After 10 years in office, Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo has announced her resignation.
Arroyo will finish out the remainder of the year and officially leave her post on December 31, one year before the end of her term.
Arroyo has attributed her abrupt decision to familial obligations.
“I must now dedicate my time and efforts to address pressing family needs,” read the councilwoman’s statement explaining her resignation.
In her statement Arroyo also described what a privilege it was to serve the people of the Bronx. “It is an experience I will always cherish and I am proud to say we’ve made the Bronx a better place,” she said.
The South Bronx Overall Economic Development Corporation, with whom Arroyo has supported many years, released a statement commending the councilwoman on her service to New York City, calling her a “tireless advocate” and a “hard working representative for her district.”
“She has been a bedrock in the community”, the SoBRO statement continued, “and is sure to continue serving the Bronx for many years to come.”
Born in Puerto Rico, her parents relocated to the south Bronx when Arroyo was seven-years-old, where she began her education at P.S. 154 elementary school.
Arroyo went on to graduate from Hostos Community College with an Associate in Arts degree and Lehman College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Service Administration.
Arroyo completed her education with a Masters of Public Administration from New York University Robert Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.
The councilwoman was elected to represent District 17 in 2005 after years of working in administration and management, including positions as executive director at Segundo Ruiz Belvis D & TC, senior director of Operations at Narco Freedom, Inc., Division of Health Care Services and executive director of the South Bronx Community Corporation.
In 2013 three of Arroyo’s campaign workers were charged with forging signatures on primary ballots, yet Arroyo was not charged.
Of the incident Arroy stated that her only crime was “trusting too much”. In the election that followed, she won her seat again.
While the politician’s next move has not yet been announced, it is rumored that Arroyo decided to leave her post to try her hand in the private sector.
“I heard that she got a very good offer and wanted to move on to the priviate industry,” said Josephine Infante, president of the Hunts Point Economic Development Coroporation who went on to say nothing but good things about the councilwoman’s time in office. “She was always there in meetings. Some council members are ‘there’ but absent, she was always there. I have seen her in action in council and I admire her dedication. She was very responsible and dedicated to local issues, especially senior citizens. I wish her well.”
When an unexpired term becomes available, it is required by the City Charter that the Mayor call a special election to fill the vacancy.
A special election to fill her seat will most likely take place in Febuary, as it must occur within 45 days of the vacancy. The mayor will set the election date.
The winner will serve out the remainder of Arroyo’s term.
While her office has declinded to comment on who may be taking her position, Arroyo’s chief of staff Joann Otero is said to have her eye on the position.
Council District 17 includes Longwood, Hunts Point, Concourse, Concourse Village, Crotona Park, Melrose, Morrisania, Mott Haven, North Brother Island, Parkchester, Port Morris, and Soundview.