Thursday, November 6, 2008

New Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council Meet - First Accomplishment, Main Street Holiday Lights

The above picture is of the new Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council, class of 2008, conducting their first meeting last night in the basement of the Good Shepherd Church. RIRA wrapped up old business from the prior Council, then seated, photographed and began an orientation for the many new members.

Of particular benefit was a presentation given by two resident RIOC Board members, Mr. Kalkin and Mr. Shinozaki, to the new RIRA Board on issues involving the Roosevelt Island Tram modernization project. Though it is unfortunate that this occurred so late in the process, I think both Mr. Kalkin and Shinozaki explained the situation very well.

I think it is a great idea of new RIRA President Frank Farance to have RIOC Directors and perhaps even RIOC staff participate in Town Hall meeting with Roosevelt Islanders during RIRA Common Council meetings. In a message to RIOC President Steve Shane, Mr Farance explained:

... The RIOC Board will be able to participate in a Q&A session from residents, similar in format to the recent candidate's nights: each Director will have a seat at the dais at the head of the room. The Q&A session will be structured around the agenda for the RIOC Board meeting and RIOC Directors will have an opportunity to discuss and explain their positions on agenda items. Considering that many RIOC Board members have expressed an interest in feedback from the community, RIRA is happy to support this kind of dialogue among residents and RIOC Directors....
I hope that this can get done.

The impact of the new RIRA members became evident during a discussion regarding a request by the Chamber of Commerce to allocate $250 (it may have been $275) from RIRA for renting Holiday (Christmas?) lights to be displayed on Main Street. Some of the longer serving members wanted to reject the request citing previous objections to renting the equipment rather than buying it. One of the newer RIRA members spoke passionately that arguing over these prior disagreements was ridiculous. She urged the lights be rented now for this season and the issue of buying lights for following winters be discussed at a later meeting. The RIRA Board approved her suggestion.

Good Job!