Candidate's Statement

Frank Farance for Common Council Vice President & Island House Rep

Frank Farance is running for both Common Council Vice President as well as representative for Island House
Frank Farance is running for both Common Council Vice President as well as representative for Island House

Frank Farance is on the ballot for both RIRA Common Council Vice President as well as Island House representative. The Daily offers free, unedited space to all candidates for the Common Council and its officers. Here is his statement.

Island resident for 38 years, RIRA Common Council for 22 years and served as: Island House representative, RIRA President, Planning Committee Chair, Communication Committee Chair, RIRA Secretary, Public Safety Committee member, Island Services Committee member, Constitution and By-Laws Committee member, Public Purpose Funds Committee member, Government Relations Committee and Maple Tree Group member.  I'm a parent of 16-year old twins.

Efforts I've initiated, led, or helped significantly:

  • Water/Air Quality: I investigated contaminated water (carcinogens) at parks' drinking fountains ― already a half-year project, and still ongoing.  I led RIRA's air quality effort during the Cornell construction, and I was able to bring all the stakeholders to the table: Cornell, RICC, and experts.
  • Emergency Response: Member of RI's CERT team since 2006, staffed Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Irene shelters, and staffed Hurricane Maria service center (Harlem) and worked at City's warehouse moving donations, supplies, and materiel to Puerto Rico.  This summer, I developed with RIOC a drill and demonstration for flood mitigation for Roosevelt Island: quick-fill dams (8 minutes fill time) that can be deployed around the Island to protect buildings and infrastructure from hurricane flooding.  I participated in the City's Dept. of Planning workshop on flood mitigation (sponsored by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer), analyzed updated flood planes for Island's buildings.
  • Affordability and Housing: I've helped preserve affordable housing, including the Island House conversion (a 15-year effort led by a half-dozen people), and advocating strongly for Westview's conversion, which was stalled at RIOC.  I opposed Gristede's withdrawal of the WIC (women, infants, and children) program, got Manhattan Park Pool to end its discriminatory pricing.
  • Finances: I've helped reveal the Island's finances, including getting RIOC to increase their budget look-ahead from 5 years to 15 years (which revealed RIOC financial problems). I've given the community insight on the ground leases - their strengths and weaknesses.  I exposed RIOC's billion dollar debt/liability, which is an issue that all of us need to work on as it will soon affect our housing costs (whether rent or maintenance, whether subsidized or market-rate).
  • Health/Safety: I took "Rat Academy" training (City's Department of Health), reported the severe rat infestation at PS/IS 217 (250-rat colony), and got the City to teach the Rat Academy on the Island for residents and building/merchant staff. Reported multiple health and security problems at the Motorgate "vomitorium".  Reported safety problems with helix reconstruction (immediately fixed). 
  • Public Safety: Worked on many issues over the years, including improper recordkeeping on vertical patrols, building safety, park/promenade safety. I seek to balance the Rights of the Individual (no gratuitous arrests) with the Rights of Society (Quality of Life issues, such as late-night noise).
  • Youth: I have worked with 1000+ youth over the past 15 years, including personally teaching, mentoring, and supporting 200 Island youth. For a decade, I've taught STEM to Island youth in weekly classes (robotics, Minecraft, SAT prep, etc.).

In the 2018-2020 term, my focus is (1) expanding RIRA to include all the Island's residents, such as Coler and Cornell, (2) giving merchants a voice, (3) improving Island's infrastructure, (4) improving RIOC's communication and responsiveness towards community needs. I will continue to stand up for the residents and their concerns, continue to invest time/effort in our community, and (as always) Speak Truth to Power.

Frank Farance for Common Council Vice President & Island House Rep

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