Island Observer: Opportunity Knocks for Seat on the RIOC Board

Written by Joyce Short. Posted in Volume 37, Issue 11 - February 18, 2017

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) is seeking nominees interested in running to fill the expired spots on the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) Board of Directors. How many seats need filling? All of them. Yup, all seven spots! Five seats are awarded by Governor Cuomo, and two are awarded by Mayor de Blasio. All are currently occupied by folks whose appointments have long expired!

Joyce Short
Joyce Short
Chair RIRA Government Relations
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Back in Governor George Pataki’s administration, the New York State Legislature passed a bill that requires four of the five seats controlled by the Governor, and one of the two seats controlled by the Mayor, to be filled by Island residents. However, it is the hope of the RIRA Government Relations Committee that all seven seats will go to Island residents.

How to Apply

To throw your hat in the ring, you’ll need to complete a nomination form and secure 50 signatures on the accompanying petition. You’ll also need to be a US Citizen, be at least 25 years old, and have lived on the Island for at least six months. Also, every person who is selected by the Governor or the Mayor will need to pass a rigorous government vetting process, so if your privacy is an issue for you, this would not be a good choice.

Nomination and petition forms – as well as an in-depth description of the responsibilities and tasks of this important, but non-compensated position – are available at the Public Safety Department and on RIRA’s website (riraonline.com/rioc-election).

No nomination forms can be considered without proper notarization and the accompanying signatures. People can sign the petition of more than one candidate. All nomination forms and accompanying petitions must be placed into the appropriate box at the Public Safety Office (at 550 Main Street) by no later than 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, March 21.

While it’s true that neither the Governor nor the Mayor are held to appointing anyone from the final list we submit, there have been only two appointments of non-resident-selected parties since RIRA began this process. We sincerely appreciate the support of our Senator, José Serrano, and our Assembly Member, Rebecca Seawright, in continuing this streak, which is as close to democracy as the State’s regulations currently allow.

Important Dates

A Candidates’ Night forum will be held on Tuesday, April 11. A two-night election will be held on April 17 and 18. If you wish to volunteer to help with the voting process, please contact me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Anyone 18 or over who lives on Roosevelt Island, whether a US citizen or not, is eligible to vote in this election and help with the process.

Mark your calendars:

• Thursday, March 2: Question and Answer session for potential candidates who want more information; 546 Main Street, 12th floor community room, 7 p.m.

• Tuesday, March 21: Nominations close at 6 p.m.

• Friday, March 31: Candidate bios due for media publication.

• Tuesday April 11: Candidates’ Night; 6:30 p.m., Senior Center (546 Main Street).

• April 17 & 18: Elections held in building lobbies (watch for signs in your building).

Tags: RIRA RIOC Representation & Governance Island Observer

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