Borough president

Borough president is an elective office in each of the five boroughs of New York City. For most of the city's history, the office exercised significant executive powers within each borough, and the five borough presidents also sat on the New York City Board of Estimate. Since 1990, the borough presidents have been stripped of a majority of their powers in the government of New York City.

Borough presidents advise the mayor, comment on land-use items in their borough, advocate borough needs in the annual municipal budget process, appoint some officials and community board members, and serve ex officio as members of various boards and committees. They generally act as advocates for their boroughs to mayoral agencies, the city council, the New York State government, public corporations, and private businesses. Their authorizing law is codified in title 4, sections 81 to 85 of the New York City Charter,[1] while their regulations are compiled in title 45 of the New York City Rules.

Borough President Party Term Web site
The Bronx Rubén Díaz Jr. Democratic April 2009–present bronxboropres.nyc.gov
Brooklyn Eric Adams Democratic January 2014–present www.brooklyn-usa.org
Manhattan Gale Brewer Democratic January 2014–present manhattanbp.nyc.gov
Queens Melinda Katz Democratic January 2014–present www.queensbp.org
Staten Island James Oddo Republican January 2014–present www.statenislandusa.com

History

On January 1, 1898, the boroughs of Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Richmond were created and consolidated into a unified city of New York. As part of the consolidation, all town and county governments within the city were dissolved, and their powers were given to the city and the boroughs.[2][3] Manhattan and The Bronx comprised New York County, Brooklyn was the same as Kings County, the borough of Queens was the western third of Queens County, and the borough of Richmond was the same as Richmond County. The boroughs assumed most county functions, but did not replace them. The five offices of borough president were created to administer many of the previous responsibilities of the mayors of Brooklyn and Long Island City, the executive branch functions of the towns in Queens and Richmond, and various county functions.

Howard Golden Brooklyn borough president
Howard Golden, Borough President of Brooklyn 1977—2001

The eastern two-thirds of Queens County was not part of the borough of Queens. On January 1, 1899, the New York State Legislature partitioned Queens County, forming Nassau County from the easternmost three towns — Oyster Bay, Hempstead (except the Rockaway peninsula portion), and North Hempstead, covering about 280 square miles (730 km2).[4] On April 19, 1912, the New York State Legislature passed a law forming Bronx County from part of New York County on January 1, 1914, with the latter then becoming coterminous with the Borough of Manhattan.[5] In 1975, the name of the borough of Richmond was officially changed to Staten Island.

The initial city charter established the five borough president offices with terms of four years, coinciding with the term of the mayor. The salaries of the presidents of Manhattan, the Bronx, and Brooklyn were $5,000, and those of Queens and Richmond were $3,000. The borough presidents were subject to removal for cause by the mayor, with approval by the governor, and a replacement elected by the borough's aldermen and councilmen. Powers included membership and voting on the their borough's local boards (although without veto powers), an office in the borough hall, and appointive powers for a secretary, assistants, and clerks, which quickly became a source of political patronage. Along with the mayor, the comptroller and the president of the City Council, each of whom had two votes, the borough presidents each had one vote on the New York City Board of Estimate, which decided matters ranging from budgets to land use.[6]

In a later writer's words, the offices of the borough presidents were created to preserve "local pride and affection for the old municipalities" after consolidation.[7]

Borough presidents gradually gained more authority, assisting in the formulation of more aspects of the city budget and controlling land use, contracts, and franchise powers. Officials of political parties sometimes rewarded faithful public servants with nomination to the borough president position in primary elections, or election of an interim borough president via the aldermen or councilmen whose votes they controlled, in return for political patronage. Although some borough presidents served for decades, the position was sometimes used as a stepping-stone to other elective offices such as judgeships or, in the case of Robert F. Wagner, Jr., mayor.

On March 22, 1989, the Supreme Court of the United States, in Board of Estimate of City of New York v. Morris (489 U.S. 688) unanimously declared the New York City Board of Estimate, which had no parallel anywhere else in the United States, unconstitutional on the grounds that Brooklyn, the city's most populous borough, with a population of 2.2 million at the time, had the same representation on the board as Staten Island, the city's least populous borough, with 350,000 residents, and therefore was a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause pursuant to the high court's 1964 "one man, one vote" decision.[6][8]

The city charter was quickly revised and passed in a referendum that fall, and the Board of Estimate was abolished. The offices of the borough presidents were retained, but with greatly reduced power. The borough budgets became the responsibility of the mayor and City Council. Borough presidents currently have a relatively small discretionary budget for projects within their boroughs. The last significant power of the borough presidents, to appoint members of the New York City Board of Education, was abolished when the Board of Education became the Department of Education on June 30, 2002.

