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Thursday, August 25, 2011

Roosevelt Island Resident Frank Farance On Selection Process for RIOC Board Members - Disagrees With Direction Taken By RIRA

As reported in this post earlier today, Roosevelt Island's NY State Senator Jose Serrano and RIOC Chair/NY State Commissioner of Housing and Community Renewal (HCR) Darryl Towns met yesterday regarding the appointment of a conflict ridden, non-elected, non-resident to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors. Former Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President and current RIRA Planning Committee Chair Frank Farance sent the following message to Senator Serrano and Commissioner Towns.

From Mr. Farance:

Commissioner Towns, Senator Serrano:

You will be hearing from other residents soon and I (as an individual) am writing to you to give a different perspective on the RIOC Board situation.

I sent the following letter to the Main Street WIRE for publication this week. I've included my letters in June to the WIRE and the Governor. I plan a couple more letters, including one on the "incompetent" actions of the RIOC Board: their letter to the Governor (published in the WIRE) on legal assertions by the 5 resident/elected members, none of them attorneys, no legal review; and another letter on the dysfunction of RIRA, who should not be involved in any elections process because RIRA chose to NOT have 2010 RIOC elections and RIRA can't even manage its own internal elections, e.g., Bill Long was not legitimately appointed in RIRA.

Feel free to contact me for additional details and supporting documents.

Frank Farance
Below is Mr. Farance's referenced letter.
I believe the Democracy subcommittee of RIRA's Government Relations Committee is heading in the wrong direction. I believe the RIOC director process should be as follows (a process administered by RIOC, not RIRA):

- The expiration of terms should be regularized, with 4-year terms expiring on June 30 in odd years and staggered expirations so only half the board expires at the same time

- To fill board member positions (vacancy, expiration, etc.), there should be a Call For Volunteers (CFV), including a list of desirable qualifications.

- After the CFV, there would be a 30-day public comment period on the candidates. For example, residents could fill out a form (at the RIOC office) that indicated their Approval, Disapproval, and Comments for each of the candidates. The results would be tallied and the comments delivered to the Governor (and Mayor). This would not be an election, but a CFV with an endorsement process.

- The balance of 5 resident members and 2 other members (with no residency requirements) is a good balance for striking a partnership with the Governor's office. Considering that RIOC might be bankrupt in 2021, it does not serve the residents well to Take All The Marbles (all 7 board members) and then have to ask the State for a bailout a decade later when the Governor-then could say "you've refused to allow me to help by limiting my selection of board members". I believe it is important for the Governor to have a freedom to choose who he/she wants for these other 2 positions, which builds a sense of partnership.

- Although I would ultimately like to see direct elections for the 5 resident members, we (the residents) have messed this up ourselves, including our choosing not to have 2010 elections (where candidates would have be ready for the present expired positions), having our own substantial conflicts of interest (via privatization of Mitchell-Lama buildings), and the poor judgment shown by the 5 resident-elected directors' letter to the Governor (published in the WIRE). Direct election should wait until *after* the privatization efforts have completed.

I note that the significant conflicts of interest of Rivercross members of the RIOC Board. For example, Margie Smith (who stands to gain a half million to a million dollars on the sale of her apartment) is herself part of the decision-making process, including Chair of RIOC's Governance Committee, yet she participated in RIRA activities seeking legislation to change the composition of the RIOC Board and appointment of the RIOC President. Ms. Smith presently participates in the RIRA Democracy committee, including reviewing/revising letters to the Governor. All three members of RIOC's Real Estate Advisory Committee are also from Rivercross (not good for Rivercross, not good for Island House or Westview either). Privatization is necessary for the remaining WIRE Mitchell-Lama buildings, which means some profits are made. I don't begrudge the profits made by RIOC board members from Rivercross, I am greatly concerned by the severe conflicts of interest in this financial transaction.

In other words, New Yorkers might believe: this a self-dealing transaction were board members of a public authority get to choose how much money they make (each on the order of a half million to a million dollars); the chair of the public authority's governance committee is conflicted (and submits her own legislation on the public authority, and hosts a fundraiser in her own apartment for that legislator); and all of the committee members of the public authority's real estate committee have the same financial conflict. Something is wrong here.

The problem here on Roosevelt Island is that we can only believe that Residents Do Good and Non-Residents Don't Do Good. For example, Bill Long the "interim" chair of the RIRA Government Relations Committee (note: RIRA has no such process for "interim" chairs) focuses the residents on Dr. Fererra's conflicts but ignores Ms. Smith's even more substantial conflicts with: "No, the situations are not similar. Margie doesn't work for an organization the leases space from RIOC. Margie hasn't stated her intention to lease additional space that is subject to the Master Lease to which RIOC is a party.". So because Ms. Smith is an owner (but not a worker) in Rivercross and because she hasn't asked for *more* space (she would be selling her apartment), her situation is acceptable. Mr. Long wouldn't last a millisecond in a corporate ethics committee. However, his thinking representative of the faulty thinking in this RIRA committee.

In these RIRA committees, the culture is very hostile towards any opinions outside the echo chamber. For example, when asked, because of an upcoming committee vote, "Could you list the members of the Government Relations Committee and the members of its Democracy subcommittee?", RIRA Communications Committee Chair Vini Fortuna responds in rage using an internet Rage Generator for posting the cartoon "Frank is a Troll". Ellen Polivy incoherently supports his rage with "Vinnie, by the way had every right to be pissed at you. You were asking him, in a back handed insulting way, for him to do his job." You can see my exact words, there was no back-handed insult. Ms. Smith, who should NOT be participating at all in the RIRA committee, doesn't like differing opinions "Frank, since you’re not on our side, you don't agree with our approach, and we're all so misguided, for God's sake, have the guts/class to drop out of the group and let us get on with our work." Mr. Long supports this kind of abusive culture because he offers no objection.

Your residents at work.

Frank Farance
Here is Mr. Farance's  June letter to the Governor and the letter by 5 of the 6 RIOC Director's letter to the Governor.

RIRA's Governance Committee Chairperson Bill Long responds to Mr. Farance:
It is obvious that Frank and I disagree on a number of issues related to the election of RIOC board members. I will limit my response to just one example.

Regarding asking the governor to appoint board members from elected candidates, Frank's letter said that residents "have messed this up ourselves, [by] choosing not to have 2010 elections". Frank seems to believe because we didn't hold elections before, we are not entitled to petition the governor to honor elections now. My response is "Who says?" In hindsight, it was a mistake not to hold elections last year. But that mistake doesn't mean that we must forever relinquish our rights to have a voice in our government. That seems obvious to me, but Frank doesn't see it that way.

My position has not changed. RIOC is effectively our municipal government and residents have a right to have a say in who runs RIOC. An election is the most successful "call for volunteers" that any free society has ever tried. Let's stick with it.

106 comments :

Gotta give a nod here said...

Bravo, Frank. This is getting good. At least somebody who is actively participating in RI politics has the guts to speak up against the RIRA and the current "elected" resident RIOC directors.

Frank Farance said...

I believe Mr. Long misunderstood my letter.  Yes, as residents we've screwed up.  That doesn't mean we don't get
elections, it just means that we (RIRA) should not be running them. 
And, because of the really infested conflicts problem, I think we need
to postpone any direct elections until after the privatization deals
have been completed.



Frank Farance
 

djbm said...

Can someone explain to me why Frank Farance, a person who could not even make it on the rioc board (he was rejected during the interview process) himself is now lecturing others how to do this same process correctly? Are we going to have a chicken explain to us how to fly?

Now Frank Farance says he doesn't want elections. Gee I wonder why. Could it be that he thinks that he can't win an election and this is his way of trying to get on the rioc board anyway? Is that why he wanted to cut the elections early to begin with? Yes this is and always will be about Franks delusional quest to get on the RIOC board. Try getting past the vetting process first buddy or better yet get an actual real job.

joe said...

way to go frank i will back you on this all the way

Keep on nodding said...

