Strong-Shinozaki Signals Determination To Improve Working Relationship

After Blowback, Common Council President Pledges to Work With RIOC on PPF Process

Updated 22 weeks ago

In the face of criticism by Island House Common Council Alternative Frank Farance, RIRA President Lynne Strong-Shinozaki moved to calm the dispute. “We are looking forward to working with RIOC to improve the Public Purpose Funding process," she announced in a statement released to local media.

Common Council President Lynne Strong-Shinozaki in October.
Common Council President Lynne Strong-Shinozaki in October.
© David Stone / Roosevelt Island Daily

Consistent with promises to more effectively guide resident interests in the Common Council's relationship with the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation and tentative plans to meet monthly with RIOC CEO Susan Rosenthal, Strong-Shinozaki acted in apparent response to a protest by Farance over how RIOC decided to distribute Public Purpose Funds this year.

RIOC is allowed by State law to contribute up to 3% of its operating budget for efforts that support its mission to develop Roosevelt Island. The State agency asks the Common Council to advise on how the money gets shared among nonprofits, providing a general set of guidelines.

Angered at a decision by RIOC's Board to make minor adjustments in recommendations, increasing a grant to the Carter Burden Network by reallocating 5% across the board from other applicants," Farance fired off an email to RIOC, local media and State officials, protesting the decision

"I believe it is important to Stand Up for the process: there have been many things that have been corrupted within RIOC and on the Island," Farance wrote. "I felt that this RIRA PPG process would be respected for its independent evaluation, but that is not so. So for a measly $7000 extra to Carter Burden, you've now broken the process long-term.

"Lastly, I am writing this as an individual with independence (not representing the committee nor RIRA), and I am writing this because the lack of information (as reported by the WIRE, RI Daily, RI Blog) is misleading to the community and unfair to the other applicants who Played By The Rules."

Note: Farance participated as a member of the Common Council's Public Purpose Fund Committee and includes that experience as a key part of his arguments." 

RIOC President/CEO Susan Rosenthal agreed to work with Strong-Shinozaki on PPF fundamentals.
RIOC President/CEO Susan Rosenthal agreed to work with Strong-Shinozaki on PPF fundamentals.
Photo Credit: RIOC

Dismissing Farance's complaint, RIOC Vice President and Legal Counsel Jacqueline Flug disagreed with his contention that, unless the Committee process was defective, RIOC was bound to rubber stamp its recommendations.

"RIOC does not contend that the process, selection, evaluation or criteria were defective. You overlook the simple fact that the discretion, authority and responsibility to award these funds lies with RIOC and not RIRA."

Any State agency would be derelict if it handed over spending decisions to an outside source without exercising prudence.

While RIOC did not criticize the Common Council's procedures in arriving at its recommendations, others, including The Daily have.

Provincial Island politics clearly played a role in discriminating against CBN as an outsider resented for replacing a local organization as managers of the Senior Center. That was made clear by off the record comments by Committee members.

Also of concern were bizarre statements by Farance about profits CBN, a nonprofit 401(3)c corporation, had at its disposal, suggesting decisions were made based on gross unfamiliarity with how charitable organizations operate.

In the end, future Public Purpose Fund deliberations will be influenced, hopefully in a positive way, by the results of Strong-Shinozaki's and Rosenthal's commitment to working together to resolve inconsistencies. 

 

Comments powered by Disqus

Assorted Ideas

War Is Hell, Cultures Collide at Bloody Gettysburg Battlefield

War Seen Through the Carnage at Gettysburg You can drive through the rolling hills of southern Pennsylvania, passing the little towns along the route where Confederate General Robert E. Lee led his troops, tens of thousands filling the road bed for more than a mile, but it’s not possible to really imagine 71,000 men and … Continue reading War Is Hell, Cultures Collide at Bloody Gettysburg Battlefield →

Readying for a Tunnel Disaster in New York: FDNY, NYC Emergency Management and CERT Volunteers Team Up To Save Lives

Community Emergency Response Team Volunteers Set For Tunnel Disaster Drills For New York City, it’s the worst possible scenario. From terrorist attack, national disaster or accident, victims are trapped inside a lightless tunnel. They must be rescued quickly or die. Early this month, New York City Fire Department, Emergency Management and a hardy core of … Continue reading Readying for a Tunnel Disaster in New York: FDNY, NYC Emergency Management and CERT Volunteers Team Up To Save Lives →

Stray Cat Found Huddled with Her Kitten in Trash Can Continues to Hover Over Her After Rescue

Great story by WordPress contributor Sesame Limited that furthers our understanding of how much like us other members of the animal kingdom are, sometimes even better and more loyal. “Last month, Bideawee, a no-kill animal rescue in New York, was contacted about a stray cat and her kitten who were in need of help. They … Continue reading Stray Cat Found Huddled with Her Kitten in Trash Can Continues to Hover Over Her After Rescue →

Clotilda, My Friend’s Story About the Last Shave Ship to America

When I read that the Clotilda, a schooner that was known to be the last slave ship to America, had been found, I recalled a conversation with my friend Sylviane Diouf from years ago. No one expected to ever find the vessel about which she’d just written a book, until a bomb cyclone exposed it … Continue reading Clotilda, My Friend’s Story About the Last Shave Ship to America →

It’s a Wonderful World: New York’s Annual Duck Parade

“It’s typical for female mallards to make nests and lay eggs in well-protected areas like high-walled courtyards. It’s also common at this time of year to see mama ducks leading hatchlings away from nesting areas to nearby bodies of water. “What isn’t so common is for a mama duck to use her bill to tap … Continue reading It’s a Wonderful World: New York’s Annual Duck Parade →

You purchase helps The Daily Keep publishing...