|14th Borough President of Staten Island|
January 1, 2002 – December 31, 2013
|Preceded by||Guy Molinari|
|Succeeded by||James Oddo|
|Deputy Borough President of Staten Island|
January 1, 1990 – December 31, 2001
|Preceded by||Nicholas LaPorte|
|Succeeded by||Dan Donovan|
|Born||March 11, 1931 (age 89)|
Manhattan, New York, U.S.
(m. 1962; died 1990)
Molinaro first won election as borough president on November 6, 2001, defeating his Democratic opponent Councilman Jerome X. O'Donovan, with 50 percent of the vote to 43 percent. He took office on January 1, 2002.
Molinaro won re-election for a third and last term on November 3, 2009, with 46,061 votes (62.7%) compared to 27,356 (37.3%) votes for his challenger John Luisi, who had also challenged him in 2005.
His political career began in 1964, when he joined the New York State Conservative Party. In 1976 he was elected as Chairman of the Richmond County Conservative Party and subsequently as Vice Chair of the State Party. In 1989, he was elected Executive Vice Chair of the New York State Conservative Party, a post he still holds today.
Molinaro served for 12 years as deputy borough president to former Borough President Guy V. Molinari. He also served as chief of staff to Molinari when the latter was a congressman representing New York's 14th Congressional District. Molinaro has had two deputy borough presidents while in office. His first was Daniel M. Donovan, Jr., who left to become the Richmond County District Attorney in January 2004 after winning election to that office the previous November. The deputy post was left vacant until November 2006. After much speculation Molinaro named Ed Burke to the deputy position. Ed Burke had been executive assistant to Guy V. Molinari for twelve years and to Molinaro for nearly five.
Over a 20-year period, he has served on the board of directors for the Veterans Memorial Sports Complex, Staten Island Community Television, New York State Regional Organ Transplant and Bayley Seton Hospital. He was also the chairman of the St. Elizabeth Ann's Health and Rehabilitation Center which he helped to create.
In 1989, Molinaro also helped to establish Staten Island’s first AIDS day care center and AIDS medical care facility.
Currently, Molinaro serves on the board of the Heart Institute of Staten Island, a cardiac care facility. He is also on the board of the Sisters of Charity Health Care Corporation. In 1991, in the memory of his late wife, Molinaro helped dedicate a local dialysis unit in her name. In 2000 St. Elizabeth Ann's Health and rehabilitation Center opened the James P. and Carol E. Molinaro Health Care and Rehabilitation Center Atrium.
Molinaro has been critical of how Italian-Americans and Staten Island residents are both portrayed in the media. In 2010 he penned the introduction of Andrew Paul Mele's Italian Staten Island (Images of America).
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Reacting to the development pressure threatening the character of Staten Island, Mr. Molinaro spearheaded the largest down zoning on Staten Island in more than 40 years. It affected more than 41,459 individual properties on 4,554 acres (18.43 km2). Ultimately, this down zoning has reduced by 25% the total number of potential new dwelling units on Staten Island.
Since entering Borough Hall, Molinaro has aided in the allotment of nearly 100 million dollars to Park acquisition and maintenance. The renaissance of the South Beach Boardwalk, new recreational fields, an expansion of the Blue Belt and a quarter mile long fishing pier are just some of the parks related actives that have benefited from his capital funding. Currently, 25 percent of Staten Island is protected Parkland, a higher percentage than any other borough. Molinaro is a self-identified environmentalist.
Molinaro was instrumental in bringing Visy Paper, Inc. to Staten Island in 1997. The company, a subsidiary of Australian-owned Pratt Industries, created hundreds of new jobs when it opened its cardboard recycling facility on Victory Blvd. near the Arthur Kill, representing the largest single investment in manufacturing in New York City in the last 50 years. Molinaro was also involved in the 2007 restoration of a freight rail service, linking Staten Island to the rest of the nation by rail for the first time in 16 years.
Molinaro has allotted $500,000 from his capital budget to purchase wireless laptop computers for all of Staten Island’s Intermediate schools as well as many elementary schools. He has also worked closely with Mayor Michael Bloomberg to bring additional schools to Staten Island including P.S. 58 (opened in 2003) and I.S. (scheduled to open in 2007).
Molinaro has also allocated $1,000,000 from Staten Island's capital budget for "electronic" blackboards for each public school on Staten Island.
Although an advocate for urban parks and Fresh Kills Park itself, Molinaro has butted heads with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation over their refusal to consider the construction of wind turbines for renewable energy on the site.
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a Molinaro ally, also holds an opinion that the former landfill be a place where renewable energy should be generated but prefers the installation of a photovoltaic system instead.
Molinaro has also butted heads with the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation over their refusal to open up currently unused former New York City Department of Sanitation roads within the landfill. Molinaro believes that with the opening of these roads that congestion around the Richmond Avenue commercial district, which includes the Staten Island Mall would be alleviated.
- New S.I. Beep Thinking Big But Molinaro Sees Funds Crunch[permanent dead link]
- Biography[permanent dead link]
- 'Mob Wives' ignites ire of Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro
- Italian Staten Island (Images of America) by Andrew Paul Mele
- Rethinking Staten Island Archived 2009-11-01 at the Wayback Machine
- East Shore Poised to Become Summer Destination[permanent dead link]
- State DEC put brakes on development on Staten Island, officials say
- Reynolds, Carrie L. "Visy's Staten Island Mill Brings a Boost to New York". TAPPI.[permanent dead link]
- "NY Staten Island reconnects with freight rail link". Reuters. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
- Education Archived 2009-08-03 at the Wayback Machine
- Molinaro, James (May 12, 2008). "Answering the Energy Crisis Wake-Up Call". Archived from the original on July 4, 2008.
- On eve of Earth Day, Staten Island BP James Molinaro renews his call for a wind farm at Fresh Kills
- "Molinaro: Roads through Landfill to Provide Traffic Relief By 2007". February 10, 2005. Archived from the original on February 11, 2005.
- BP James Molinaro blasts Parks Dept. over plan for roads in Staten Island's planned Fresh Kills park
- "Around the Region: Fresh Kills Bypass?". Archived from the original on 2009-04-25. Retrieved 2009-09-30.
- 3.3-mile bicycle, pedestrian trail gets OK for Freshkills Park
| Deputy Borough President of Staten Island
Daniel M. Donovan, Jr.
| Borough President of Staten Island