What has his rejection to be on the board (which happened a few years back) have anything to do with his criticism about how things are being done (now, many years later)? After being RIRA president for quite a while I think he is allowed to criticize how the RIRA does things. To be honest, I didn't like him at first how he did things but he is making a lot of good points lately about the appointment that nobody can really deny.

Djdb, you are grasping for straws. Instead of addressing the points he's making you decided to attack the messenger. How is this going to win you points?

Roozevelt said...

Frank is known as a rebel, yes.  But, that's only because he has the guts to call people out.  He's done it with the folks at RIOC, and now with the folks at RIRA and the RIOC Board (which seems to go hand in hand).

Problem is ... He's absolutely right!  Margie Smith and the other RIOC Board Members from Rivercross do have a bigger conflict of interest than Mr. Ferrera.  And, Margie working so closely with RIRA reaks of a NYS Ethics Committee Review.

Like him or dislike him, Frank is right on the mark here.  Many people know it, they just don't have the guts to say anything about it. 

timsab9 said...

I'm sorry but anyone that knows Farance knows he is a total walking punchline. I agree that he doesnt mention his total and complete failure to get on the board himself. Anyone that may know of Frank of the govenors office knows him because of his crazy letters and phone calls. He was rejected twice so far by the entire island in the last election and the governors office took 10 seconds to say hell no to this guy. He never explained why he didnt pass the interview or background check. Now he doesnt want any election and only volunteers that cant be voted directly by the community. No thanks Farance! Governor Didnt want you and we don't either!

Gutsy said...

And you, too, did not reply to any one of the points Frank made and attacked his person instead. I don't like Frank's style, either, but he knows what he is talking about. Could you try and address his criticism and use that to discredit him, if that's what you want to do?

Kal1320 said...

Frank Farance has the guts to speak the truth. Hopefully our Governor will listen...

Vinicius Fortuna said...

Frank knows how to write and convince other people that don't have the background knowledge. But it's just word manipulation.
Let's see what he wrote:"RIRA, who should not be involved in any elections process"Well, if RIRA is not to be involved in any election process, who will run the election?"because RIRA chose to NOT have 2010 RIOC elections"He clearly states that the reason for not involving RIRA now is because RIRA, while he was president, decided to not have the elections in 2010. What's the logic in that? No one ever decided to not have elections anymore!Frank also distorts the truth to attack anyone that disagrees with him. He says:
"RIRA can't even manage its own internal elections, e.g., Bill Long was not legitimately appointed in RIRA."

Bill Long was elected as chair of the Democracy Team, a sub-committee of the Government Relations committee that was put together to quickly respond to the Governor's actions of removing an elected resident member of RIOC's board by a person of his choice. Frank was in that room, and he voted for Bill. Bill was chosen chair by unanimous vote. What happened then is that there was no Government Relations committee chair, because the previous one had resigned while RIRA was on its summer recess. By running the Democracy team with extreme competency, he ended up being the de-facto GRC chair.

What strikes me the most, is the Frank never brought up this concern of his in any of the Democracy Team meetings. He decided to bring up the issue now, and addressing the public, not the group he is working with. That's how he is. He can't work in a team. If the team doesn't do what he wants, he is willing to go all the way to undermine the team's efforts. He's been sending letters to the Governor and government officials to convince them that Roosevelt Island shouldn't elect RIOC's board. It's so sad to see him wasting a lot of other people's time in fights instead of everyone working together to the good of the island.

Vinicius Fortuna said...

By the way, here is "Could you list the members of the Government Relations Committee and the members of its Democracy subcommittee?" email exchange Frank refers to in his letter:= FRANK ==================Bill-Could you list the members of the Government Relations Committee and the members of its Democracy subcommittee?  Thanks.-FF= BILL ==================This is Democracy. Vini has the GRC list. I've actually never seen it. Vini, please share that list w/ Frank? Name[list of names was here]= FRANK ==================Bill-Thanks for the list.  I look forward to receiving the GRC list from Vini.Any reason the list of members weren't forwarded to the group?-FF= BILL ==================They didn't ask for the list. You did. I provided the information requested to the person who requested it.= FRANK (to everyone) ==================Folks-I asked a question *to the list* with the hopes of getting an answer that would be useful to the list.  Likewise, had someone else asked a question to the list, I would expect that we'd be sharing information with each other, not devolving into private exchanges.  For whatever reason Bill didn't want to share the information with you.Below, please find the list of the Democracy subcommittee of the Government Relations Committee.-FF[list of names was here]========================I hope that with the facts in hands people can make their own informed decisions. There has never been an attempt to withdraw information. The list of members was actually sent to everyone as the first email to the group. Frank didn't receive it because he chose not to be part at first. Also, the email group is hosted in Google Groups, and any member of the group can access the list of members. No secret going on there.Frank's last email was just a gratuitous attack to Bill, and a hypocritical way of putting himself as "defender of openness". Again, Frank doesn't miss an opportunity to attack other people and drain their energy that could be used for the common good. This exchange also illustrates his continuous efforts to spam everyone's inboxes to overload them and distract from the main issues.

Good Kitty said...

It was anti-democratic to cancel the 2010 RIOC Board nominee elections.  There was no comprehensible reason or rationale given  for this cancellation, which reminded me of the notorious cancellation of the recount in Florida way back when. 

RIRA is definitely dominated by a clique of WIRE-building apartment-owners or wannabe apartment owners, that very much want to buy and then flip their appts.  They tend to look askance at "mere" apartment renters - be they renters from Octagon, Manhattan Park, or Southtown.  They have appropriated the Island's political power -- as evidenced by the dismissal of Shane by the group of RIRA members from their clique that were appointed RIOC board members.  

The clique of course did not see a reason to have an election open to all - meaning the non-apartment owning "class" - because they already had the RIOC Board "all locked up".   Now that their representation has fallen by 1, they are screaming bloody murder - that's understandable, too.  The clique's champion, Mr. Kalkin, was dismissed by the Governor since his term had expired, and a thoroughly blameless and worthy individual, Mr. Ferrerra, appointed Board member instead.  There is no limit to the frustration of the WIRE-building apartment-owners or wannabe-apartment owners in RIRA & on the RIOC Board - the same clique that maneuvered to cancel the 2010 RIOC Board nominee election - as they fall over themselves to try to discredit a blameless, worthy, hard-working individual like Mr. Fererra.  Since there was no election - as they wanted - there is no pool of Board member nominees - so how preposterous is it that they are now screaming and complaining their heads off?  

They not only want it both ways but sling mud and try to discredit  anyone that has the temerity to point this out to them, claiming, amazingly enough, that they have the lock on being democratic, even though it was this group that engineered the cancellation of the 2010 RIOC Board nominee election.  This is classic double-think that one usually sees in regimes such as the one in North Korea for example and is remarkable to see it on display here in the relatively small world of RI.  Just like in authoritarian regimes, media usually follows along and "cooperates" with the ruling clique - which we have seen here as well since the dismissal of Mr. Kalkin.  I say lay off Mr. Fererra and The Child School.  And, as currently instituted, RIRA indeed is too compromised and corrupt to be entrusted with an election for RIOC Board nominees.  In fact, the entire RIRA councilmember election process should probably be overhauled as well to make it more inclusive.  RI residents should have a say in how the remaining few acres of the island are developed, and how and if privatization should proceed.  But the political roster should not be dominated by the same tired WIRE building-dominated set of people, who very much form a clique.  Term limits for RIRA council members and officers as well as RIOC Board members, should be instituted, in order to prevent political cliques, such as the one currently in power in RIRA as well as on the RIOC Board, from forming.  We must have  balanced representation in RIRA as well as on the RIOC Board.  It is possible that privatization is not in the best interest of renters - and frankly, the renters on this Island form the majority of residents.   As one renter to another, remember, the higher property values go due to speculation etc., the higher rents also climb.  Our interests therefore are directly opposed to those of the WIRE-building apartment owners, or wannabe-owners  i.e. the clique - and in a democracy, the majority rules.  

