RIRA President's Final 2008-2010 Term Report On RIRA Common Council Candidates, Contributions From Current Members, Election Status & More
Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Frank Farance sends the following final report of the 2008-2010 RIRA Term to Roosevelt Island residents. From Mr. Farance:
1. Please consider running for RIRA Common Council, please VOTE on November 2. The 2008-2010 term has been one of the most productive in RIRA history with the closest working relationships with RIOC and all its departments. We need your help for the next term and we need broad representation from ALL the buildings.A version of the RIRA President's message is also published as the RIRA column in the 10/23/10 Main Street WIRE.
2. Contributions from RIRA Common Council Members on 2008-2010 Accomplishments. The following members report:
Russell Fields, RIRA Secretary: I joined RIRA in 2008 as an Eastwood Representative to address a variety of concerns by myself and my neighbors. I joined the housing committee and worked on a committee creating a motion supporting a moratorium on sub metering till the building had sufficient greening to justify this step. I was later elected the treasurer and transferred the bank accounts from New York National to Amalgamated bank the Islands new successor bank. I learned that reports were submitted monthly before meetings. I also participated in a fundraising event, Roosevelt Island Day Breakfast, a blood drive, the get acquainted meetings with the new RIOC President, and the opening dedication of Four Freedom Park. I am looking forward to another term of being involved in activities helping build the Islands’ community.
Aaron Hamburger, Chair - Island Services Committee:
• Successfully advocated MTA to install a ramp at the platform for easy wheel chair entry to the F train.
• Resolved illegal parking on Main St. by vehicles with lapsed parking stickers or expired and unauthorized parking permits.
• Worked with RIOC to eliminate long-term storage of bikes at the bike racks near the subway station.
• Advocated RIOC & NY Public Library for substantial improvements in the RI branch library. • Worked with RIOC on the plan for the Red Bus route thru Southtown during the Tram outage.
• Assisted to get repairs done in a reasonable amount of time, both inside and outside of our building.
• Making myself available not only to listen but to act on behalf of my apartment house extended family.
• Providing quality food at discounted price to all Island families with Angel food.
• Providing leadership in all areas of accessibility for all Island families.
• I also serve as President of the Roosevelt Island Disabled Assoc.
Helen Chirivas: I was a RIRA Councilmember representing Eastwood from November '08 until I moved out of Eastwood in July '09. I was on the RIRA Housing Committee, which met several times to discuss housing issues including the Eastwood sub-metering issue. I was also a member of the RIRA Planning Committee and attended several meetings of this committee. I participated in the writing of a resolution regarding Tramway Park. I participated in discussions at RIRA meetings and voted on resolutions.
Ava Dawson: Advocated for student/quiet study space in the library; worked with the Island services Committee on Island issues such as the Red Buses, traffic patterns and bike path recommendations; organized the bake sale portion of the summer 2010 RIRA fundraiser, which brought in about $150 in additional in funds.
3. RIRA Elections. Aaron Hamburger, RIRA Nominations Chair, reports that we have candidates from all buildings, but some of them don't yet have a full slate. There were some stumbles, but the nominations form has been make wide available, including on the internet. In my prior column, I learned of a possible misunderstanding: my criticisms were pointed towards the Nominations Committee, which did not hold meetings, nor coordinate and communicate with the Elections Committee, and which was reluctant to make the nominations form widely available to residents. Meanwhile, the Elections Committee (Joyce Mincheff, Chair), did hold meetings, informed itself, communicated with others, and followed the rules. I believe everything is on-track for the upcoming RIRA Election.
4. Response to Matt Katz' letter to the WIRE. Katz raises a difference without distinction: his efforts were renting machines, rather than purchasing machines. I guess I should have made it clear that his efforts were for purchasing election machine services. The main fault here is that Katz misunderstands the RIRA Constitution: as a presidential candidate, he is not permitted to be involved in the elections committee work regardless of the fact that the Elections Committee Chair said it was OK. Katz engages in the dangerous and faulty thinking that just because a chair says so, any provision of the RIRA Constitution can be nullified. In fact, even if the Common Council voted unanimously, that still wouldn't relieve them of their obligation to follow the rules (they can use the constitution amendment process to change the rules). Katz reports that, since my disclosing his activities, he has given all materials over to the Elections Committee. Katz doesn't believe it should be so but he did learn the lesson and makes my point: transparency and making things public gets people to behave better.
5. Thank You For Allowing Me To Be Your RIRA President. I very much enjoyed this term, especially all the Common Council members I had the opportunity to work with, the RIOC staff, the RIOC Board, our elected officials, and Island organizations. My children Emilia and David thank the WIRE for seeing my picture in the newspaper every two weeks.