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Borough President (informally BP, or Beep in slang) is an elective office in each of the five boroughs of New York Citymarker.

Reasons for establishment

Prior to January 1, 1898, the city was coterminous with New York County, which at that time comprised Manhattanmarker and the Bronxmarker. On that date, the Boroughs of Brooklynmarker, Queensmarker, Manhattan, the Bronx and Richmond (Staten Islandmarker) were created. Brooklyn was coterminous with Kings County, the Boroughs of Manhattan and the Bronx with New York County, and the Borough of Richmond with Richmond County. Queens County included the borough of Queens together with all of what today is known as Nassau Countymarker. The boroughs assumed most county functions, but did not replace them.

The offices of borough president were created by charter in 1898 with the formation of the City of Greater New York, to preserve (in a later writer's words) “local pride and affection for the old municipalities” after consolidation.
Memorial to Joseph Guider, Borough President of Brooklyn
On January 1, 1899, Queens County was partitioned. The easternmost was transferred to form Nassau Countymarker, which terminated its connection with New York City.

On April 19, 1912, the New York State Legislature separated the County of Bronx (which began separate activity in January 1914) from the County of New York, which now became coextensive with the Borough of Manhattan. .

Role of the Borough President

To balance local authority along with the centralization of government, the Office of Borough President was established with a functional administrative role derived by having a vote on the New York City Board of Estimate, which was responsible for creating and approving the city's budget and proposals for land use. The Board of Estimate consisted of the Mayor, the Comptroller and the President of the New York City Council, each of whom were elected citywide and had two votes, and the five Borough presidents, each having one vote.

In 1989, the Supreme Court of the United Statesmarker, in Board of Estimate of City of New York v. Morris (489 U.S. 688) declared the New York City Board of Estimate unconstitutional on the grounds that the city's most populous borough (Brooklynmarker) had no greater effective representation on the board than the city's least populous borough (Staten Islandmarker), this arrangement being an unconstitutional violation of the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause pursuant to the high court's 1964 "one man, one vote" decision (Reynolds v. Sims). .

The city charter was revised in 1990 and the Board of Estimate was abolished. The Office of Borough President was retained but with greatly reduced power. The borough budget reverted to the mayor or the New York City Council. A Borough President has a small discretionary budget to spend on projects within the borough. The last significant power of the borough presidents—to appoint a member of the New York City Board of Education —was abolished, with the board, on June 30, 2002.

The two major remaining appointments of a Borough President are one member of the city Planning Commission and one member of the Panel for Educational Policy. Borough Presidents generally adopt specific projects to promote while in office; but, since 1990, Borough Presidents have been seen mainly as the ceremonial leaders of their boroughs. Officially, they advise the Mayor on issues relating to each borough, comment on all land-use items in their borough, advocate borough needs in the annual municipal budget process, appoint Community Boards, chair the Borough Boards, and serve as ex officio members of various boards and committees They generally act as advocates of their boroughs at the mayoral agencies, the city council, the New York State government, public corporations and private businesses.

Borough presidents are elected to four-year terms.

As of 2009, the borough presidents are:



Borough Boards

Each Borough has a Borough Board consisting of the Borough President, the City Council members from the borough, and the chair of each of the borough's Community Boards. The Borough Boards meet monthly to serve the needs of the local communities. They may hold public hearings, make inquiries into the performance of public services, and make recommendations about city owned land use and sales within the borough.

Community Boards

See also: New York City is divided into 59 administrative districts, each served by a Community Board. Community Boards are local representative bodies that serve as advocates for New York City residents and communities. Each board has up to 50 voting members, with one half of the membership appointed each year for two-year terms; there are no term limits. Additionally, all city council members whose council districts cover part of a community district are ex-officio board members and may participate in all board activities. However, council members may not vote on board issues. Borough presidents appoint the voting Community Board members, with half of the appointees nominated by council members representing the district in proportion to the percentage of the community board's population they represent. Broadly assigned by the city charter to "Consider the needs of the district which it serves," the boards have been limited in their ability by ineffective local communication channels, minuscule budgets and archaic technology. As a result, many residents have concluded that they have little impact on the operation of their communities or their lives. The BeyondVoting Wiki and the Community-Based Planning Task Force have begun to address the limitations. See Queens Community Board 3's website for an example of a typical board's operation and efforts to improvement neighborhoods.

