Did you hear the one about how RIRA's going to elect RIOC Board Members?
The drive to grab residents' attention long enough to waste time and energy in pursuit of a Maple Tree Group fantasy that should have been left in its grave is two-pronged in the most recent, error plagued WIRE.
First, editor Briana Warsing announced, on the front page yet, "Date Set for RIOC Board Nominations," advancing a story pushed out of a weak-kneed Common Council by Joyce Short, gaining traction with only the Main Street WIRE, a publication so desperate for stories its other front page items include a conflict from July 31st, three Community Coalition meetings ago, and the belabored creation of a sign that really needed no more than a phone call to get done.
Warsing quotes Short: “It was brought to our attention that filling the expired seats on the RIOC Board is on the Governor’s radar screen.”
By whom? you might wonder.
The Daily asked Short that very question. She didn't answer, not a surprise since the Common Council adheres to the Trump-like policy first demanded by their vice president Sherie Helstein, last year.
"Don't give him anything," Helstein ordered Council members.
A la Trump: if you don't like the news being reported, shun the media. Hence, Short and the Council must lean heavily on the indiscriminating coverage in the Main Street WIRE.
But there was more. Warsing gave Short a free shot at advancing her agenda in the occasional Island Observer feature, which usually is set aside for... well, observations, like Dick Lutz recent ruminations on Main Street business issues and David Bauer's proposal that Blackwell House become home for RIOC presidents.
In this instance, "Observer" should have been replaced with "Promoter."
"The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) is seeking nominees interested in running to fill the expired spots on the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) Board of Directors. How many seats need filling? All of them. Yup, all seven spots! Five seats are awarded by Governor Cuomo, and two are awarded by Mayor de Blasio. All are currently occupied by folks whose appointments have long expired!" leads Short's column.
The truth is that exactly 0 "seats need filling."
The RIOC Board has two vacancies, the most recent created by Katherine Grimm's resignation. Even so, the group functions well as a unit, and business has proceeded smoothly through the administrations of Charlene Indelicato and Susan Rosenthal.
As for "folks whose appointments have long expired," Short misleads. Board members who work together effectively without compensation are not easy to find. The five resident members, David Kraut, Margie Smith, Fay Christian, Howard Polivy and Michael Shinozaki have served both RIOC and the community well and were, with good reason, held over beyond their original terms, which have never actually expired.
As a reality check when the "Elect RIOC" promotion first popped up in our email, we asked RIOC president Susan Rosenthal if the State agency was onboard and ready to accept the election results. Her response was quick and to the point.
"There is no such agreement."
We also asked Short as well as fellow Common Council members, Frank Farance and Noah Keating, "Can you clarify the point of this effort? Has RIOC or the governor signaled any willingness to recognize the results of this election? Are you hoping to pressure or inspire some action from the State? What I’m asking is, why should we tell our readers to stand for election and/or to get out and vote? What makes it a meaningful exercise?"
There was no response.
In short (excuse the pun), the vote being promoted by the Main Street WIRE and the Common Council is a bogus, meaningless exercise, an effort to win leverage for Short to promote the tired old self-government issue that few residents care about, even fewer now that the Maple Tree Group is finally aging out.
Communications within the Common Council suggest that Short is advancing the vote as a referendum as well as a nominating election, which she should know is useless. The referendum seems aimed at trashing sitting Board members, especially David Kraut, who have shown little inclination to go along with the Maple Tree Group's worn out agenda and are not likely to in the future.
Leave this time wasting nonsense to the Main Street WIRE and the Common Council, which seems to have little else constructive to do. Make your vote count by not casting it.
Coming Up/Don't Miss Events
- Continuing, Vernissage 16 at Gallery RIVAA Updated 3 days ago
- April 8th/9th FDR Four Freedoms: Looking For a Few Good Volunteers
- April 1st, RIRA Announces Its Annual Easter Egg Hunt Updated 1 week ago
- Continuing, Piotr Olszewski, Photographer, at the Octagon Gallery
- March 30th, Rent Freeze NYC at Carter Burden/RI Senior Center Updated 5 days ago
- March 29th, Cornell Tech Community Town Hall at Manhattan Park Theatre Club
- March 23rd, RI Parents' Network MoM Walk