Oct. 30, 2020 By Michael Dorgan
Queens Council Member Rory Lancman is leaving office to take up a new role with the Cuomo administration.
Lancman has been appointed as Special Counsel for Ratepayer Protection, a newly-created position where he will represent the interests of residential and commercial customers of regulated electric, gas, water and telecom companies.
Governor Andrew Cuomo made the announcement today. The governor said that he created the position following repeated failures by utility and telecom companies.
“Utility companies do not have a God-given right to operate in New York, and when they abuse and bully consumers they must be held accountable,” Cuomo said.
Lancman, who is term-limited, will effectively step down on Nov. 4, the date when he takes up his new appointment.
His departure will trigger a special election for his District 24 seat, which covers Kew Gardens Hills, Fresh Meadows, Hillcrest, Pomonok, Jamaica Estates and Briarwood.
The council member looked to exit his council seat last year. He ran for Queens District Attorney in 2019 but pulled out just days before the election to support Melinda Katz who was elected to the position.
He tweeted Friday that it was an honor to represent the district and thanked his constituents for their support. Lancman, who currently chairs the New York City Council Committee on the Justice System, added that he had helped build a “fairer, more accountable justice system” and is looking forward to serving his constituents in a new way.
Lancman in his new role will review the performance of all utilities across the state. He will determine, among other things, whether they are making the investments required; whether they are meeting performance standards; and whether they are complying with renewable energy goals and standards.
“Every New Yorker should be able to turn on the lights, heat their homes and open their faucets to clean water because their electricity, gas and water providers are meeting their obligations to provide safe, reliable, and affordable service as the law requires,” Lancman said in a statement he shared on Twitter.
“I’m honored by the governor’s appointment and grateful for his commitment to holding New York’s utilities and telecoms accountable to their most important constituency — the rate-paying public,” Lancman said.
1/ It’s been my honor to represent my community @NYCCouncil, and before that @NYSA_Majority. My home from PS164 through @QC_News; where we raised our three kids; where I served on community board 8; chaired the board @NYCHealthSystem Queens; and taught @StJohnsLaw. All in CD24.
— (((Rory Lancman))) (@RoryLancman) October 30, 2020