The Circus Is Coming To Town - Roosevelt Island Residents AssociationMeeting Tonight To Continue Witch Hunt Seeking To Expel RIRA Member,Farance Responds Tonight
It may not be the Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Baily Circus but it's close. The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) will be meeting tonight, 8 PM, at the Good Shepherd Community Center (543 Main Street) to continue its witch hunt to expel Frank Farance from the Common Council.
As always, prior to the start of each monthly meeting there is a public session in which residents can come and address the Common Council Delegates on any issue of concern.
Among the items on tonight's Agenda is Part 2 of RIRA's attempt to expel Frank Farance
from the Common Council. According to Agenda Item 7:
... Second Part of Procedure to expel Council Member:Here is the Bill of Particulars (and video of meeting) approved by the November RIRA Common Council Meeting:
Member has a chance to rebut the Bill Of Particulars and Council votes on whether or not to expel him...
BILL OF PARTICULARSand charge 6 added during the RIRA Meeting:
November 6, 2013
WHEREAS: the preamble of The Constitution of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association clearly states that residents “want to live together in harmony based on mutual respect and the voluntary sharing of responsibility,”
WHEREAS: An environment of intimidation, fear and hostility is not conducive to conducting the work of the Common Council,
WHEREAS: Common Council Representative, Frank Farance, has repeatedly engaged in conduct that is counter to the principles of harmony and sharing but rather is consistent with creating intimidation, fear and hostility in the following ways:
WHEREAS: The Common Council has previously taken the step to censure Frank Farance on October 5, 2011; But, his offensive behavior has continued unabated and without improvement,
- Abusing his position to denigrate and defame people without a basis of fact, endangering their professional and personal reputations,
- Denigrating the reputation of the Common Council, itself, thereby diminishing the community’s goodwill and jeopardizing community support,
- Threatening and attempting to diminish the respect of government entities with whom the organization interacts, thereby hindering the organization’s effectiveness,
- Cyber bullying by publicizing defaming statements and misusing various communications platforms, both internal and external to the organization, (such as the email reflector, blog, social media, and The Main Street WIRE).
- Depriving the members of the Common Council of the respect they deserve for their devoted service to the community.
WE THEREFORE MOVE TO EXPELL Common Council Representative Frank Farance, effective immediately pursuant to Article III, Section 9, paragraph (b).
AMENDMENT TO BILL OF PARTICULARSAs stated in previous post:
Organized a “Public “ Safety group independent of RIRA. This group is in competition with RIRA’s Public Safety Committee. This group undermines the work and credibility of RIRA’s Public Safety Committee.
... In my opinion, this Bill Of Particulars against Mr. Farance is ridiculous, a waste of time and damages RIRA more than anything Mr. Farance has ever said or done.Mr. Farance was elected to the RIRA Common Council by the residents of his building - Island House. The Chair of the Island House Tenants Association (IHTA) Graham Cannon sent this message to RIRA and the Roosevelt Island community in support of Mr. Farance:
There is nothing that Mr. Farance has published on Roosevelt Islander, or what I have seen in the WIRE, which is defamatory at all. It may be critical, highly opinionated and in some cases rude but it is not defamatory and certainly does not justify RIRA expelling him from a Common Council that he was elected to by the people who live in his building. Also, Mr. Farance often has a valid point to make, or, at least, an issue worthy of further investigation by NY State, RIOC, RIRA and the media.
The attempt to expel him is for his dissident views made public, sometimes rude characterizations as well as personal dislike of him by some RIRA members. None of these reasons are sufficient cause to expel him from RIRA.
Notice that the Bill of Particulars only contains conclusory statements about defamation without any specific examples.
I may or may not agree with what Mr. Farance says or does but he certainly has a right to publicly express his opinions about issues of concern to the Roosevelt Island community and should not be expelled because some within RIRA disagree with him....
To whom it may concern:A voice of reason comes from RIRA Common Council member Cynthia Choi who asks her colleagues to table the Expulsion Motion. According to Ms. Choi:
I understand there are proceedings underway which may result in Frank Farance's expulsion from RIRA
Frank has been an exemplary Island House representative (as well as IHTA Secretary) — promoting our tenants' interests effectively and well. He enjoys widespread and deserved support among the Island House electorate and there would be great concern by them if action were taken that might remove Frank and diminish our ability to have our needs and interests effectively represented at RIRA.
I would urge you to consider the interests of Island House as you make your decisions.
... I would agree to tabling the expulsion motion!RIRA has created a Motion To Expel Frank Farance web page to set forth its reasons for seeking his expulsion. According to RIRA:
We know what Frank said and what other member stated.
We heard and read all side of reasoning, this had both positive and negative effect. It is healthy that we are able to express to each other our opinions, but enough is enough.
It is so true, two month of RIRA meetings on this matter is waste of our time and Island resident's time.
As RIRA community representatives, we should be able to accept positive or negative comments and expressions of individual's opinion. We know the comments only represent person themselves not as an opinion of whole RIRA itself, but if we expel Frank because of a few members are uncomfortable with what Frank said; e-mail, send letters, published on WIRE, that alone can be a very bad image of RIRA. It'll really damage Ellen's leadership of RIRA permanently.
Dear respective RIRA Members, this is not about who wins or loses. Please think big and wisely, not waste too much of everybody's time!
There were a few members who have lost interest in attending RIRA meeting, but Frank is not to blame for that. I understand people come and go. It is natural, sometimes they are tired of something, health reason, just because...
I attend RIRA for my own interest as well as community interests, but resign or attend are each individual responsibility not to blame anybody else.
Hope our meetings are more positive and productive in the future.
All the respect and Best Wishes!
