Assembly Approves Seawright Legislation to Expand Residency Requirement for Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation Board Members

The New York State Assembly approved Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright's legislation that will allow residents to have a majority vote on the governing board of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation.

The measure is part of a series of reforms to bring great 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 must reside on the island. The governor appoints four resident board members. The mayor appoints one resident board member.

The approved measure now goes to the Senate, where a similar action is under the sponsorship of State Senator José Serrano.

"I'm pleased that the voice of the residents of Roosevelt Island will not only be heard but also be a force on the board for constructive change," said Seawright. "We are one step closer to achieving that goal. Given the Roosevelt Island community's unique governance structure under a State Public Benefit Corporation, resident perspectives and voices must be represented on RIOC's board of directors."

Other provisions 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.

A separate bill sponsored by both legislators would also require residency for the corporation's Chief Executive Officer. A non-resident Chief Executive Officer would be required to relocate to the island within one year of appointment.