Editorial: Who's on First?

On Roosevelt Island, it’s hard to tell who is responsible for what.

We live on land owned by New York City, but leased to the State. We are part of Manhattan, technically, but when it comes to services, they are split between Manhattan and Queens. You’ll get officers from the 114th Precinct (Queens) when you call the police. But if you get arrested, the Manhattan District Attorney’s office will prosecute you. If you send your child to public school on the Island, PS/IS 217 is a District 2 school. District 2 is a Manhattan District. We vote for a Mayor who has no power here, yet City Council Member Ben Kallos is often here, and helped us get a second Pre-K class at PS/IS 217. We have U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney to thank for keeping our post office. Former City Council Member Jessica Lappin was instrumental in getting a Gifted & Talented Program for our Island school. More recently, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer put her muscle behind a more robust relationship between Cornell Tech and PS/IS 217.

We may not have the linear relationship with the people we vote for that other New York City residents do, but our electeds are present here and can make a difference in our community.

That said, what happens when you have an Island-based concern? You go to RIOC or Public Safety to complain. If they don’t respond or you don’t get the response you want, where to go next? If the playground issues (story, page 1) are any indication, you can exhaust all Island remedies and then have no evidence of a response, and not even know if it was received. That hole in the fence separating the handball courts and the Al Lewis playground has been there since before the summer of 2012.

How do we rattle the right cage? We can start by calling 311. It may be run by the City, but if you go on the 311 website and put in your Roosevelt Island address, a host of information comes up and the 311 system will accept your complaint. It’s easy to do from anywhere. There is even a 311 app for your phone.

Otherwise, if you’re not happy about something, send a few emails. Here's a list:

BW

Island (RIOC)

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Board of Directors)

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (President)

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Director of Transportation)

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Director of Public Safety)

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Community Relations)

City

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (City Council Member Ben Kallos)

State

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright)

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (State Senator José M. Serrano)

When all else fails (or just to keep us informed)

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (The Main Street WIRE)

Tags: Editorial Briana Warsing

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