State Senator Andrew Lanza is expected to introduce a bill early in the next legislative session to formally sever Staten Island’s ties to New York City — on everything from municipal services, schools, the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA), and the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA).
“Staten Island should be an independent City — and at 476,000 people it will rank as the State’s second-most populous,” a source close to Lanza’s thinking tells The Chronicle. “We have a GDP of more than $14.5 billion and we can afford to take care of ourselves.”
Staten Island is a bastion of Republicanism in the overwhelmingly Democrat-controlled City of New York. The party has long wanted to privatize the public housing complexes that the City has located on the island, and the island has longed for its own school district for decades.
Borough President James Oddo backs the legislation and is expected to run for Mayor of the City of Staten Island when that office becomes established.
“We can run our own schools and we can run our own police department,” one longtime Staten Islander told The Chronicle this week. “And we can do it a hell of a lot better and cheaper than Bill DeBlasio is doing it.”
Mayor DeBlasio remains deeply unpopular on the Island.