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Monday, June 20, 2011

New Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Director Asks For A Few More Days To Decide If He Will Accept Governor's Appointment or Follow Wishes Of Many In Roosevelt Island Community To Step Down

 Image of Maple Tree Group Meeting With Mr. Fererra (hand on chin) last Thursday

As reported here last Saturday on the meeting between newly appointed Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Director and Child School/Legacy High School Executive Director Sal Fererra with members of Roosevelt Island's Maple Tree Group opposing his appointment:
... The meeting ended shortly thereafter with Mr. Fererra saying that he would think about what was said during the meeting and provide an answer on Monday as to whether he would stay on as a RIOC Director.

Let's see what happens on Monday and hope that Roosevelt Island can avoid what could be a very nasty and unnecessary fight....
Earlier today, I sent this inquiry to Mr. Fererra:
Just following up on Thursday's meeting to see if you have decided whether to accept or resign form your appointment to the RIOC Board.

You had promised during the meeting an answer to that question by today.

As you know, I oppose your appointment to the RIOC Board but want to make sure that I present contrasting views regarding this subject on Roosevelt Islander Blog so, if you wish, please feel free to comment.

Any comment you make will be published in full.
Mr. Fererra replied by forwarding this email he sent to, I believe Matt Katz, but mistakenly called him Michael.
Hi Michael I did tell you I would let you know my decision re: my appt to RIOC however I have received many phone calls and emails. I need some more time to consider
Here is the email sent from Matt Katz to which Mr. Fererra was replying:
Dear Sal,

            My colleagues and I appreciate the time you spent with us today to discuss our concerns about the damage to democratic precedents represented by your appointment to the RIOC Board of Directors.  None of us has any doubt that, under the right circumstances, and as a resident, you would make a valuable contribution as a Board member.  But we believe strongly that your institution's positive elements, and your exciting ideas, can be implemented cooperatively whether or not you are on the RIOC Board, and the likelihood of those positive results is not at issue.  There is no doubt that the Child School/Legacy High School, under your tutelage, has become a valuable part of the community. 
            What is at issue is the damage this does to the community's decade and a half struggle toward democratic selection of the members of the RIOC Board.  Over the course of fourteen long years, with small steps taken carefully and sometimes painfully, we have arrived at the point where community-wide nominating elections are just a step away from true direct democracy.  By appointing you without such a nominating election, without consultation with our elected representatives in the State Legislature, and without even a hint of community consultation, the Governor has ignored and destroyed all the fruits of that long struggle. 
            Without intending to harm the community's cause, you have inadvertently become the instrument of its destruction.  By stepping down -- resigning the appointment in favor of a continuity of the effort toward democracy -- you will be doing this community a great service.  You'll consolidate many friendships, and avoid the inadvertent risk of damaging the good work you've done already in building a strong relationship with the community. 
            Again, thank you for your time.  We look forward to knowing your decision. 

Matthew Katz
President, RIRA