RIRA President On Steve Shane Saga, Roosevelt Island Community Meeting With RIOC President/CEO Candidate, RIOC Governance Legislation & More
Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Frank Farance sends the following report to Roosevelt Island residents. Mr. Farance addresses:
1. RIOC Board fires President Steve Shane, the saga continues. [Preface again: These are my personal comments, RIRA has not yet met to discuss this, so I don't know their opinions.] In response to my prior column and in response to RIOC Board members posting their statements on the Roosevelt Islander blog, it seems that residents agree with me that the RIOC Board has blundered here. As they say in the TV commercial "But, wait there's more ...". As confirmed by several people, the firing was prompted by privatization issues and there is the appearance of a conflict of interest (which could easily be resolved if the RIOC Board acted properly).A version of the RIRA President's message is also published as the RIRA column in the 7/31/10 Main Street WIRE.
2. Meet Ms. Leslie Torres, the candidate for RIOC CEO/President. RIRA will host a town meeting Tuesday, August 3, 8 PM at the Good Shepherd. We hope the community comes out to meet the candidate and ask questions. Those residents who sent me questions at rira president@rira council.org no later than NOON Monday, August 2 will have their questions forwarded to Ms. Torres and will get first priority on answers at Tuesday night's meeting.
3. Disappointed in RIOC legislation. We have pending legislation on hiring a RIOC CEO/President (at least three candidates need to be interviewed and there must be a public hearing). The legislation has been modified as it has made its way through both houses, yet there has been little public awareness (Assemblymember Kellner should have made an effort) and there has been no discussion within RIRA Common Council members (a fault of my own organization). Essentially, the changes in the legislation change from two RIOC appointments by our assemblymember and senator, to two RIOC appointments in consultation with our assemblymember and senator and appointment by the head of the Assembly and the head of the Senate. Mr. Kellner believes that this is not a problem. My sense is: in the past year, we've seen the dumbest of lows in our state legislature, so having to lobby two other people (head of Assembly and head of Senate who know little about Roosevelt Island) just makes our voices even more diluted.
Regardless, the community should be aware of this legislation. Considering that three candidates are necessary by this legislation, it is discouraging that the RIOC Board doesn't support the spirit of this law (by only interviewing one candidate) and the assemblymember doesn't advocate RIOC follow his own law that is pending approval by the Governor. In other words, although we have resident board members, they perform no better than the old-style state appointees, they change RIOC presidents without any explanation (can RIOC cite what statutes, regulations, or provisions preview the RIOC Board from discussing their recent actions?), and the whole thing stinks of non-transparency and the appearance of conflicts of interest.
4. RIOC Board operating outside its By-Laws? Have you ever noticed that RIOC Board meetings involve "motions", "seconds", and "tabling" and so on? These words have no meaning in the context of the RIOC By-Laws. There is no Roberts Rules of Order (or any other rules of order), thus words like "motions", "seconds", and "tabling" -- and even votes on them -- are improper and give the public the wrong sense of what the board governance process is. To Mr. Leitner, Vice President / General Counsel or RIOC: I encourage you to have your board and especially its chairperson to conform to the by-laws of your corporation.
5. Upcoming RIRA meetings. Aside from the short-notice town meeting (see above), the next meeting is on September 15 at 8:00 p.m. in the Good Shepherd Community Center; future meeting is October 6. Have a great summer!