Tuesday, May 4, 2010

NYC Takes Back Governors Island & Brooklyn Bridge Park From NY State, No Plans To Take Back Roosevelt Island For Now - Freedom Will Have To Wait

Aerial View of Governors Island From GIPEC

This April 12 post asked if Governors Island and the Brooklyn Bridge Park

are being returned to the City of New York from the State, why not Roosevelt Island which is under lease from the City to the State until the year 2068?

Imagine a Roosevelt Island free of it's Colonial Overlord, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp. (RIOC) and the State of New York.

How close, if at all, was Roosevelt Island to being brought back to the bosom of the City of New York? Well, the New York Observer recently reported that in 2006 such a plan to recapture Roosevelt Island from NY State and return it to New York City was seriously considered by the Bloomberg Administration. From the April 27 NY Observer:
In late 2006, as a set of projects calling for hundreds of millions in funds languished in their planning stages, Dan Doctoroff, then deputy mayor, became frustrated.

Operating under the code name “Project Repo,” aides to Mayor Bloomberg’s right-hand man for development drew up a clandestine list of where the city could seize control of major initiatives it shared with the state.

Among those considered for a city takeover, according to multiple people familiar with the plan, were the sprawling Queens West housing development near Long Island City; Battery Park City; Roosevelt Island; Brooklyn Bridge Park; and Governors Island....
I tried to find out how real Project Repo was as regards New York City taking back Roosevelt Island from the State. After all, there was a time when former Mayor Rudy Giuliani expressed support for the liberation of Roosevelt Island from NY State but apparently Mayor Bloomberg is not so enthusiastic. Responding to my inquiry, Andrew Brent, a spokesperson for the Mayor's Office replied:
There haven’t been any discussions with the State about the City taking over Roosevelt Island.
but a small sliver of hope for the future of Roosevelt Island's liberaton came from John Moore, a spokesperson for Roosevelt Island's NYC Council Member Jessica Lappin,
Council Member Lappin has not been briefed on any plan for the Bloomberg administration to take back Roosevelt Island for the City, but it’s a conversation that she would welcome.
Will getting rid of RIOC and returning Roosevelt Island to the City be beneficial for Roosevelt Island? This reader thinks so:
Most of the island's problems stem from the fact that it is in New York City, but not of it. If we were just a normal NYC neighborhood, maybe Main Street we would have some retail that didn't look like it belongs in a third-world country. Maybe some of the empty stores would get rented. Maybe a real restaurant would open here. Maybe other residents of the city would realize that we are just a stop on the F train. Maybe RI residents would realize that they live in a housing project in New York City and not in an isolated small town in the middle of nowhere.
Who will step up and champion freedom for Roosevelt Island - our own version of Braveheart's William Wallace and who will be the tyrannical King Edward The Longshanks.

You Tube Video of Braveheart's Freeeeeeeedom Scene


Anonymous said...

Other than giving lip service at a town hall meeting here, I don't think Giuliani did anything to make this happen. And things didn't end too well for William Wallace.

Anonymous said...

Although Roosevelt Islanders have issues with RIOC, at least you know that you will get an immediate response from the RIOC president, the Director of Public Safety and other RIOC personnel to your inquiries (even though you and we may not like the answers). I actually enjoy living in this "small town" community in which we residents have reasonable access to the powers-that-be. If Roosevelt Island were taken back by NYC, do you really think Mayor Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, et. al. would respond to your inquiries? Do you notice how difficult it is to contact the mysterious F Train Subway Station Manager whenever you have problems with the MTA? Imagine that scenario, only a thousand times worse. As the old saying goes: BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR ...YOU JUST MIGHT GET IT!

Anonymous said...

I see many questions and suggestions on this blog with regard to RIOC but only few responses.

I tried to submit some questions regarding the budget to RIOC direct without getting any response.

PSD responds quickly but RIOC does not respond thru the medium that publizised the matter in question.


4:10 PM makes an excellent point regarding communication between RIOC's President, Public Safety Chief etc. and the community.

However, that does not mean that future administrations and RIOC personnel would be as open to communications as the current one.

Although I was not blogging during prior RIOC administrations, I am told dialogue with the community was not a priority at that time.

With a new administration, it may not be again.