It's a start said...

That may be all correct and we can discuss this more in detail... the thing, though, for me there are two extremely important points that Frank talked about: 

Firstly, why is Dr. Ferrera painted as the most conflict-ridden member of the RIOC board when there are resident directors who are just as much (or in my opinion even more because Dr. Ferrera is doing something great for this community, for the city, for society, by running the school for disabled children while the others could be just out for personal enrichment) in danger to act out of personal gain instead instead of for the entire community? 

Secondly, Frank has been in favor for RIOC elections while he was presiding over the RIRA but the MTG argued that no elections were needed for some really dubious (and ver silly) reasons. You remember the exchange between Frank and the MTG at that time, don't you?

Instead of getting all hung up on details that have absolutely nothing to do with the issue at hand why don't we discuss those two points? I have not seen any believable defense from RIRA's side.

Frank Farance said...

Mr. Fortuna, you don't understand RIRA's procedures.

First, Mr. Long is not actually chair of the committee because it requires a vote of the RIRA Common Council to approve him, which was never done.  A vote could have been conducted via meeting or E-mail ballot.  Mr. Katz, Mr. Long, and you are fully aware of E-mail ballots, because you've spoken about them on the E-mail lists, so I have no idea why Mr. Katz and Mr. Long chose not to follow RIRA's processes.

Second, Mr. Katz refers to Mr. Long as an "interim" chair (see Mr. Katz' July 2 WIRE column, page 12, "the RIRA Government Relations Committee, headed by interim
chair Bill Long").  There is no such think as an "interim" chair, check the RIRA Constitution and By-Laws.

Third, I've complained for several months now, including my June 28 letter to the WIRE, see the part on us residents having Double Standards: "We complain about
the lack of process in Dr. Ferrera’s appointment, but RIRA’s Government Relations Chair was just "elected" outside RIRA’s process.".

Fourth, I'm not against elections, I'm in favor of them.  Aside from RIRA messing this up, in the meeting with Serrano's staff, I said that RIOC should run the elections because the procedure would be written and maintained inside of *RIOC*, which might give longevity over more than one Governor's administration.

Fifth, even in the 2008 and 2009, we didn't really have an elections process, we had an endorsement process.  I suggested that we call this an endorsement process because it gets the word "election" out it (the State people seem to have problems with the word "election").

Guest said...

RIRA does not represent many of the residents on the island. It is tilted towards their qwn personal gains and private wars with each other and Albany.

Popcorn said...

"What strikes me the most, is the Frank never brought up this concern of his in any of the Democracy Team meetings. He decided to bring up the issue now, and addressing the public, not the group he is working with."

Probably nobody at the RIRA would have listened or acted upon a complaint like that. There is no other way, unfortunately, to make the RIRA do something that she doesn't really want to do. It seems that bringing up points like this publicly is the best way at the moment.

jaymee1 said...

Frank Farance is the king of conflict of interest and if you read hos piece you will see massive gaps in his statement.

1. He was for elections before he was against them. Now he doesn't want elections and he doesnt want the until privatization is complete.

He fails to say that he is a member of the island house board and wants (to now) hold off electiions until he himself can benefit from privatization and gain monetarily from a deal his island house board and he directly agreed to. So elections are bad when they may effect Mr Farance's pocketbook. - the same reason he attacks others!

2. Farance fails to back up any of his assertions with documentation. His weapon like most propaganda is repetition. He doesn't give any information based on any numbers for his rivercross argument. He argues that the rioc board wrote a letter that was contrary to the law and they are not lawyers but he isn't either so how does he know its not legally right? Where is his statement from his lawyer or is he making it up as he goes along.

3. Farance tries to claim RIRA had a secret ballot to have elections in 2012. They didn't. The entire RIRA council voted this way in the open while he was president. The elections were never cancelled, they were scheduled for 2012 because the governor gave everyone different seat assignments (some one year, some 2, some 3) if the governor only replaced board members because there were no candidates then why did he replace only one of the three expired board members and not all of them. The answer is he didnt, because they have no idea whats going on here. They didnt say anything to our electeds because this happened last minute through Sen Golden. Ferrera wanted a seat and they gave it to him aloong with about 1000 othe appointments they did that day. Senator Kruger who on tyat committee didnt know until they voted on it and she is on the committee. What kind of logic thinks that they would have asked RIRA if they didnt ask the ranking member on that committe and then disregarded her request to table it. Balderdash!

Farance takes advantage of the fact that he has no reputation left to destroy as he does that fine by himself so people on his hit list of lies dont respond because they dont have the time and have actual jobs. I find it pathetic that he will respond to this blog followed by another name saying bravo or go Frank under it moments later. I wonder if they are all the same people. He should run again in a real election that he now wants to delay for his own privatization. Oh wait he doesnt want elections at all now. you are not getting on the board Frank, ever! Governor will reject you, commnity will too just like they did before.

jaymee1 said...

Frank Farance is the king of conflicts of interest and if you read his piece you will see massive gaps in his statement.

1. He was for elections before he was against them. Now he doesn't want elections and he doesnt want them until privatization is complete.

He fails to say that he is a member of the island house board and wants (to now) hold off electiions until he himself can benefit from privatization and gain monetarily from a deal his island house board and he directly agreed to. So elections are bad when they may effect Mr Farance's pocketbook. - the same reason he attacks others!

2. Farance fails to back up any of his assertions with documentation. His weapon like most propaganda is repetition. He doesn't give any information based on any numbers for his rivercross argument. Does he have a copy of their agreement. He argues that the rioc board wrote a letter that was contrary to the law and they are not lawyers but he isn't either so how does he know its not legally right? Where is his statement from his lawyer or is he making it up as he goes along. He makes a lot of legal claims here without any lawyer stating it is right. I guess having that background is needed for board members to make a legal assertion (they have a lawyer) but Frank doesnt need it to say they are wrong or have a conflict. Where are the actual proven facts here based on your accusations that are not based on your keen abilty to be an expert on this without any education or certification or even basic paperwork to back it up?

3. Farance tries to claim RIRA had a secret ballot to have elections in 2012. They didn't. The entire RIRA council voted this way in the open while he was president. The elections were never cancelled, they were scheduled for 2012 because the governor gave everyone different seat assignments (some one year, some 2, some 3) if the governor only replaced board members because there were no candidates then why did he replace only one of the three expired board members and not all of them. The answer is he didnt, because they have no idea whats going on here. They didnt say anything to our electeds because this happened last minute through Sen Golden. Ferrera wanted a seat and they gave it to him along with about 1000 other appointments they did that day. Senator Kruger who is on that committee didnt know until they voted on it and she is on the committee. What kind of logic thinks that they would have asked RIRA if they didnt ask the ranking member on that committee and then disregarded her request to table it. Balderdash!

Farance takes advantage of the fact that he has no reputation left to destroy as he does that fine by himself so people on his hit list of lies dont respond. I find it pathetic that he will respond to this blog followed by another name saying bravo or go Frank under it moments later. Nobody is fooled- they are the same person. Frank you are not getting back on the rioc board. The governor and community rejected you twice and will gladly do it again.

Zoilita said...

The stew is overcooked!  The saying that "too many cooks spoil the stew" is absolutely correct.  The RIRA has too many members who want to run this island.  They are the so called clique that is spoken about in this thread - mainly MTG members who meet at the Trellis Diner to rant over island politics.  They use Board members like Margie Smith (and former Board Member Jonathan Kalkin) to do their dirty work.  That's right people, Jonathan Kalkin is still in the mix.   Don't think because he is no longer a RIOC Board Member that he is out of the loop. 

The MTG Members (or the "cooks") know their plan not to hold an election for recommendations of RIOC Board Members back-fired on them.  Instead of admitting that and trying to devise another plan to get their way (which would be more respectable), they set out on a mission to bash a wonderful member of this community (Mr. Ferrera).  They even got Margie Smith to promulgate a letter to the Governor himself, complaining about Sal.  Amazing!  Now, Margie has written an article in the WIRE about "Democracy".  It is total Hipocracy!  She knows she violates Ethics Laws with what she does, but figures, nobody is going to do anything about it. 

