A Win for RIOC?

RIOC Nominating Elections Fail Bigly. Huge Loss for Common Council

Updated 1 year ago David Stone
But will we learn...?
But will we learn...?
CCO Public Domain / Pixabay

After a two-month campaign lead by Common Council’s Government Relations Committee, which included several feature articles in the Main Street WIRE and promotions on the Roosevelt Islander blog, the RIOC nominating vote, widely criticized as fraudulent and insensitive, failed to draw much more than a yawn from residents.


Editors note: Because RIRA’s Common Council does not support freedom of the press or speech and practices media censorship, these results were obtained from the Roosevelt Islander blog.

No doubt GRC chair Joyce Short who pushed this ill-advised pseudo-election through the Residents Association will declare it a win. That’s how it works with the Common Council. And you can already imagine the former Main Street WIRE’s optimistic coverage.

See related: To Save RIRA Common Council, dump Escobar and Short

Facts, however, don’t lie. Unlike people, they aren’t capable of it.

Fact #1: In spite of tables set up in lobbies for two days all around Roosevelt Island and voters recruited on the spot, a mere 951 residents voted. Most of our building complexes alone have more eligible voters than that.

Fact #2: 951 is less than 10% of eligible voters. You could probably get more votes for Darth Vader. 951 is even less than RIRA gets in Common Council elections, where the results are always dreary at between 12 and 15%. 

Fact #3: Although sitting Board Members David Kraut and Howard Polivy did not run or campaign and had their names added to the ballot anyway, both won a significant number of votes, each winning over 200 for which they never asked.

Fact #4: The ballots were unfairly printed to favor candidates who are not currently on the RIOC Board. Each name was accompanied by either “Current” or “New,” suggestive wording using a well-established buzzword that influenced voting.

Fact #5: This election was so unfairly handled it might not have passed muster in Russia, where at least a pretense of fairness is maintained. You can probably guess who counted the ballots, without any third party monitor: Short herself.

While this fiasco is another humiliating failure for the Common Council, driven as it is too often by a personal agenda (or, in this case, a vendetta), it may also be seen as a big win and a vote of confidence for RIOC.

In aggressively promoting this election, Short painted a dreary dystopian picture of life on Roosevelt Island. She even went so far as to write that, if you saw life here as wonderful, you were wrong. You were missing the hidden dangers and islandwide failures.

Roosevelt Islanders, we now see, weren’t buying it.

Short vigorously attacked RIOC President and CEO Susan Rosenthal, quoting her as dismissing the value of resident concerns and claiming that she told Board Members that their duty was to “rubber stamp” whatever came down from Albany.

Rosenthal denied it, and residents believed her, as voting results show.

The frenzy Short hoped for was not whipped. Instead, the vote further eroded the Common Council’s standing and credibility. 

For this, as I have already written, Short ought to be removed from the Common Council, if there’s enough spine in the group to do it. Alternatives for her building, Island House, are already waiting, and removing her would be a giant step in the right direction for the Common Council to regain credibility.

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