Borough Presidents since 1898

Bronx Borough Presidents

# Name
(with years of birth & death when known)
Party Term †
Louis F. Haffen (1854-1935) Democratic 1898 - August 1909
John F. Murray (1862-1928) Democratic August 1909 - 1910
Cyrus C. Miller (?1867-1956) Democratic 1910 - 1914
Douglas Mathewson (?1870-1948) Republican/Fusion 1914 - 1918
Henry Bruckner (1871-1942) Democratic 1918 - 1934
James J. Lyons (1890-1966) Democratic 1934 - 1962
Joseph F. Periconi (1910-1994) Republican/Liberal 1962 - 1966
Herman Badillo 1 (born 1929) Democratic 1966 – 1970
Robert Abrams (born 1938) Democratic 1970 - 1979
Stanley Simon Democratic 1979 - April 1987
Fernando Ferrer 1 (born 1950) Democratic April 1987 - 2002
Adolfo Carrión, Jr. (born 1961) Democratic 2002 - Feb. 2009
Ruben Diaz, Jr. (born 1973) Democratic April 2009 -


† Terms begin and end in January where the month is not specified.


  1. unsuccessful candidate for Mayor of New York City


Brooklyn Borough Presidents

# Name
(with years of birth & death when known)
Party Term
1 Edward M. Grout 1 (b.1861; d. after 1915) Democratic 1898–1901
2 Edward J. Swanstrom (1853–1911) Fusion 1902-1903
3 Martin W. Littleton (1872-1934) Democratic/Independent 1904–1905
4 Bird S. Coler 2 (1867-1941) Municipal Ownership League 1906-1909
5 Alfred E. Steers (c.1861–1948) Democratic/Independent 1910-1913
6 Lewis H. Pounds 3 (1861-1947) Republican/Fusion 1913-1917
7 Edward J. Riegelmann (1870-1941) Democratic 1918-1924
8 Joseph A. Guider (1870–1926) Democratic 1925-1926
9 James J. Byrne (1863–1930) Democratic 1926-1930
10 Henry Hesterberg (c.1882–1950) Democratic 1930-1933
11 Raymond V. Ingersoll (1875–1940) Democratic/Fusion 1934-1940
12 John Cashmore (1895-1961) Democratic 1940-1961
13 John F. Hayes (1915-2001) Democratic 1961
14 Abe Stark (1894-1972) Democratic 1962-1970
15 Sebastian Leone Democratic 1970–1976
16 Howard Golden Democratic 1977–2002
17 Marty Markowitz (born 1945) Democratic 2002–


  1. second Comptroller of the post-consolidation City of New York, 1902–1905
  2. first New York City Comptroller after consolidation, 1898–1901; unsuccessful Democratic candidate for Governor of New York in 1902.
  3. unsuccessful candidate for Mayor of the City of New York