Now the "cooks" will shift their attention to bashing Frank Farance.  Why?  Because he is speaking truths about what they are doing.  That's what they do when things don't go their way.  Roosevelt Island needs a new kitchen when it comes to RIRA.  Those cooks gotta go!. 

stmm said...

Frank Farance is the king of conflicts of interest and if you read his piece you will see massive gaps in his statement. 

1. He was for elections before he was against them. Now he doesn't want elections and he doesnt want them until privatization is complete. 

He fails to say that he is a member of the island house board and wants (to now) hold off electiions until he himself can benefit from privatization and gain monetarily from a deal his island house board and he directly agreed to. So elections are bad when they may effect Mr Farance's pocketbook. - the same reason he attacks others!

2. Farance fails to back up any of his assertions with documentation. His weapon like most propaganda is repetition. He doesn't give any information based on any numbers for his rivercross argument. Does he have a copy of any plans or agreement that he uses to base his claims on? No. He argues that the rioc board wrote a letter that was contrary to the law and they are not lawyers but he isn't either so how does he know its not legally right? Where is his statement from his lawyer or is he making it up as he goes along. He makes a lot of legal claims here without any lawyer stating it is right. I guess having that background is needed for board members to make a legal assertion (they have a lawyer) but Frank doesnt need it to say they are wrong or have a conflict. Where are the actual proven facts here based on your accusations that are not based on Farance's keen abilty to be an expert on this without any education or certification or even basic paperwork to back it up?

3. Farance tries to claim RIRA had a secret ballot to have elections in 2012. They didn't. The entire RIRA council voted this way in the open while he was president. The elections were never cancelled, they were scheduled for 2012 because the governor gave everyone different seat assignments (some one year, some 2, some 3) if the governor only replaced board members because there were no candidates then why did he replace only one of the three expired board members and not all of them. The answer is he didn't, because they have no idea whats going on here. They didnt say anything to our electeds because this happened last minute through Sen Golden. Ferrera wanted a seat and they gave it to him along with about 1000 other appointments they did that day. Senator Krueger who is on that committee didnt know until they voted on it and she is on the committee. What kind of logic thinks that they would have asked RIRA if they didnt ask the ranking member on that committee and then disregarded her request to table it. Balderdash! 

Farance takes advantage of the fact that he has no reputation left to destroy as he does that fine by himself so people on his hit list of lies dont respond. I find it pathetic that he will respond to this blog followed by another name saying bravo or go Frank under it moments later. Nobody is fooled- they are the same person. Frank you are not getting back on the rioc board. The governor and community rejected you twice and will gladly do it again. 

stmm said...

Frank Farance is the king of conflicts of interest and if you read his piece you will see massive gaps in his statement. 

1. He was for elections before he was against them. Now he doesn't want elections and he doesnt want them until privatization is complete. 

He fails to say that he is a member of the island house board and wants (to now) hold off electiions until he himself can benefit from privatization and gain monetarily from a deal his island house board and he directly agreed to. So elections are bad when they may effect Mr Farance's pocketbook. - the same reason he attacks others!

2. Farance fails to back up any of his assertions with documentation. His weapon like most propaganda is repetition. He doesn't give any information based on any numbers for his rivercross argument. Does he have a copy of any plans or agreement that he uses to base his claims on? No. He argues that the rioc board wrote a letter that was contrary to the law and they are not lawyers but he isn't either so how does he know its not legally right? Where is his statement from his lawyer or is he making it up as he goes along. He makes a lot of legal claims here without any lawyer stating it is right. I guess having that background is needed for board members to make a legal assertion (they have a lawyer) but Frank doesnt need it to say they are wrong or have a conflict. Where are the actual proven facts here based on your accusations that are not based on Farance's keen abilty to be an expert on this without any education or certification or even basic paperwork to back it up?

3. Farance tries to claim RIRA had a secret ballot to have elections in 2012. They didn't. The entire RIRA council voted this way in the open while he was president. The elections were never cancelled, they were scheduled for 2012 because the governor gave everyone different seat assignments (some one year, some 2, some 3) if the governor only replaced board members because there were no candidates then why did he replace only one of the three expired board members and not all of them. The answer is he didn't, because they have no idea whats going on here. They didnt say anything to our electeds because this happened last minute through Sen Golden. Ferrera wanted a seat and they gave it to him along with about 1000 other appointments they did that day. Senator Krueger who is on that committee didnt know until they voted on it and she is on the committee. What kind of logic thinks that they would have asked RIRA if they didnt ask the ranking member on that committee and then disregarded her request to table it. Balderdash! 

Farance takes advantage of the fact that he has no reputation left to destroy as he does that fine by himself so people on his hit list of lies dont respond. I find it pathetic that he will respond to this blog followed by another name saying bravo or go Frank under it moments later. Nobody is fooled- they are the same person. Frank you are not getting back on the rioc board. The governor and community rejected you twice and will gladly do it again. 

Islandresident540 said...

.I think diversity on the RIOC board serves a productive purpose.Margie needs to abstain from voting on any RIOC board decisions pertaing to the Rivercross privatization. Is that not why her good buddy Jonathan was replaced on the RIOC board ?Making side deals with Hudson Related ? Oh No ! According to their little  Island "click" ...Their make-up don't smudge !! If anybody needs to step aside is Margie ! You know what ? Infact the governor needs to replace all 4......Nothing has been accomplished with that current board anyway...If the Rivercross privatization fall through evryone can thank MARGIE SMITH!!!!!!Queen conflict....

Islandresident540 said...

I totally agree with you and Frank.However, The issue still exists that there are still the Nay sayers of the Island.aka (TROUBLE MAKERS).For No apparent reason they are attacking the governor for exercising his executive right. Where in the H*** do these people like the "DEMOCRACY" committee aka the government relations committee authority derive under RIRA ? Out of 15000 residents only 25 claim to have their democracy violated.. Bill Long who  is he ? He has no tenure in the community. This person been on RIRA for less than a year and Matt Katz appoints him to the chairmanship without the full Common Council consensus.Rediculous ! As far as RIRA goes they make the rules as they go along...What good is a Residents association when RIOC  dismisses every resoloution passed by RIRA ?Most people get more things accomplished without the confusion of RIRA. Although There are still a few good old time councilors in RIRA, But the real activist councilors---They all are New !!!

RooseveltIslander said...

Your allegations about side deals are absolutely ridiculous and totally without any basis in fact. They are lies.

Don't hide behind anonymity if you want to make a charge like that.

RooseveltIslander said...

I am extremely reluctant to remove reader comments but in this instance you are essentially alleging a crime has occurred without providing any evidence.

Don't accuse a RIOC Director of making "side deals with Hudson Related" unless you are willing to put your name to the charge.

That's why your comment has been removed.

Guest said...

What a bunch of lunatics on this thread.

Vinicius Fortuna said...

I think there's a lot of misinformation here. Most of RIRA is from Manhattan Park, Octagon and Southtown. They elect 24 members, while the WIRE elect 18:
https://docs.google.com/fileview?id=1Cf8TBmtbiJzM42TYIIs9ibsC3ZJfVxHdXMYkYt01-XGe5KndZqxXiPOYw_LS&hl=enSo the claim that RIRA is dominated by the WIRE buildings or the Maple Tree Group is plain right wrong.

Also, last election we had 1470 votes. That's more than 10% of the island, which is a pretty good sample. It's also incorrect to say they are not representative of the island.

Yes, those that did not vote or did not run may complain now, but it's not fair to say that RIRA doesn't represent them now. In the next election, please run for a position or vote. You can also join any committee at any time (including the Democracy team!) And put the effort to make RIRA a better place. And remember they are all volunteers spending their free time to help the community.

