Not like the remainder of the New York Metropolis, Staten Island stays a solidly Republican borough, so it is unsurprising that its race for borough president is centered solely on GOP contenders. And in comparison with the plethora of candidates within the different borough president races (the Brooklyn borough presidency race has 12 candidates operating, greater than any contest) the Staten Island race has simply two declared candidates thus far.
The successor to the term-limited James Oddo will inherit a “forgotten borough” that has been rocked by the pandemic and struggling to get well. Although the borough president’s restricted powers derive from management of discretionary and capital funds gadgets, in addition they determine who will get to steer neighborhood boards, thought-about a primary line of protection for metropolis authorities. Borough presidents usually function cheerleaders for his or her boroughs, and whoever will get the Staten Island job will doubtless be intent on charming traders into jumpstarting a stalled $1 billion waterfront revitalization effort.
Sixty-two neighborhoods make up Staten Island, essentially the most suburban borough within the metropolis and residential to 6 Particular Zoning Districts that provide ironclad protections that restrict large-scale development. Whereas worries over property taxes stay a continuing within the borough, Staten Island faces a power opioid epidemic that seems exacerbated by the pandemic.
The one two Republican candidates within the borough president’s race have waited three years for the possibility to succeed Oddo, insider pols who hope their connections can take them to Borough Corridor by 2022. Listed here are the candidates:
A Republican Metropolis Council Member revered by colleagues from each side of the aisle, Steven Matteo introduced a run for Borough Corridor in 2018. Since then, the six-year minority chief representing the fiftieth District in central Staten Island has amassed $569,759 in marketing campaign contributions, practically ten instances greater than his rival. These figures have been boosted by his participation within the Marketing campaign Finance Board’s 8-to-1 matching program.
Moreover, Matteo—who additionally labored for Oddo—picked up endorsements from the Detectives Endowment Association and Amalgamated Transit Workers union, representing MTA bus drivers on the island. As chair of the Council’s Requirements and Ethics Committee, Matteo presided over the uncommon expulsion of Bronx Council Member Andy King following a earlier investigation.
With no marketing campaign web site, Matteo doesn’t have a centralized platform to share his concepts for the borough.
In earlier information stories, Matteo outlined his push to scale back litter throughout the borough, help the creation of extra Enterprise Enchancment Districts and service provider associations, and hail his involvement on the completion of an HOV lane alongside the Staten Island Expressway, among the many many transportation initiatives he is backed. In his last 12 months as council member, Matteo is primed to oppose zoning modifications at three Particular Zoning Districts. Whereas a rejection or approval of a zoning change holds larger weight as a council member, borough presidents can nonetheless solid advisory votes that maintain some affect.
Leticia Remauro’s days as a Republican operative return to the Nineties, serving as neighborhood liaison below each then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former New Yorker Governor George Pataki. The 2000s noticed Remauro chair the Staten Island Republican Celebration, sealing victories for fellow Republicans James Molinaro as borough president and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who reined over town for 12 years.
Remauro has additionally used her long-established clout and connections to assist seal a victory to the newly sworn-in Staten Island/Brooklyn Consultant Nicole Malliotakis, a Republican who defeated Democratic Consultant Max Rose. Remauro’s consulting agency was paid $90,158.98 by the Malliotakis camp.
On her marketing campaign web site, Remauro is pushing to maintain the NYPD funds intact, set up “Sensible Mild” expertise to handle the crush of visitors in elements of the borough, advocate for extra commerce colleges, and start a top-down evaluation of the borough’s present zoning legal guidelines to assist enhance property values. To date, Remauro is behind in producing marketing campaign money, displaying her having raised $61,000.
Whereas Remauro could have sufficient political juice, she was extensively criticized after a video surfaced this month displaying her shouting “Heil Hitler,” whereas evaluating Mayor Invoice de Blasio and Governor Cuomo—who’ve imposed restrictions throughout the pandemic—to Nazi dictators. The occasion befell on December 2nd at a rally for the proprietor of Mac’s Pub. Remauro has since apologized and ignored calls to surrender her candidacy.