for the appointment of a successor within 60 days when a board vacancy occurs within an unexpired term;
- Require the posting of job vacancies on the corporation’s website.
The Legislature also approved a separate bill sponsored by Seawright and Serrano to require the corporation’s Chief Executive Officer to reside on the island. A non-resident CEO would be required to relocate to the island within one year of appointment.
A note from The Roosevelt Island Daily
Thank you, Rebecca Seawright and José Serrano!
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