Good Kitty said...

The executives of RIRA - Pres, VP, Treas, Sec'y - are all from WIRE buildings.  Most of the committee chairs - WIRE buildings.  The MTG is composed primarily of WIRE building residents.  There's nothing wrong with WIRE residents disproportionately represented in executive/chair positions - as long as the same people do not keep popping up year after year.  There should be term limits for executive/chair/RIOC board member positions to prevent cliques from forming.  

MaMabird said...

Vinicius, you must know that most of the RiRA is old school RI, and that fact that 9 new members are from Southtown does not mean a lot right now...it will take time for your voice to be heard and really heard. Matt Katz, his wife and his team, the treasurer, the accountant, tell, me, where do they live and how long do they have RIRA ties? 

1470 votes out of the 14,000 that live here tells you that RIRA does not have the island residents best interest at heart, if so, more of the island people would have turned out to vote. They know that what they say or want on the island does not matter, at the RIRA meetings, they are nasty, rude and just plain riduculous. More like a yelling match that what is good for the common people here oon the island. Please can you make sure that any money that RIRA collects form movie and tv shoots go to the people  of the island? I would like to see a list of the money sollicited by Katz and his wife. I have been told that some residents in the older buildings get check for their inconvenienc, well, people in southtown are bothered by all the noise and goings on. Where is our check? 

MaMabird said...

Mr. Kramer should be presdident of RIRA, he knows what would be best for the island and the residents.

moishefeldman65 said...

There obviously is a history of conflicts of interest on RIRA / RIOC
councilors and RIOC directors. There was a lady who resigned from RIRA a few
weeks ago .This individal was a walking conflict.She was chair of the election
committee on RIRA , Chair of the government relations committee on RIRA. Mind
you all of this occurred while this lady was witnessed by several Hundred Island
residents couting all of the Ballots during this last election....Meanwhile she
is totally involved in the DEMOCRACY group .Challenging conflicts of interest
with the executive of the child school. Wow!!! Just wait until the PSC hand down
their sub metering decision for Eastwood. Residents will then acknowledge all
the B**S**t Said by This individual...Why cant all these organizations make fair
and community friendly bylaws? No resident wants to be part of a organization
that disenfranchises various segments of the community ...Then it winds up
becoming a public argument/ Public bashing of each other ,disagreements &
hersay... This information recently disclosed about RIOC directors is
tremendously embarassing !! If most people notice there are about (11 ) former
RIRA members that don't even be bothered anymore.. That's a shame ... Community
leaders WAKE-UP ! Stick to the issues leave your personal issues at the
door..Island officials They are becoming the laughing stock of the 7th
district..Start creating programs and services for island residents.Nothing
productive have come out of RIRA or RIOC thus far.There are maybe 2 handfuls of
RIRA members that give back !!! I guess it's easier to point blame...

Good luck ! I ratherto be involved .....I rather pay my bill for where me and
my family live and stay out of this double standard -clown
fair....

Areyoulost said...

Frank, what god damb by-laws?

It's a made up council with rules however needs to bend.

It's not a damn council enacted by legislature.

It's a friggin clubhouse for crying out loud.

Get your head out your ass my good man and you shall then realize that it's just a big giant steamy pile of bull crap.

All It is, is a FANTAZY MEMBERS ONLY CLUB.

Look at the criminals on RIRA, that should tell you enough.

Vinicius Fortuna said...

You are right about the officers (Pres, VP, Treasurer and Secretary). They are all from the WIRE buildings. (Here is the list http://www.riraonline.com/about)

However, that's not true for the chairs anymore. You can find the chair of each committee on their pages in our website (www.riraonline.com). Here is the list:
Communications: Vini (me) - Southtown
Gov. Relations: Bill Long - Octagon
Housing: Helen Chirivas - Island House
Island Services: Aaron Hamburguer - Southtown
Planning: Frank Farance - Island House
Public Safety: Erin Feely-Nahem - Westview
Social, Cultural & Educational: Lynne Shinozaki - Manhattan Park
Constitution & Bylaws: Dave Evans - Southtown

What I want to say is that I believe things are changing. Slowly. At least, the committees are changing and the relative proportions of the buldings. I agree that it can be frustrating to see the same people over and over again at the head of RIRA. One big problem is that it's not easy to be the president. It takes a lot of time and effort, and requires a lot of experience on the island, which essentially eliminates new blood.

And if you impose term limits, we may end up with no one in the executive positions! Remember that all the members are voluntary. No one receives anything for that and they dedicate their (sometimes little) free time

It seems to me that's a hard problem to solve, but I would love to hear suggestions to solve it.

On another front, I believe RIRA has a huge communications problem. RIRA doesn't communicate with the community well. People don't know what RIRA is doing. People hear about RIRA on Frank's rants. There's a lot misinformation. The lack of communication doesn't help, and that causes the perception of hidden agendas and secrecy. But that's not the case. Unlike some may think, you don't see deliberate efforts to hide information and act behind other people's back. The problem is just that the information doesn't get out there.

As the Communication Chair, I've been spending a lot of effort to fix that. I've already set up the website (www.riraonline.com), the Facebook (www.facebook.com/riraonline), and Twitter (www.twitter.com/riraonline) to help opening the communication channels with the community. We also have a calendar of RIRA events and meetings (www.riraonline.com/calendar). So the plumbing have been laid out. Now it's time to get the information flowing. My next step is to get RIRA members (specially chairs) to get content online. I want people to know everything that is going on on RIRA. My ultimate (maybe ambitious) goal is to  get residents to trust RIRA, and get more involved. If we are able to make the community more engaged, maybe we'll have more volunteers and candidates for the association, and the extra members and diversity will result in better representatives, solving some of the problems you pointed out.

Changes said...

How about publishing the RIRA president's bullet points on this blog again instead of just in the WIRE? The problem with the RIRA is indeed a communications problem. The other problem is that new ideas are usually rejected from the get-go, i.e. young blood can easily be discouraged.

Cutekitten said...

Vini, I want you to investigate the issue of money being collected from TV and Movie shoots here. I have been told that some in the WIRE buildings get check for their " inconvenience " during these things. If one residents gets money from the movie and tv shoots, all should that are on the set in their buildings, or that are bothered in any way from these movie and tv sets that intrude into our lives. Matt K and his wife were soliciting in Southtown while White collar was being shot for a few days. They collected 500 dollars, and collected 2,000.00 from the crew of Unforgettable and they collect this money in the name of RIRA???? I would like to see a list of anyone that gets checks from these shoots. Also the 88,000.00 collected in fees by RIOC, I want to see a breakdown in the Wire and on here just where does that money go? I feel that too many people have their hands in the pots when it comes to RI money and fees for TV shoots, and etc.

Can you make that happen? Where is the check for people in Southtown that were bothered day to day for each and every TV and movie shoot that happens here?

Southtowngirl said...

Vini show the people of Southtown that you members from building here care about those that live herel For years RIRA has only shown interest in their buildings and their area of the island. Southtown needs more bus stops. All bus stops should be spaced out at even stops on the island. When films or TV shows are shot here, distribute the fee money collected from RIRA and RIOC the residents living here in the thick of it all and that are frustrated with the noise and other frustrations from all the hubub. They crowd our elevators, they come in and tell us where and when we can walk on the sidewalk and board the tram. They are loud, leave skid marks on the streets and with there megaphones and speakers and really just use us, the island to make their millions....RIOC collects thousands and thousands of dollars for their fee..how about our fee for our time and using our home to make their bank accounts bigger? 

Showmethemoney said...

What has Matt Katz and RIOC been doing with all the money from movie shoots and TV shoots for the man years as he bragged in the Wire? His friend and neighbor the accountant may know about money he and his wife have collected. A list should be posted where all those funds went...hundreds of tv and movies have been shot here...so, show me the money!

Vinicius Fortuna said...

That's a good question. I'm aware that a request for money was made, but I don't know whether money was received. What is the source of your information?