In response to numerous and ongoing complaints, the Communications Committee began an investigation into various misconducts committed by Frank Farance. We reviewed hundreds of internal and external emails, blogs postings, letters to the press and other documents. In them, Mr. Farance works the same three themes over and over...After reading the RIRA Expel Farance web page, I asked RIRA Communications Committee Chair Jeff Prekopa last week:
Rather than working discretely within the organization to resolve what he feels are issues, Mr. Farance prefers to create a public spectacle of the organization's internal affairs. He repeatedly circumvents protocol by releasing information to the press and blogs. Mr. Farance uses an astounding assortment of tactics including inuendo, omission, fabrication, supposition, intimidation and threat to advance his agenda, all at the expense of other council members and the orgnization overall.
- He makes repeated attempts to discredit the Chair of the Social, Cultural and Educational Committee most recently over a manufactured issue regarding a preliminary committee report
- He attempts to undermine and unseat the President
- He refuses to abide by the majority decisions of the Council, most notably the Public Safety Committee
Bound by its fiduciary duty to protect the orgnization, the Communication Committee concluded that intervention was required. We prepared and presented to the Common Council a Bill of Particulars calling for the expulsion of Frank Farance. The measure passed with an overwhelming majority. This corrective measure is part of a long history of attempts to correct Mr. Farance's behavior. Over the years he has been counselled, asked to resign, rebuked by the Common Council, and formally censured.
We've made a number of documents available to help you understand the situation we face. Included are...
The organization's Constitution which defines the process for expulsion
The Bill of Particulars that outlines the grounds for Mr. Farance's expulsion
A document describing fiduciary duty in non-profit organizations
An article describing methods for dealing with rogue members like Mr. Farance
The statement by the RIRA Treasurer that he found no irregularities in the SCE Committee's accounting of the 2013 Cherry Blossom Festival
Minutes from the meeting in which Mr. Farance was censured
Did not receive an answer. I followed up this week:I am preparing a post for Roosevelt Islander Online regarding the RIRA Communications Committee meetings which prepared the Bill of Particulars to expel Frank Farance from RIRA.I am not aware of any RIRA Communications Committee meeting held to discuss the subject of expelling Frank Farance.
The RIRA web page dedicated to the expulsion of Frank Farance states:
...Bound by its fiduciary duty to protect the orgnization, the Communication Committee concluded that intervention was required. We prepared and presented to the Common Council a Bill of Particulars calling for the expulsion of Frank Farance....
Were such meetings held?Were these meetings announced publicly before they were held?
When were these meetings held?
Were minutes kept of these meetings?
If there were minutes, please post them on the RIRA web site or send them to me for review.
I am following up on November 25 email below seeking comment from RIRA regarding the Communications Committee procedure used to bring a Bill of Particulars to expel Frank Farance. Please let me know if you or any other RIRA member wishes to comment.Still have not received any explanation.
Also, do you or any other RIRA member have any comment on statement by RIRA Treasurer Russel Fields that the RIRA web page describing Mr. Fields as finding no "irregularities" in the Cherry Blossom Festival accounting is "misleading". Mr. Fields added that he found the Cherry Blossom Festival accounting to be "unacceptable".
Why does the RIRA web page on the Farance Expulsion motion not include Mr. Fields true remarks?
Here is link to Mr. Fields statement.
Again, please let me know if you or any RIRA members wish to comment on these issues. If not, I will report that you were offered the opportunity but declined to respond.
In regard to Mr. Farance's efforts on Public Safety issues, the IHTA Chair Graham Cannon supports Mr. Farance's efforts as Island House RIRA representative to set up a Public Safety committee (RILEC) even if it is outside of RIRA. According to this October 2013 letter from Mr. Cannon to the RIRA Common Council:
To RIRA Common Council:This whole attempt to expel Mr. Farance is absurd and is accurately characterized as a Witch Hunt.
As you know, in Island House, we have been quite successful in negotiating an affordable housing plan for our tenancy. Our efforts have helped the 1000 residents and 400 families of Island House, and we hope we have created a template that can be replicated/adapted to benefit Westview tenants. Any success we have had has come from extensive and open negotiation with the key state agencies and, most importantly, a free, open and ongoing dialog with our tenancy who, at every juncture, have provided the most valuable input and strategic thinking that have enabled us to reflect and include their diversity and complexity in our agreements.
I was concerned at reports from our RIRA common council representatives that there may be attempts to limit debate/discussion at RIRA and/or limiting the engagement of RIRA members with the various State and law enforcement agencies with whom all of us do business on Roosevelt Island.
Please be assured that our RIRA representatives (Frank Farance, Russ Fields, Helen Chirivas) continue to represent the interests of our tenants. Based on our experience at Island House I would urge that:
(1) As at Island House meetings that allow all tenants to be heard, the RIRA Common Council should let all its delegates be heard.
(2) Island House tenants participate in the RILEC committee. The "three prong' framework suggested by our RIRA representatives seems a good basis for examining concerns about Public Safety issues.
(3) That RIRA oppose any attempt to set it up as "gatekeeper" as to who or what groups can meet with Public Safety (PSD) and/or RIOC. The standard across the city is that law enforcement meets with the widest range of community representatives and individuals to ensure they have a direct understanding of all community issues and concerns.
I encourage the RIRA Common Council to seriously consider the positions and proposals of the Island House delegation.
Chair, Island House Tenants Association
Below is the full Agenda for tonight's RIRA Meeting.
UPDATE 11:40 PM - The attempt to expel Mr. Farance failed. Before Mr. Farance was to give his rebuttal, a motion to strike the Expulsion Agenda Item was made and approved by a vote of 15 to 14.
Upon losing the vote, several supporters of the motion to expel Mr. Farance immediately resigned from RIRA.
Will have more later.