STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. - With its suburban neighborhoods, conservative politics, and distance from the rest of the city, Staten Island has always felt like a borough apart.
"There is a feeling of a disconnect, maybe because of the bridge," one resident says.
Now two lawmakers are resurrecting an old idea that would make Staten Island a true breakaway borough, by seceding.
The island overwhelmingly voted to secede in 1993 when David Dinkins was mayor. The referendum was non-binding, and ignored by the state Assembly.
But the secession idea never completely went away.
And now City Councilmen Joe Borelli and Steve Matteo are pushing "Stexit" once again.
The Staten Island Republicans say Mayor Bill de Blasio is so out of touch with the borough, cutting ties is the only option.
“Just consistently when there’s issues for Staten Island and that will affect Staten Islanders we just don’t see a big reaction from City Hall. And there’s no reason why we can’t do this,” Borelli said.
The bill would create a committee to issue a report on secession, similar to one released back in 1993.
Resident John Gleason remembers that secession movement.
He says it sounded great on paper, but left too many unanswered questions and believes that's true today.
"The majority of people on Staten Island don't work here. They work in the other boroughs. So would we now have a commuter tax? Where would our police department, sanitation, fire department, come from? All of the amenities that we now have?" Gleason said.
With just under half a million people, Staten Island is the city's least populous borough. But if it became its own city, it would be the state's second largest municipality, ranked just behind the Big Apple.
“We know that we have a strong foundation; we have high AMI so our property tax our income tax numbers might be good. So there's multiple, different ways of funding the city of Staten Island," Borelli said.
A new secession movement could give the ambitious Borelli new visibility, but it is hard to see the movement succeeding. The mayor opposes the idea, and it’s unlikely the Democrats who control Albany will ever warm up to it.
For the five boroughs, breaking up is hard to do.