Queens Councilmember’s Abrupt Resignation Allows Successor To Take Office In November


Eight months earlier than he was set to vacate his term-limited seat, Queens Councilmember Costa Constantinides abruptly introduced he’ll be leaving workplace on April ninth. The timing of his resignation won’t set off a particular election because it’s too near the June twenty second major, however a wonky provision within the metropolis constitution would permit the first winner to complete out Constantinides’ time period earlier than assuming their time period in January 2022. He says the choice was a private one.

“To go away this job could be very, very tough for me,” Constantinides, a Democrat, advised Gothamist in an e mail on Wednesday, explaining he is accepted a job as CEO of the Selection Boys and Women Membership of Queens, which providers 4,000 youngsters yearly. It is the identical social providers group the place his mom had labored years earlier than.

“I do know I nonetheless have the chance to serve the neighborhood that I like a lot and that offers me a renewed sense of hope and alternative to try this,” Constantinides added.

Constantinides has represented the twenty second Council District—protecting the neighborhoods of Astoria, Woodside, East Elmhurst, and components of Jackson Heights–since 2013. Final yr, he unsuccessfully ran for Queens borough president however misplaced to Donovan Richards. He ran on a platform that sought to deal with local weather change in New York Metropolis, which has in recent times been met with harmful storms, together with Tropical Storm Isaias, which barreled into New York Metropolis final summer time.

Constantinides’ departure won’t set off a particular election because it comes lower than 90 days earlier than a scheduled major however does present his successor with even higher time in workplace.

Underneath town constitution’s archaic guidelines, the winner of the November common election would instantly take workplace to complete out the vacant seat. As a result of the Democratic major election winner is usually the victor within the November election—given the overwhelming variety of Democrats over Republicans within the metropolis—they may be capable of start their tenure in November as a substitute of January. Although Metropolis Corridor didn’t return a request for remark, Sarah Steiner, an election lawyer, interpreted the rule as such.

Within the meantime, Constantinides’ district workplace will stay just about open through the constituent providers unit.

To this point, seven Democratic candidates are working for the seat together with program director Leonardo Bullaro, freelance manufacturing assistant Edwin DeJesus, Catherina Gioino, government director for International Youngsters Evie Hantzopoulos, and protection legal professional Tiffany Cabán, who catapulted to political stardom after almost profitable the seat for Queens District Lawyer, shedding to Katz by the narrowest of margins.

Constantinides has already endorsed Cabán for workplace, a number of months after his chief of employees, Nick Roloson, had dropped out of the race. The endorsement provides to a slew of help for Caban, who has acquired backing from the United Federation of Lecturers union, 32BJ, and the New York Metropolis chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, which has elevated its foothold within the political scene in recent times.

He hopes his successor, or every other elected member of the council, would deal with local weather change and strategies to make town extra resilient.

“Final yr we had extra named storms than any time in my reminiscence,” Constantinides mentioned. “And normally I am pleased with my Greek heritage, however final yr we went by the Greek alphabet.”