Is it too much to ask that our next RIOC President be a Roosevelt Island resident? If a bill proposed by Senator Jose Serrano and State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright makes it through the legislative process and is signed into law by the governor, we may yet see the day when our (still unelected) President is an Islander like us.
The WIRE unreservedly endorses the Serrano-Seawright co-sponsored bill (#A9605 in the current legislative session), requiring the RIOC President to be a current Island resident, or to establish residency within six months of assuming that position. We urge the community to voice their support for its passage.
This is an issue that extends beyond simple good government; it is a matter of community pride. Why would Islanders accept the leadership of someone who is so disinterested in the Island that he or she would not even live here?
In the WIRE’s lengthy interview with outgoing RIOC President Charlene Indelicato (mainstreetwire.com/archive/2016/3612/756-charlene-indelicato-talks-to-the-wire-2), she noted not only her understanding that her appointment would necessitate a move to the Island (an understanding that turned out to be a “misunderstanding,” ultimately), but that she welcomed the opportunity, seeing it as vital to overseeing the day-to-day administration of our community.
Of course there are many hurdles to the enactment of this proposal and some may argue that qualified candidates could balk at having to uproot to our wonderful Isle in the East River. To that, we say fine; we don’t want you anyway. If we need to entice our next RIOC President to live here, there is a simple solution. The U.S. President has the White House. The Mayor of New York has Gracie Mansion. Would the prospect of “Blackwell Mansion” draw any good resumés? Just thinking out loud here.