Roles and responsibilities

The two major remaining appointments of the borough presidents are one member each on the New York City Planning Commission[9] and one member each of the New York City Panel for Educational Policy. Borough presidents generally adopt specific projects to promote while in office, but since 1990 have been mainly ceremonial leaders. Officially, they advise the mayor on issues relating to their boroughs, comment on land-use items in their boroughs, engage in strategic planning for their boroughs, advocate for their boroughs' needs in the annual municipal budget process, monitor and modify the delivery of city services within their boroughs, appoint community boards, chair the boroughs' boards, and serve as ex officio members of various boards and committees. They also act as advocates for their boroughs at mayoral agencies, the City Council, the New York State government, public corporations, and private businesses.

Borough presidents are currently elected by popular vote to four-year terms, and can serve up to three consecutive terms (12 years).[10]

Borough presidents influence the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) by appointing NYC community boards and voting on the applications.[11] The staff of boroughwide economic development corporations are often closely aligned with the borough president, and work closely with the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the primary coordinating agency of city-sponsored economic development.[11]

Current presidents

The current borough presidents were either elected or re-elected in the most recent election in 2017:

Eric Adams

Eric Adams
(Democrat)
of Brooklyn (since 2014)

Gale Brewer 1

Gale Brewer
(Democrat)
of Manhattan (since 2014)

Forest Hills-71st Av. ADA Elevators (13960627428) (cropped)

Melinda Katz
(Democrat)
of Queens (since 2014)

Borough Boards

Each of the five boroughs has a borough board.[12] They are composed of the borough president, council members from the borough, and the chairperson of each community board in the borough.[12] The borough boards can hold or conduct public or private hearings, adopt by-laws, prepare comprehensive and special purpose plans and make recommendations for land use and planning, mediate disputes and conflicts among two or more community districts, submit comprehensive statements of expense and capital budget priorities and needs, evaluate the progress of capital developments and the quality and quantity of services provided by agencies, and otherwise consider the needs of the borough.[13]

Community Boards

Each of the fifty-nine community districts has a community board composed of up to 50 volunteer members appointed by the borough president, half from nominations by City Council members representing the community district (i.e., whose council districts cover part of the community district).[14][15] Community boards advise on land use and zoning, participate in the city budget process, and address service delivery in their district.[16] Community boards act in an advisory capacity, and have no authority to make or enforce laws.[15][16]

See also

References

  1. ^ "New York City Charter — Borough Presidents". library.amlegal.com. American Legal Publishing. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  2. ^ New York. Laws of New York; 1897, 120th session, chapter 378, section 2, p. 2.
  3. ^ The Greater New York Charter — Submitted to the Legislature of the State of New York on February 20, 1897, by the Commission appointed pursuant to Chapter 488 of the Laws of 1896. 1897. pp. 2–3. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  4. ^ New York. Laws of New York (1899), 121st session, chapter 588, section 1, p. 1336.
  5. ^ New York. Laws of New York; 1912, 135th Session, Chapter 548; Section 1; Page 1352.
  6. ^ a b Cornell Law School Supreme Court Collection: Board of Estimate of City of New York v. Morris, accessed June 12, 2006
  7. ^ Jackson, Kenneth T. (1995). The Encyclopedia of New York City. New Haven, Connecticut: New York Historical Society and Yale University Press. pp. 129–130. ISBN 0-300-05536-6.
  8. ^ Greenhouse, Linda (March 23, 1989). "Justices Void New York City's Government — Demand Voter Equality in All Boroughs". New York Times. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  9. ^ "New York City Charter, chapter 8, section 192". library.amlegal.com. American Legal Publishing. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  10. ^ Croghan, Lore (January 14, 2013). "A Champion for Brooklyn: Pols Have Raised Big Bucks for Race to Become Borough President". New York Daily News. Retrieved 19 November 2016.
  11. ^ a b Eichenthal, David R. (1990). "The Other Elected Officials". Urban Politics, New York Style. New York University. p. 99.
  12. ^ a b New York City Charter § 85(a)
  13. ^ New York City Charter § 85(b)
  14. ^ New York City Charter § 2800(a)
  15. ^ a b "About Community Boards". NYC Mayor's Community Affairs Unit. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  16. ^ a b Berg, Bruce (2007). New York City Politics: Governing Gotham. Rutgers University Press. p. 277.

