Leaderless State Agency Prompts Appeal

UPDATE: Letter "To Our Long Lost RIOC Staff" From Judith Berdy

Updated 12 weeks ago
In 2018, Judith Berdy addressed a visibly resistant RIOC board meeting. Only those immediately beside her, acting president/CEO Shelton Haynes (L) and Hudson president David Kramer remain.
In 2018, Judith Berdy addressed a visibly resistant RIOC board meeting. Only those immediately beside her, acting president/CEO Shelton Haynes (L) and Hudson president David Kramer remain.
© David Stone/Roosevelt Island Daily

Troubled by the lack of visible leadership from RIOC, Roosevelt Island's leading volunteer and community activist, Judith Berdy, offers this appeal. It resonates with us and other residents who have expressed concern or disapproval.

UPDATE, September 2nd, 2020: "Due to the current Pandemic, RIOC has taken (sic) lead in prioritizing the health and safety of our staff, ensuring that we provide safe working spaces for everyone," RIOC acting president/CEO Shelton Haynes told the administration-friendly Roosevelt Islander blog.

Haynes did not address resident concerns about missing, well-paid leadership even as residents and local businesses show up in force every day to keep the community going, including efforts to feed the hungry where the state's been most visible in its absence. 

NOTE: Objecting to reports it doesn't like, RIOC practices press censorship with The Roosevelt Island Daily/News, failing to answer emails concerning toxic wastes in Southpoint, violations to public meetings law and how the firing of Susan Rosenthal was handled by its board. No one from the State responded to Berdy's concerns here either, choosing the thoughtfully tossed local softball instead.

To our long lost RIOC staff:

Where, oh where are the bosses?

It is rare to see any managers at RIOC.

Tram Manager Armando Cordova and Bus Czar Cy Opperman are exempt from this inquiry, because they've been here all or most of the time.

The Tram, Public Safety, Grounds, Maintenance, Bus Drivers and other service workers are here seemingly 100% of the time.

Where are RIOC's Island-based supervisors & managers?

Are they ducking and covering from home? It has been almost 6 months since we had serious on-site management.

The 50% rule is being over-used as an excuse to stay away.

The RIOC offices are large and spread apart. It is time for all the managers, supervisors, lawyers, financial staff, community relations, and all the rest to come back to work safely on-site here on Roosevelt Island.

Many folks are still trying to figure out how Public Safety can be effectively run from home.

Many of our the Island's workers are essential, but some of their superiors are not. So, do we have too many bosses? How can we miss you and still see the great work when you are not here?

I am at Coler frequently. The staff is there, serving their community with great dedication. They are essential, must be there and have been there the entire time. There is no working from home for hospital workers.

If you have a valid reason, then stay home and enjoy teaching your kids their schoolwork. Otherwise, please show up.

Judith Berdy

Roosevelt Island Historical Society

Editor's note: Throughout the period of coronavirus restrictions, Berdy and her team at the Historical Society have continued lively, informative posting about Roosevelt Island and New York City history. They take off only one day per week, and that's on weekends.

 

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