Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council Meeting Tonight - Come Find Out What Is Going On

Image of March 2009 RIRA Common Council Meeting

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council will be meeting tonight. Prior to the start of the meeting there is an opportunity for the public to present any issues of concern to the Council. Below is the Agenda for tonight's meeting, minutes from November 2009 RIRA Common Council Meeting, Island Service Committee report and request from Roosevelt Island Senior Association (RISAR) to reallocate Public Purpose Funds received from RIOC.

Date: Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Time: 8:00 P.M. - Finish
Place: Good Shepherd Community Center, 543 Main Street
1. Public Session (8:00)
- Discussion of trees

2. Roll Call (8:30)
X 3. Approval of Agenda (8:35)
4. Approval of Minutes (8:40)
X - November 4 minutes
5. Treasurer’s Report (8:45)
- Report provided
6. President's Report (8:50)
7. Committee Reports (9:00)
Public Safety - E. Feely-Nahem
Housing - J. Micheff & L. Strong-Shinozaki
Social, Cultural and Educational Services - N. Leopold
- Fundraising possibilities selling hats/visors
Island Services - A. Hamburger
Planning - M. Katz
- Report from transportation meeting
- Discussion of rerouting Main Street in Southtown area
- Status report on MTA meeting
Communications - E. Erickson
Government Relations - M. Smith

8. Old Business (9:45)
X Approval of RISA revised public purpose funds budget
X Resolution on drilling in NYS

9. New Business (10:00)

10. Adjourn
X Agenda items requiring action
Town Hall Meeting for December RIOC Board Meeting: Wednesday, December 9, 2009, 8-9:30PM
Next Meeting: Wednesday, January 6, 2010 (Mailing Deadline: January 1, 2010)
Future Meetings: February 3, March 3, April 7, May 5, June 2

Roosevelt Island Residents Association
Common Council Meeting
Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The meeting was called to order at 8:20 p.m.
There's More!

1. Approval of Agenda – Action tabled pending quorum
2. Treasurer’s Report: $_____ in Checking; $______ in LAF Total $_________.
- Inquiry by A. Hamburger regarding whether funds will be transferred to a local bank. Treasurer states that this action was put-off due to a question regarding the Constitution. This issue has been answered and there is no problem. Funds will be transferred as soon as possible.
- President requests that the Treasurer investigate whether directors/officers insurance is necessary.
3. Roll Call: See attached attendance sheet-Quorum achieved

4. Reinstatement of Rachel Reid Chung - Motion by A. Hamburger; second by Plastino -Unanimous approval.
5. Approval of Agenda, Vote: Approved as Amended by Unanimous Approval

6. Approval of 10/7/09 Minutes, Vote: Approved by Unanimous Consent
7. President’s Report
- Subway service. A Meeting with the MTA will be held on 12/1/09. The President plans to see the extent of how the MTA can accommodate the Island’s changing needs. If they do not respond we will “push the button”. The President asks residents to call our elected representative because they track the number of calls, which will make the difference when considering the weight of their constituents. In the past, the MTA has dismissed our suggestions and such increased the weight will put more pressure on MTA to make a change. We may need to be prepared at the next meeting with a quick response depending on the success of the 12/1/09 MTA meeting.
- Blackwell park: The President briefly commented on the innovation of watching a group collaborate and come to consensus. The whole island has its act together on this issue and working well. President defers to M. Katz.
- A cease and desist from department of public health has been issued against RISR. A problem occurred stemming from the memorandum of understanding with RIOC and public safety. They have failed to complete mandatory paperwork when they go on a call, comprising a record of the call and a necessary part of treatment. While searching for these reports at public safety, the DPH observed a RISR vehicle, registered as an ambulance, but a private vehicle. Furthermore, despite the requirement that Mike Acevedo, the head of the organization must be an EMT, he is not.
8. Committee Reports
Housing Committee – J. Micheff & L. Strong-Shinozaki:
- Island House and Rivercross are inflicted with bed bugs. The committee is considering a townhall on the issue, which would be previewed with a fact sheet to determine interest.

Social, Cultural and Educational Services – N. Leopold: No Report
Island Services – A. Hamburger: No Report
Planning & Development Committee – M. Katz: Report Submitted
Committee Motion: The RIRA Common Council supports the presence of commuter ferry service on Roosevelt Island and urges the choice of a ferry docking site to best expedite the start of service and that could potentially be a permanent site.
- Discussion on the motion: S. Marcus expresses questions regarding the language regarding a permanent site. I. Cruz-Perez inquires as to what potential sites are being considered. M. Katz states that on the west channel, the only site that the Coast Guard will consider is the Octagon pier, but this pier is not yet equipped. M. Katz further advises that Becker has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to get approvals for this pier. P. Bozzano-Barnes is hosting meeting on this issue and it is important that RIRA go on the record. Thereafter, an off-topic discussion was held regarding the appropriate location for the ferry dock.
- Motion to Amend by striking the words “and that could be potentially be a permanent site.” Movant: A. Hamburger; Second by E. Polivy. Vote: 5 in favor; 11 against; 1 abstain - Motion fails
- Motion to Amend by substituting the words “creation of a” for “presence” and change to read “potentially become a permanent service”. Movant: J. Mincheff; second by P. Bozzano-Barnes – Vote: Amendment passes by unanimous vote.
Motion as Amended: The RIRA Common Council supports the creation of a commuter ferry service on Roosevelt Island and urges the choice of a ferry docking site to best expedite the start of service and that could potentially become a permanent service. Vote: 17 in favor; no opposition – Motion approved by unanimous vote