External links

2005 New York City mayoral election

The New York City mayoral election of 2005 occurred on Tuesday November 8, 2005, with incumbent Republican mayor Michael Bloomberg soundly defeating former Bronx borough president Fernando Ferrer, the Democratic nominee. They also faced several third party candidates.

As of 2019, this is the last time a Republican was elected mayor of New York City. Bloomberg would leave the Republican Party in 2008 and register as an independent. However he was re-nominated by the Republican Party in 2009.

2013 New York City Borough President elections

The 2013 elections for Borough Presidents were held on November 5, 2013, and coincided with elections for Mayor, Public Advocate, Comptroller, and members of the New York City Council. Primary elections were held on September 10, 2013.

Community boards of Manhattan

Community boards of Manhattan are New York City community boards in the borough of Manhattan, which are the appointed advisory groups of the community districts that advise on land use and zoning, participate in the city budget process, and address service delivery in their district.Community boards are each composed of up to 50 volunteer members appointed by the local borough president, half from nominations by City Council members representing the community district (i.e., whose council districts cover part of the community district). Additionally, all City Council members representing the community district are non-voting, ex officio board members.

Community boards of New York City

The community boards of the New York City government are the appointed advisory groups of the community districts of the five boroughs. There are currently 59 community districts: twelve in Manhattan, twelve in the Bronx, eighteen in Brooklyn, fourteen in Queens, and three in Staten Island:

Community boards of Manhattan

Community boards of the Bronx

Community boards of Brooklyn

Community boards of Queens

Community boards of Staten IslandThey advise on land use and zoning, participate in the city budget process, and address service delivery in their district. Regarding land use they are only advisory and mostly serve as mobilizing institutions for communities opposed to specific projects. The City Charter also allows boards to submit their own plans for the development, growth, and improvement of their communities.Community boards are each composed of up to 50 volunteer members appointed by the local borough president, half from nominations by City Council members representing the community district (i.e., whose council districts cover part of the community district). Each community board is led by a district manager, with an office and staff, whose primary purpose is to coordinate the delivery of services to the community. Non-board members may also join or work on board committees. Each borough also has a borough board, composed of the borough president, council members from the borough, and the chairperson of each community board in the borough.

Community boards of Queens

Community boards of Queens are New York City community boards in the borough of Queens, which are the appointed advisory groups of the community districts that advise on land use and zoning, participate in the city budget process, and address service delivery in their district.Community boards are each composed of up to 50 volunteer members appointed by the local borough president, half from nominations by City Council members representing the community district (i.e., whose council districts cover part of the community district). Additionally, all City Council members representing the community district are non-voting, ex officio board members.

Community boards of Staten Island

Community boards of Staten Island are New York City community boards in the borough of Staten island, which are the appointed advisory groups of the community districts that advise on land use and zoning, participate in the city budget process, and address service delivery in their district.Community boards are each composed of up to 50 volunteer members appointed by the local borough president, half from nominations by City Council members representing the community district (i.e., whose council districts cover part of the community district). Additionally, all City Council members representing the community district are non-voting, ex officio board members.

Community boards of the Bronx

Community boards of the Bronx are New York City community boards in the borough of the Bronx, which are the appointed advisory groups of the community districts that advise on land use and zoning, participate in the city budget process, and address service delivery in their district.Community boards are each composed of up to 50 volunteer members appointed by the Bronx borough president, half from nominations by City Council members representing the community district (i.e., whose council districts cover part of the community district). Additionally, all City Council members representing the community district are non-voting, ex officio board members.

Eric Adams (politician)

Eric Leroy Adams (born September 1, 1960) is the Borough President of Brooklyn, New York City. Previously, he was a Democratic State Senator in the New York Senate, representing the 20th Senate District, which includes the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Brownsville, Crown Heights, Flatbush, Park Slope, Prospect Heights, and Sunset Park. On November 5, 2013, Adams was elected Brooklyn Borough President, the first African-American to hold the position. On November 7, 2017, he was reelected for a second term.

Prior to his service in government, Adams served as a police officer in the New York City Police Department (NYPD) for 22 years. Adams graduated from the New York City Police Academy in 1984 as the highest ranked student of his class. He started in the New York City Transit Police and worked in the 6th Precinct in Greenwich Village, the 94th Precinct in Greenpoint, and the 88th Precinct covering Fort Greene and Clinton Hill. While serving, he co-founded 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care, an advocacy group for black police officers, and often spoke out against police brutality and racial profiling. During the 1990s Adams served as president of the Grand Council of Guardians. Adams rose to prominence during the 90s, after a series of "friendly fire" shootings by white police officers against black officers.

