Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright is now open to a residency requirement for RIOC’s executive, she told the Roosevelt Island Daily. She will talk with Senator José Serrano about “reintroducing” abandoned legislation.
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Seawright Answers Roosevelt Island Daily Query
We reported on a bill Seawright sponsored that updated a law enabling RIOC. It was mainly technical, but she added…
“I envision a Roosevelt Island that is self-governed so that services and programs are fully responsive to the needs of residents. The community must have a say in the decision-making process of how the island is governed.
“There should be no taxation without representation.”
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“Can you expand a little on the self-government commitment?” we asked.
Three years ago, a bill, sponsored by Seawright, required RIOC’s president live on Roosevelt Island. Democrats control both houses now, but the bill vanished.
“I am currently discussing the residency requirement with constituents and community leaders,” Seawright told The Daily through special assistant Michael Arena.
But there was a caveat that concerned us.
Some worried that a requirement for the position of president at RIOC would restrict the goal of recruiting highly qualified candidates through the widest possible search.
That’s a clinker.
“It’s troubling,” we told Arena, “that anyone wishing to lead this community considers living here a detriment.”
No RIOC executive has ever lived in the community. That drives a wedge between 591 Main Street and everywhere else on the Island.
Seawright Open To RIOC Residency Now
“Living on Roosevelt Island is not a detriment,” Arena answered, “but it could reduce the applicant pool.”
That said, he concluded, “The Assembly Member is open to reintroducing the legislation and will consult with Senator Serrano on next steps.”
Such a change, long sought by local activists, radically alters Roosevelt Island’s power balance.