Here is the latest RIRA Treasury report:
https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=cmlyYW9ubGluZS5jb218d3d3fGd4OjFlMmViNmRkMzdhYmQ1Zg

I didn't find those deposits in there. I'll ask them about it. But I encourage you to come to the Council meeting tonight (Wednesday) at 8pm at the Church and ask about it yourself at the beginning during the time open to anyone to speak.

RooseveltIslander said...

The RIRA President has allowed the WIRE editor to decide if and in what form the RIRA President's column can appear in this Blog. The WIRE Editor will only allow a small snippet of the RIRA President's Column to appear in this Blog with a link to the rest of the column to the WIRE web site. The WIRE editor believes that the content of the RIRA President's column belongs to the WIRE and not to the RIRA President.

I will not agree to that but am happy to publish the full column and link back to the WIRE as I did under the former RIRA President for the 2 previous years.

The WIRE editor also tried to persuade the RIOC President not to  permit her column on the Blog except under the conditions described above.

The RIOC  President refused to comply with the Wire Editor's request.

more info on this issue from December 2010 post.

The WIRE editor does allow the RIRA President's column to appear on the RIRA web site.

Vinicius Fortuna said...

I just found out that the reason we don’t see anything in this month's treasury report is that the checks were not received and picked up from the RIRA post office box until yesterday. The solicitations and the companies' responses were all within the past month.  It usually takes some time to get the checks. You should see them in the next month's report.

Vinicius Fortuna said...

Come people, there's no need for all that aggressiveness here.

They had just picked up the check yesterday. You will see it in the next month's Treasury report, which, if you are concerned, you can find at http://www.riraonline.com/files

Vinicius Fortuna said...

It's wrong to say "For years RIRA has only shown interest in their buildings and their area of the island.". RIRA includes residents from all the island parts, so it's not about certain buildings. Maybe you meant to refer to certain people.

In any case, it's not a bad thing that RIOC gets the bulk of money. That goes towards the money they have to spend back on the island. Maybe some of that will come back as better buses, fields, tram, maintenace at some point, and everyone benefits.

JimmyLaRoche said...

Don't you have a Financial secretary for this stuff? Why are you answering this and defending this? RIRA is a joke and it's a social club with a feeling of power, but at the same time, don't have a lick of it.

ShakyH said...

The RIRA is known to make a distinction between the folks in the WIRE buildings and the "moneyed" people in Southtown and the Octagon. This has been going on for years! After that little incident rather recently that caused the "censorship" of committee reports it kind of mellowed down.

Chris Fuller said...

Hey Vini,

I think I have to take issue with the notion that a 10% turnout equates to a represenative cross-section of the Island population as a whole.  Do you have any stats that profile the demographic of that 10%?

Thanks,

Chris

CheshireKitty said...

The way the seats on RIRA are allocated results in under-representation of residents from 2-4 River Road and Roosevelt Landings.  There are more residents per apartment in those buildings - much larger families. 

RIRA should take into account Census info in formulating the allocation of RIRA seats, not just the number of apartments per building.  The US Government allocates representation using the Census info, not the number of houses or apartments in a district.  RIRA should do the same thing. 

Although it is not currently reflected  in RIRA, the majority of  residents -- of all ages -- on RI actually reside in the WIRE buildings + Manhattan Park. 

Rick or Vini - if I am wrong, I would be happy to be stand corrected. 

You are the computer mavens - it would probably be fairly easy to obtain the actual Census info of each building on RI, then add it up, and then see if what I write isn't in fact true:  There are more people packed into each of the apartments of Roosevelt Landings & 2-4 River Road than in the other buildings of RI. 

Representation in RIRA should be allocated according to population, not number of apartments in each building, as is currently done.  Doing this would result in a much larger number of seats for Roosevelt Landings and 2-4 River Road, which is the way representation is allocated in the US government. 

RooseveltIslander said...

From RIRA Secretary Sherrie Helstien:
"Hello, Jimmy-
 
First, a sincere thanks for signing your name.  Shows you have the courage of your convictions-I seriously appreciate that.   
 
Vini
is RIRA's Communications Chair and is rightly responding on behalf of
RIRA.  If you don't like his response, then you can always contact
Russell Fields, our Treasurer for more detailed financial info on RIRA’s
finances.  However, it's fine that Vini speaks for us.  You ought to
join us at a RIRA meeting and talk to your fellow residents who were
voted onto the Common Council.  Do you actually know who your building
reps are?  If not, you can find out on the RIRAonline.org website or you
can email Matthew or me (helkatz@verizon.net) for more information.  Matt’s email address is listed in the WIRE’s RIRA column.  
 
I
welcome you to run in the next RIRA election, for a seat on the Common
Council so that you can join our "social club" as you put it.  Why not
be part of this group that has put on a fabulously successful 1st
Annujal Cherry Blossom Festival raising nearly $9000 entirely for
Japanese relief, a SkateRI event as part of RIOC's Health and Fitness
Day, with proceeds coming back to RIRA, and the upcoming 9/11 Memorial? 
I presume you will be there to show your respect and care for some or
our lost neighbors and the RI Special Ops losses also.  We have a simple
but terrific progam planned.  I don't think any of this could possibly
be considered onerous--and certainly not by our neighbors who have both
benefitted from our very hard work and enjoyed the fun we were able to
provide, or in more serious cases, felt the respect we have for our
neighbors.  We always need volunteers to help us--will you be one of
those helpers?  Please check out our committees and join one.  Every
resident is a member of RIRA, by virtue of living here, as you probably
know, so you CAN be part of what you, not so wrongly describe as a
"social club" while helping us do some serious work too. 

And as for Cutekitten, what’s your real name, darling’?  -
 
RIRA
has a committee called Island Services, which might be able to
intercede in some of the difficulties produced by film companies coming
here.  RIOC is responsible for making sure that residents can come and
go with reasonable ease, but sometimes the film companies do impede on
some of the residents.  Buildings do not, as far as I know get money
from the companies, unless, probably, they are using a particular
residential building, such as when Eastwood was used during the “Dark
Water” shoot, or possibly when the school was used as a “rest area” for
some actors.  I have NEVER heard of any individual resident receiving
money from the film companies.  I believe you've completely
misunderstood how RIRA gets that money and where it goes.  You should
have been at the meeting last night and you would have seen Matthew hand
over the two checks we received a month after enquiring and asking for
it, to our treasurer for deposit.  And no, we have no shame going to the
film companies asking for money for the RESIDENTS Association, to
enable us to try to do some fun and some educational events.  Period. 
If you have another way for us to get some money, come join the SC&E
Committee with your great ideas, and be prepared to not just talk but
to work with the rest of us!
 
Hope
to see you both at the October RIRA meeting, the first Wednesday of the
month.  You can come up to us before we start and introduce yourselves
and see what happens with your own eyes, instead of guessing and putting
out innuendos that are truly baseless, mean and unwarranted " 
 
Ms Helstien asked me to post this comment for her.
 
Best regards to you both,

xob said...

yea, vinicius fortuna , what are you doing about keeping affordable apartments on  this island. like keeping rivercross affordable .., for  the next  generation of  young people to have an opportunity to have an affordable  co-op apartment . as you know torres cant say anything against this because she will lose her  job , just like the last rioc pres.,i know you dont care because you and your wife .between the both of you  you 2 are good for over 200 grant a year .

RooseveltIslander said...

As you know, he and other RIRA Council members have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with keeping Rivercross privatization affordable so stop the gratuitous attack.

xob said...

yea then , what is it that rira doses . what are they good for . please tell me .

xob said...

matt katz is a joke , he thinks that the rira means something on this island .all of them are one big joke . they all need to get a life .lol lol lol lol lol lol 

CheshireKitty said...

I don't think it was right to have an interim Committee chairman basically appointed.  The most logical thing would have been for (1) Either Matt to take over the Cttee until a Chairman was elected or (2) Have the Committee Members select an Acting Chairman from among themselves. 

CheshireKitty said...