Manhattan Borough Presidents

# Name
(with years of birth & death when known)
Party Term †
1 Augustus Peters Democratic 1898–1899
2 James J. Coogan Democratic 1899–1901
3 Jacob A. Cantor (1854–1921) Democratic 1902–1903
4 John Ahearn (1853–1920) Democratic 1904–1909
5 John Cloughen (acting) (died 1911) Democratic Dec. 1909 (4 days)
6 George McAneny 1 (1869–1953) Fusion/Democratic 1910–1913
7 Marcus M. Marks (born 1858) Republican 1914–1917
8 Frank Dowling 2 (c.1865–1919) Democratic 1918–1919
9 Edward F. Boyle (c.1876–1943) Democratic 1919
10 Michael Loughman (acting) (c.1867–1937) Democratic 1919
11 Henry H. Curran 3 Republican 1920–1921
12 Julius Miller (1880–1955) Democratic 1922–1930
13 Samuel Levy Democratic 1931–1937
14 Stanley M. Isaacs Republican 1938–1941
15 Edgar J. Nathan (died 1965) Republican 1942–1945
16 Hugo Rogers (1899–1974) Democratic 1946–1949
17 Robert F. Wagner, Jr.4 (1910–1991) Democratic 1950–1953
18 Hulan E. Jack (1906–1986) Democratic 1954–1961
19 Edward R. Dudley (1911–2005) Democratic 1961–1964
20 Constance Baker Motley (1921–2005) Democratic Feb. 1965–Sept. 1966
21 Percy Sutton 3 (born 1920) Democratic Sept. 1966–1977
22 Andrew Stein 3 (born 1945) Democratic 1978–1985
23 David Dinkins 5, 3 (born 1927) Democratic 1986–1989
24 Ruth Messinger 3 (born 1941) Democratic 1990–1997
25 C. Virginia Fields 3 (born 1946) Democratic 1998–2005
26 Scott Stringer (born 1960) Democratic 2006–
†  Terms begin in January and end in December where not otherwise indicated.
c. (circa) approximately
  1. President of the Board of Aldermen of the City of New York (first in succession to the Mayoralty), 1914-1916; New York City Comptroller, 1933
  2. President of the Board of Aldermen, 1917
  3. unsuccessful candidate for Mayor of the City of New York
  4. Mayor of New York City, 1954–1965
  5. Mayor of New York City, 1990–1993


Queens Borough Presidents

# Name
(with years of birth & death when known)
Party Term †
1 Frederick Bowley (1851-1916) Democratic 1898–1901
2 Joseph Cassidy (c.1866-1920) Democratic 1902–1905
3 Joseph Bermel (1860-1921) Democratic 1906–April 1908
4 Lawrence Gresser (1851-1935) Democratic April 1908–Sept. 1911
5 Maurice E. Connolly (1881-1935) Democratic Oct. 1911–April 1928
6 Bernard M. Patten Democratic April–Dec. 1928
7 George U. Harvey (c.1881-1946) Republican 1929–1941
8 James A. Burke (1889-1965) Democratic 1942–1949
9 Maurice A. FitzGerald (1897-1951) Democratic 1950–August 1951
10 Joseph F. Mafera (1895-1967) Democratic August–Dec.1951
11 James A. Lundy (1903-1973) Republican 1952–1957
12 James J. Crisona (1907-2003) Democratic 1958–1959
13 John T. Clancy (1903-1985) Democratic 1959–1962
14 Mario J. Cariello (1907-1985) Democratic 1963–1968
15 Sidney Leviss (1917-2007) Democratic 1969–Sept. 1971
16 Donald Manes (1934-1986) Democratic Sept. 1971–Feb. 1986
17 Claire Shulman (b. 1926) Democratic Feb. 1986–Dec. 2001
18 Helen M. Marshall (b. 1929) Democratic 2002–
†  Terms begin in January and end in December where not otherwise indicated.
c. (circa) approximately


Richmond/Staten Island Borough Presidents

  1. George Cromwell 1898-1913
  2. Charles J. McCormack 1914-15
  3. Calvin D. Van Namee 1915-21
  4. Matthew J. Cahill 1922
  5. John A. Lynch 1922-33
  6. Joseph A. Palma 1934-45
  7. Cornelius A. Hall 1946-53
  8. Edward G. Baker 1953-54
  9. Albert V. Maniscalo 1955-65
  10. Robert T. Connor 1966-77
  11. Anthony Gaeta 1977-84
  12. Ralph J. Lamberti 1984-89
  13. Guy V. Molinari 1990-2001
  14. James Molinaro 2002-


See also



References



External links




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