Staten Island Advance:  Assemblyman Reilly: ‘Staten Island should be part of upstate’

Staten Island Advance: Assemblyman Reilly: ‘Staten Island should be part of upstate’

By Tracey Porpora | porpora@siadvance.com

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Assemblyman Michael Reilly (R-South Shore) wants to see Staten Island separate from the Big Apple and become part of upstate New York.

Reilly told the Advance he would like Staten Island to become part of the upstate region via Divide NY, a plan introduced last year by Assemblyman David DiPietro (R-East Aurora). The plan seeks to divide the state into three regions: New York City; New Amsterdam, all of upstate New York, and Montauk, which would include Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester and Rockland counties.

“I had a conversation with Assemblyman DiPietro, and I think Staten Island would better align with the New Amsterdam region as opposed to remaining part of New York City,” said Reilly.

“The New Amsterdam region would allow for some economic development. The government model from upstate would better align with the values of Staten Island,” he added.

Reilly said that since Staten Island lacks large-scale public transportation the rest of New York City has, the borough has more in common with the upstate region.

“This is just the exploratory phase. There is a lot we’d have to evaluate to see if this would actually work for us,” he said. “We have to make sure it’s beneficial for us to leave New York City.”

STATEN ISLAND SECESSION MOVEMENT

Reilly’s proposal comes on the heels of a movement spurred by Councilman Joseph Borelli (R-South Shore) for Staten Island to secede from New York City.

Nearly 30 years after Staten Island leaders fought exhaustively to secede from New York City, Borelli plans to revive that fight again.

In a borough that makes up just 6% of New York City’s population with only three City Council representatives on the 51-member legislative body to serve as a check on the mayor, who controls virtually all city services, Borelli says that in reality, Staten Island leaders have little to no power to effectively deliver city services to the borough.

He wants to change that system.

“The city is 8.5 million people, we have a population the size of Austria, we have a budget the size of Ireland, we have more police officers in uniform then there are people in the entire Royal Navy … all of this stuff is governed by one human,” said Borelli to the Advance last month. “That is atypical in the United States of America.”

Read the article on the Staten Island Advance website at https://www.silive.com/news/2019/12/assemblyman-reilly-staten-island-should-be-part-of-upstate.html