Also - don't forget - many are elected/nominated, but few are actually appointed Board members.  If anything, it's a sign of independence that someone is not appointed.  Isn't it logical that the Governor may prefer Board members that may be more "compliant" rather than independent?  So I wouldn't hold non-appointment against Frank or all of the other nominees that were never never appointed to the Board.  

Frank Farance said...

Rick, that's not actually true.  The affordability portions of the Island are in the General Development Plan (GDP is part of the Roosevelt Island lease from City to State) and the WIRE buildings must conform to.  The State (via RIOC) and the City are ones that enforce this.  There are some problems with the present GDP (because RIOC has allowed Eastwood to become market rate and violate the GDP) and the GDP will probably have to be modified to right-size itself for the buildings post Mitchell-Lama <-- GDP amendments is one of topics in the Programme of Work for RIRA Planning Committee (I'm chair).

In the past, RIRA has sued on the GDP and lost because it is not a party in the contract, even though we are affected by the GDP.  My point is that RIRA has expressed itself many times over the years on its desire for preservation of affordable housing.  And RIRA has always had strong opinions on the GDP.

However, the RIOC board *is* involved in decision-making on affordability (along with ESDC and DHCR).  Simply, the RIOC board has the *power* to control these kinds of terms, whether or not they use this power is up to them (you've already heard my points on conflicts of interest in the RIOC board).

Steve Shane saw several major mistakes in prior RIOC real estate decisions: (1) the lost of 1000 units of affordable housing in Eastwood, now transitioning to market rate, (2) the very little money taken from the developers on Octagon, Southtown 1+2, and other development transactions <-- which translates into poor long-term RIOC finances.  He didn't want that to happen again.  He wanted to preserve affordable housing (to the extent practicable), and he wanted to make sure RIOC got its fair share of money on these M-L privatizations (Rivercross, Island House, Westview).

I believe many people miss a point about these ground leases: one reason the M-L buildings were given short ground leases (expiring circa 2020) rather than ending with the Island lease in 2068, is that the State knew these buildings would be coming out of M-L and possibly going market rate.  By creating another checkpoint 40 years later (circa 2020), it gave the State (previously UDC, now RIOC) the opportunity to voice its concerns (e.g., "want to preserve affordable housing") at this decision point and for RIOC to make appropriate housing decisions (which could not have been envisioned in such detail 40 years ago) when the ground leases came up for renewal.

REALLY, RIOC holds the cards on the ground lease renewal.  If $200-400 million of profits are going to be made in a privatization and RIOC controls how much profit each of those owners make, then 4 of 7 directors residing in that building is a serious conflict of interest.

Frank Farance said...

For committee chairs, the RIRA By-Laws require the Common Council to elect the chair.  Assuming we had at least one candidate (presumably Mr. Long end-of-June), then RIRA could have officially elected him via E-mail ballot.  We've done E-mail ballots before in RIRA to handle exactly this kind of situation: something official action needs to get done quickly, and there is not enough time to schedule a meeting.

In Mr. Katz' E-mail of 08-24 15:51, he explains "I take
responsibility for this unorthodox appointment and have heard precious
little discussion, much less complaint, from anyone but Frank."

My response was "... Matt said that he heard only one complaint about the process.  As the
originator of that complaint, and a parliamentarian for RIRA for the
past 15 years and a member of the RIRA By-Laws Ad Hoc committee, it
seems odd that he would be dismissive of my complaint on process.  How
many and what kind of people would it take to get the RIRA President's
attention about a process issue?".

In summary, RIRA has a process for filling a committee chair's position, and our process permits expediting it so we can respond timely.  Regardless of my complaint, Mr. Katz chose not to follow RIRA's procedures.  He didn't inquire further on what I thought was wrong and how he might do it right.  It appeared, he was not interested in listening.

JimmyLaRoche said...

Frank, you said RIRA by laws, but who gave RIRA any lawful authority to represent the residents? This is one of my biggest gripes with RIRA.

I don't feel their need or purpose in their current state.

Frank Farance said...

Corporations, such as RIRA, have "by-laws" that describe how the corporation operates legally.  Some corporations and organizations separate this into a "constitution" (a higher document that sets out general principles) and "by-laws" (a lower document that details the process and procedure).  This is a common approach, look at Roberts Rules of Order, which gives suggestions on these kinds of things.

Although the RIRA Constituion Preamble states:

"We, the residents of Roosevelt Island, come from diverse backgrounds and have diverse interests and circumstances. We all want to live together in harmony based on mutual respect and the voluntary sharing of certain responsibilities for our common good. We form this community association to enable us to define, maintain and promote our common objectives in a democratic manner."

and RIRA Constitution Purpose states:

"The purposes of RIRA are: 1) to represent the interests of its members to all governmental, quasi- governmental and private institutions that develop policy affecting Roosevelt Island and its residents; that supervise or manage our housing and that supervise or manage other Island operations; and 2) to ensure that the health, safety and welfare of its members and the quality of life in our community are maintained and improved."

that does not give RIRA the right to represent residents or represent residents exclusively.

However, over time RIRA has weighed in on a variety of issues, including affordable housing and RIOC governance.  DHCR has come to recognize that RIRA represents the residents as a whole.

With the replacement of the Goldwater Hospital with (say) a college campus, RIRA *can not* represent the interests of Roosevelt Island.  One reason is: RIRA only represents some of the residents (but only the residents on the State-leased portion of the Island) and it doesn't represent other stakeholders, such as merchants, institutions, developers, and so on (a Community Board has more comprehensive representation).

Some government entities, like DHCR, are concerned about housing and only on the State-leased portion of Roosevelt Island, which makes RIRA a good match for representing the interests of those constituents and those concerns.

In summary, RIRA's representation of the residents is "aspirational" and recognized by DHCR and some other government entities, but (to my knowledge) RIRA has not been designated by law as THE SOLE organization representing the residents.  Some of the buildings have tenant associations, which represent their tenants, too.

xob said...

the ground lease was transferred to the  building owner from rioc at building exit from  the mitchell lama program upon the condition that all the tenants be protected from unaffordable market rate rents. whereas, the owner agreed  in writing to  the above and moreover to implement the above signed  an agreement with the tenants promising that all tenants would be placed either in section 8  or if income ineligible for sec8 ,in the landlord assistance program  lap  which  would keep rents affordable in accordance with the rent guidelines of  the rent stabilization board plus  one  percent. whereas, it has now come to the attention of the roosevelt island residents association that  sec 8  tenants ,if their income eventually renders them  income ineligible for sec 8,  are contrary to  the above conditions of the transfer of  the ground lease ,as well as the  agreement worked out  by  the owner and  tenants ,these tenants are then unjustly  billed  unaffordable  market rate rents , although they are still a part of the original  group of  tenants. there we the roosevelt island residents association raise our voices today to urge that  the building owner   ensure that  those roosevelt landings sec.8 tenants that may  become income ineligible to receive  sec8 support, be  automatically  into  the lap  program. this is the only just and logical step to ensure that the conditions set by rioc for the transfer of the ground lease, continue to be met .frank i pull this up for you to read. as you are  my only hope that you can help me . as i given this to matt katz many many months ago and he says he  doses not want to help us . he doses not  want  to help tenants in eastwood. well then why the hell is he the pres,of the rira.

xob said...

thousands of city tenants in subsidized housing scored a legal victory yesterday to keep rents low in some of the swankest swaths of  the city , a panel of appellate judges upheld a lower courts ruling that barred landlords who left the mitchell lama housing program from raising rents to market rates.the case ,which affects dozens of properties was brought by the owner of a central park apartment complex that left the  half century old  mitchell lama program in 2006. although many of the units remained rent stabilized , the landlord ,columbus 95 street llc   , sought to raise rents by as  much as  five times .  i am ecsatatic.  said sue susman a tenant affected by the  decision,. everybody who needs affordable rent should be  able to get it.  if all  these apartments become deregulated or unaffordable, then the people who work in the city will not have a place to live,,this is for you ron vass ,you sold out  the  tenants of eastwood so you can get a good deal for yourself ,shame on you , i should sue you for the money you collected from sec8 tenants, for a lawyer when the lawyer was for the lap tenants , the lawyer  did nothing for sec8 tenants every tenant who was placed in sec8, and gave money to you  to pay for a  lawyer , should demand their money  back , sec8 tenants like me paid for your lawyer , i want my money  back .i will be  talking to a lawyer about this .the lawyer did not represent sec8 tenants.sec8 tenants were not represented,but you still took our money shame on you ,

JimmyLaRoche said...

