Scope and Content Note

The central correspondence files of the lieutenant governor's office contain incoming and outgoing letters, memoranda, state agency reports, and printed material documenting state government policies and operations and issues of public concern. The records reflect the diverse functions of state government and the lieutenant governor's broad administrative responsibility for supervising certain of these functions as assigned by the governor.

Correspondence files include reports, suggestions, questions, and criticism or praise for government policies by citizens, public officials, businesses and organizations, and state agencies. The correspondence provides little or no information on the lieutenant governor's constitutionally-assigned responsibility as presiding officer of the state Senate, a largely pro forma function. Most of the records deal with responsibilities assigned by the governor or issues of particular interest to the lieutenant governor. These vary widely between administrations but include such general subject areas as: unemployment; economic conditions; labor issues; foreign business and diplomatic relations; and old age security programs.

The series contains correspondence files of the following lieutenant governors: Herbert H. Lehman, 1929-1932, and Alfred Del Bello, 1983-January 31, 1985.

B0632-82: Herbert H. Lehman records, 1929-1932. These are the records of Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt's lieutenant governor, Herbert H. Lehman, who succeeded Roosevelt as governor in 1933. Major subject areas covered by these records include: 1. efforts to deal with the Depression: requests for material assistance, relief efforts of charitable institutions, development of the Temporary Emergency Relief Administration, old age security, unemployment relief, and labor issues and concerns; 2. prohibition reform and repeal movements; 3. Port of New York Authority policies, activities, and disputes between New York and New Jersey; 4. child welfare and child labor laws; 5. veterans' issues and concerns; 6. NAACP activities and concerns (Lehman was a Director of the NAACP); and 7. Jewish concerns in the U.S. and Palestine.

B0632-85: Alfred Del Bello records, 1983-1985. This accretion consists of the records of Governor Mario Cuomo's first Lieutenant Governor, Alfred Del Bello, who resigned from office January 1, 1985. Del Bello's three main areas of responsibility as reflected in these records were: 1. economic development: business tax incentive programs, regional economic development councils, foreign business ventures in New York State, and Stewart International Airport (Newburgh) development; 2. Job Training Partnership Act implementation: employment programs, and employment of minorities; 3. coordination of state programs affecting local governments: Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR) activities, and New York's fiscal crisis and budgetary constraints, especially the impact on aid to local governments.

Other subjects covered by Del Bello's records include: Yonkers fiscal crisis and the Emergency Financial Control Board for the City of Yonkers; Citizens Task Force on Aging-Out to provide assistance to mentally, physically, or emotionally handicapped persons turned out of educational programs upon reaching age 21; youth suicide and activities as chair of Governor's Council on Youth Suicide Prevention and National Committee on Youth Suicide Prevention; safety of and emergency response planning for nuclear power plants; constituent requests, complaints and concerns, e.g. landlord-tenant disputes, social security and pension benefits; activities of the Governor's Office of Employee Relations, including training programs for employees; public utility rates; promotion of tourism; and business and housing in Harlem.

Del Bello's records are organized into six subseries as follows.

Senior Staff Subject and Correspondence Files, New York City Office, 5 cubic feet: These are records filed by Del Bello's senior staff, particularly Chief of Staff J. Robert Dolan and Counsel David Smith. They include incoming and outgoing correspondence, reports, budget information, press releases, meeting agendas, and flyers and other printed material.

Lieutenant Governor's Active Files, New York City Office, 0.5 cubic foot: These records concern issues receiving immediate attention from Del Bello or his staff: aging-out (handicapped persons being turned out of educational programs upon reaching age 21); Economic Development Sub-Cabinet; solid waste disposal; regional economic development councils; efforts to retain the General Motors assembly plant in North Tarrytown; "Lieutenant Governor's Transition Report," January 1, 1985, summarizing key issues, accomplishments, and priorities of the Lieutenant Governor's Office; and videocassette of "Inside Albany" (a television talk show on state government) concerning teenage suicide and showing Del Bello discussing the reasons for and ways to prevent teenage suicide (aired November 18, 1984).

Executive Assistant's Subject Files, New York City Office, 3 cubic feet: These are files maintained by Joyce Baumgarten, Executive Assistant to the Lieutenant Governor, who referred to these as "General Files." They contain a great deal of printed material from conferences, publicity material, press releases and clippings, speeches, reports, and briefing materials on specific issues (e.g. transportation bond issue), and a small amount of generally routine correspondence.

Suicide Prevention Subject Files, New York City Office, 1 cubic foot: These files contain printed material on youth programs, statistics, clippings, and other material concerning youth suicide and Del Bello's organization of the National Committee on Youth Suicide Prevention. Much of this material was collected by Judybeth Greene, a Research Assistant in Del Bello's Albany office.

Chronological Correspondence Files, Albany Office, 3 cubic feet: These files consist mostly of incoming and outgoing correspondence with some reports, printed materials, invitations, news clippings, and other materials, concerning the subjects listed above.

Mail Logs, Albany Office, 3 cubic feet: These files consist mainly of log sheets tracking receipt and disposition of mail. For each item received the log sheets provide: date received; name and address of correspondent; subject or summary; to whom on staff mail was referred or a copy sent; disposition (e.g. "Thanks," Ack."); date of reply; and reference number written on correspondence.

A small amount of correspondence, mostly routine and insignificant, is interfiled with the mail log sheets corresponding to the date the correspondence was received. Most correspondence recorded in the mail logs, identifiable by the reference numbers, is filed in the other Del Bello subseries. Also filed with this subseries are a few folders of numerous letters expressing concern over a single issue (e.g. local aid letters; mental health funding letters) with copies of uniform replies sent by the Lieutenant Governor's Office, and a few pieces of miscellaneous mail. All of this correspondence was apparently considered not of sufficient importance to file with the main correspondence files.