- Update regarding Blackwell park from S. Marcus. The issue of public restrooms was tabled with general consensus that the location should be off site. Consensus also reached that there is no need to move basketball courts to create open space as open space already exists. The group largely opposed moving trees, especially considering the cost of $25,000 per tree to do so. J. Terranella inquires of the tight deadline discussed at our last meeting. The President advises that the October taskforce meeting was cancelled and that it appears this strategy failed and RIOC has allowed the residents to move the process along. Per S. Marcus, no RIRA action is yet required, but possibly depending on how the cooperation continues. A. Hamburger notes that Rosina has asked the Riverwalk Management to provide a representative to the taskforce. S. Marcus believes this is her attempt to undermine the newly formed committee and control the process despite the newly formed collaborative group.

Communications – E. Erickson: No Report

Government Relations – M. Smith: No Report
- M. Katz has not yet received any response from Jose Serrano about RIOC appointments. He has now contacted Liz Kruger, state senator from across the river. She responded and asked for name of appointments and what needs to be done.
Public Safety– E. Feeley: Report Submitted

8. Old Business
Motion to Adopt Guidelines and Criteria for Evaluating Public Purpose Funds. Movant: S. Marcus; second by S. Helstein
- Amendment to remove provision creating exception for discriminatory practices. Movant: J. Mincheff; second by P. Bozzano-Barnes. Vote: 16 in favor, 1 opposed – Amendment passes
- Vote on Motion as Amended: 16 in favor, 1 opposed – Motion passes
9. New Business
Question of whether to donate $275 towards Holiday lights. A. Hamburger states that while he is usually in favor, there is not enough money this year. J. Mincheff proposes comprimise of giving less than $275. S. Marcus states that a door drop alone, if necessary would cost approximately $300 per building, but the President volunteers that he would fund a door drop personally. M. Katz raises issue that RIRA is not funding a fund raiser due to insufficient funding.
- Motion to approve $100. Movant: J. Mincheff; second by E. Erickson. Vote: 3 in favor; 13 opposed, 1 abstain – Motion fails

Resolution sponsored by E. Polivy:
Whereas the Roosevelt Island Residents Association represents a community of approximately 12,000 people;
Whereas we enjoy having clean unfiltered tap water from the New York City watershed in upstate NY;
Whereas Hydrolic Fracturing has a history of contaminating aquifers;
Whereas our water supply is too important to gamble;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that RIRA joins the “Kill the Drill Coalition” in supporting an immediate ban on gas drilling within and without the New York City watershed.
- Presentation by sponsor: Gas companies are buying drilling rights in out watershed. The NYC watershed overlays a natural gas source. There has been significant pressure on farmers upstate to sell the rights to their land. To access the natural gas, a company drills 6 miles under ground, then laterally in order to shoot high pressure water, which cracks the shale providing access to the gas. The gas is poisonous and the water is proprietarily protected so we do not know what they are putting into the system. Community Board 8 took decided to wait on forming a position until DEC made final determination. DEC has now determined that there is no danger and drilling is ok. The borough president of Manhattan has formed the Kill the Drill Coalition to oppose this continued action.
- Question tabled pending email vote.

Meeting adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Elizabeth E. Erickson




There are a number of parking issues on RI that the ISC will address. These include:

º Parking on the east road along Goldwater Hospital, where currently “No Parking” signs are posted: We understand that these signs were to be removed (no one seems to know why they were installed in the first place). However, so far, the signs are still there preventing RI residents from using this road for legitimate parking.

º Short term parking on Main St.: Metered parking on Main St. is a mix of long-term parking, 2 hours max, and short term parking, 40 minutes max. The short term parking is primarily for people who need to unload or load their cars or go to one of the stores for a quick purchase. The ISC suggests that the short term parking time be reduced to 20 minutes max, so there will be more turn-over of these spots for greater use to meet residents needs. This could help eliminate the frequent double-parking on Main St. by people unloading/loading their car. Double-parking is a major reason for tie-ups on Main St.

º Parking on East Main St. in Southtown: Frank Farance’s measurements suggest a parking lane could be installed on the east side of East Main. Others say no way. ISC will attempt to resolve this issue with RIOC.

º Ticketing: Public Safety continues to be lax in ticketing overdue cars and inappropriate cars throughout RI. We need to press them to aggressively penalizing and/or removing these cars from our roads.


ISC is following the various transportation issues – F train, tram, ferry:

The recent MTA - F Train report hints at a numbers of ways to increase the capacity of this subway. We need to press them on this.

Meanwhile, the frequent outage of the public address system at the RI station has become a new concern. First the system needs to be fixed so it’s reliable for informing passengers about serious delays, changes in operation and for emergencies. We have several suggestions to offer MTA on how to handle important announcements when the P. A. system is down.

Finally, there’s a safety issue on the walkway on the RI bridge. There is no protective railing on the traffic side of the Queens side portion of the bridge. It’s OK on the RI portion of the bridge.

Committee Membership

The ISC has lost 4 members in the last 6 months due to moving off RI, transfer to other RIRA activities and non-attendance. We are open for 2 – 3 members of the Common Council to join our Committee. Please contact the Chair.

Aaron Hamburger

Chair, ISC

RISAR Request For RIOC Fund Re-Allocation

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