Fernando Ferrer

Fernando James "Freddy" Ferrer (born April 30, 1950) is an American politician who was the Borough President of The Bronx from 1987 to 2001, and was a candidate for Mayor of New York City in 2001 and the Democratic Party nominee for Mayor in 2005.

Gale Brewer

Gale Arnot Brewer (born September 6, 1951) is the 27th and current Borough President of the New York City borough of Manhattan and a Democratic politician from the state of New York. She was a member of the New York City Council, where she represented the Upper West Side and the northern part of Clinton in Manhattan. She was elected Manhattan Borough President on November 5, 2013.

Guy Molinari

Gaetano Victor "Guy" Molinari (November 23, 1928 – July 25, 2018) was an American lawyer and politician who served as U.S. Representative and borough president of Staten Island, New York.

Heritage Rose District of New York City

The Heritage Rose District of New York City is the only rose district in the United States. It is the result of the efforts of the Office of the Manhattan Borough President and the Heritage Rose Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of old roses.The Heritage Rose District includes the western portion of Northern Manhattan between West 122nd and West 163rd streets, with Broadway and Trinity Church Cemetery at its center. There are also additional plantings on the grounds of Trinity Cemetery and at several nearby locations. The Heritage Rose District, with an initial collection of over a hundred roses, was established in Fall 2009.

Hulan Jack

Hulan Edwin Jack (December 29, 1906 – December 19, 1986) was a prominent Saint Lucian-born New York politician who in 1954 became the highest ranking African American municipal official up until that time, when he was elected Borough President of Manhattan.

Leroy Comrie

Leroy Comrie (born August 10, 1958) is an American politician from New York City. He represents District 14 in the New York State Senate, which comprises St. Albans, Cambria Heights, Jamaica, Hollis, Rosedale, Laurelton, Kew Gardens, Queens Village and other neighborhoods within the borough of Queens.

Melinda Katz

Melinda R. Katz (born August 19, 1965) is an American politician from New York City who is currently the Queens Borough President.

Katz was a New York City Councilwoman from 2002 to 2009. She left politics in 2009 to work at Greenberg Traurig, a law firm where she specializes in government affairs and land use. In 2012, she announced her return to politics with a run for Queens Borough President in 2013. She had previously run for City Comptroller in 2009.

New York City Comptroller

The Office of Comptroller of New York City is the chief fiscal officer and chief auditing officer of the city. The comptroller is elected, citywide, to a four-year term and can hold office for two consecutive terms. The current comptroller is Democrat Scott Stringer, the former Borough President of Manhattan. Stringer was elected on November 5, 2013.

Queens Community Board 7

The Queens Community Board 7 is a local governmental advisory board in New York City, encompassing the neighborhoods of Flushing, Bay Terrace, College Point, Whitestone, Malba, Murray Hill, Linden Hill, Beechhurst, Queensboro Hill and Willets Point, in the borough of Queens. It is delimited by the Flushing Bay to the west, the East River to the north, Utopia Pkwy and Little Neck Bay (south of 24th Avenue) on the east, and Reeves Avenue on the south. CB7 is the biggest CB in Queens.

Half of the board's members are appointed by the Borough President, and half are nominated by the New York City Council members who represent the district.

Rubén Díaz Jr.

Rubén Díaz Jr. (born April 26, 1973) is the Borough President of the Bronx in New York City. He was elected in April 2009 and reelected in 2013 and 2017. He previously served in the New York State Assembly.

Scott Stringer

Scott M. Stringer (born April 29, 1960) is the 44th and current New York City Comptroller and a New York Democratic politician who previously served as the 26th Borough President of Manhattan.In 1983, he became a legislative assistant to Assemblyman, and future Congressman, Jerrold Nadler. During these years, he supported Democratic candidate Governor Mario Cuomo. In 1992, Stringer ran for Nadler's Assembly seat representing the Upper West Side when Nadler replaced deceased Congressman Ted Weiss.

In 2001, Stringer ran a campaign for New York City Public Advocate. In 2005, he entered the race to succeed C. Virginia Fields as Manhattan Borough President. His candidacy was endorsed by the New York Times. On September 13, 2005, he won the Democratic primary against 9 other candidates and was later elected in the November general election. He took office as Borough President on January 1, 2006.

Stringer was the Democratic nominee for New York City Comptroller in the 2013 election. He defeated former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer in the Democratic primary.

Current New York City Borough Presidents
Elected officials
Independent organs
Departments
Other agencies
The Five Boroughs

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.