So frank, basically what you are telling me is that RIRA is a made up organization, who made up their own by laws and nested their way into the hearts if DHCR as a community organization that represents the people.

Sorry to keep nocking it, take it as outside criticism, but it's a failure and it's a social club at best.

I have yet to see some real change other that a bunch of yelling, bickering and pouting if things don't get done a certain way.

For example, when we lost our lone sheriff(yea,ok), nobody stepped up to FIX the tools we have now ALREADY IN PLACE ONI THE ISLAND, instead a bunch of yelling, bickering, pouting and kissing the commander of the 114 to have a replacement officer. In reality, this doesn't fix a problem but instead it creates a bandage.

I have yet to see RIRA commit to good directional change instead of bandaging things up.

This is why my friend, a total complete, utter joke of all jokes.

Bandages do not fix things, it just covers up a wound. The body itself heals, and the RIRA has no body.

cutekitten said...

to quote Sheri Katz...


" You can come up to us before we start and introduce yourselves and see what happens with your own eyes, instead of guessing and putting out innuendos that are truly baseless, mean and unwarranted "  

there is nothing mean or unwarranted about asking where money is going that you are holding your hand out for saying you represent me or other islanders. I want to know where each penny goes...I also would like to know if the treasure Mr. Russell Feilds your personal accountant as well as the treasurer for the group know as RIRA? If so, wouldn't that be a huge conflice of interest? Husband and wife being in charge of RIRA is also a conflict of interest in my book, but I guess if you guys can make a living at it. I love hearing about your trip to Africa in the RIRA column...I have no clue what that has to do with what the residents here on the island need and are in search of to live here and what the children here need...but I know reading the Wire it always updates the islanders on what you guys love to do and how you spen your personal time. 

Now, when will you post a chart and list each month in the Wire or the Roosevelt islander for everyone to know where the funds are going and how they are being spent?

Please honor us with presenting this to the public each month...it is interesting to know how much you collect on the residents of Roosevelt Island. You and RIOC seem to collect a lot of funds from the movie and TV industry...that would be good for us here to improve our day to day lives...please present what you will be doing with the funds so we may thank you for your hard work in your ventures.

I and others will be waiting to read the log of funds coming in and out of RIRA :) thank you~

cutekitten said...

I really feel that RIOC, RIRA and the RI historical society are all full of a lot of " conflict of interest " with the new 4 Freedoms Park being built I am a firm believer that some of the money collected to build the park and or parks from wealthy individuals and companies is being handed around without being put in print where it all is going. I think as being someone that live here on the island and paying rent, taxes and association fees we all are intitled to know how much money is being collected and from whom. Also, RIOC and Matt Katz and his friends may want a school campus here, but I and other residents to not see big dollar signs in this possible venture for a college campus here. I think our voices should be heard. 

CheshireKitty said...

Did anybody notice that Gov. Cuomo referred to FDR's 4 Freedoms in this speech at Ground Zero today?  I was thrilled that he referred to the New Deal President who not only defeated the fascists and won the War but also gave us Social Security the foundation for our social safety-net system.  And FDR's 4 Freedoms - his soaring vision for us and the world - will be inscribed on the FDR memorial now taking shape at Southpoint Park! 

Remember fellow RI-ers - one of the 4 Freedoms is freedom from want - this directly points to government responsibility to ensure people are fed etc if they age, or become disabled, or jobs disappear.  This social compact of caring for workers when they no longer can work or are unable to work because of a lack of jobs, is implemented here via Social Security  as well as unemployment insurance. 

You can be sure the Republicans in Congress will block the Jobs Bill that Pres. Obama just announced. 

Moreover, Social Security is today in the cross-hairs of the Republican Party, members of which have sworn an oath promising to destroy Social Security - FDR's legacy of humane compassion. 

If there is anything that should energize voters to unite to face and defeat this threat from the extreme right-wing, it should be the Republican vow to dismantle Social Security if they win the White House and take over the Senate as well as the House. 

If the Republicans win, their recipe for joblessness and "retirement" is going to look awfully like a 21st Century version of the shantytowns, hobo  encampments etc of the 19th Century.  Except for the 1% of our country that controls a ridiculous amount of our nation's wealth, is there anybody who really wants to go back to the Dickensian "olden days"?  

As a RI resident, I am especially proud that Gov. Cuomo took the opportunity of today's Ground Zero observance to highlight FDR's awesome humanity, courage and compassion in being the author of the 4 Freedoms!  Let Freedom ring! 

Frank Farance said...

Over the years, the residents have been significantly inconvenienced by film shoots on RI.  Moreover, the residents have received very little in return.  RIOC would argue that the $88K made it cheaper for (say) your children to use a field, for you to use Sportspark pool, and so on.  I understand that might be a hard argument to counter, but truly it never *feels* like we get any benefit.

In other neighborhoods in the City, people come hat-in-hand to get some handout from the film crew.

Previously, Steve Shane was concerned that people like Ms. Helstein would harangue film crews (Ms. Helstein is well known for being rude and unpleasant), which might cause problems with RIOC supplying the service the film crew had permitted for.  Mr. Katz pushed back and Mr. Shane said he would enforce his position on solicitation.  Now there was a perfectly legitimate way of getting a City-wide permit/license for solicitation (which Mr. Shane would respect), but for whatever reason Mr. Katz did not get the paperwork completed.

Finally, I point out that I had a hand in some of this.  After the film crew completed shooting Unforgettable, a woman called me from the studio and asked if there were any Island organizations that she could contribute to.  I mentioned Roosevelt Island Youth Program (right next door at 506 Main Street) because their programming and activities were inconvenienced by the filming.  I also mentioned Island Kids who had already permitted the 504 Main Street space for their summer camp, and RIOC was moving them out of 504 Main to make way for filming (which caused a huge inconvenience getting Health Department permits all over again, and other extra work for the camp).  And I mentioned RIRA as a worthy Island organization.  I did not discuss any monies with the studio and referred them directly to each of the organizations.

I agree with you their might be concerns about soliciting.  Mr. Katz knows what is required, but he has not yet received the appropriate permits/license.  I think he should follow the proper process to completion.

And I agree that there should be some better balance with RIOC's desire for fees and the residents inconvenience during film shoots.

JimmyLaRoche said...

I know for a fact that RIRA basically threatens these companies with a " you better or else". It's pathetic.

Frank Farance said...

As Common Council members, we receive the Agenda Package every month and most of it is embargoed by this dumb (new) rule that we can't let you residents know what is going on *before* the meeting occurs (thank you Mr. Katz for supporting the secrecy rule).

The Agenda Package usually includes a treasury report.  The problem is (1) the Treasurer (Mr. Fields) usually leaves the bank account info in the report (something you wouldn't want to post publicly), and (2) Mr. Fortuna, as Communications Chair, could post these reports regularly (assuming the account number was redacted), but he has posted extremely few documents, reports, etc., i.e., almost none.

Several Common Council members have complained about the two items above, but nothing has been done about them.

Finally, I agree with Mr. Fortuna that it can take a month or so before the checks are posted on the Treasurer's report we receive.  I haven't had any reason to doubt Mr. Fields accounting of RIRA's finances.

JimmyLaRoche said...

Dear Frank, this is why we all believe RIRA is a joke and a bull crap social club so people can feel "empowered".

Face it, it stinks as potent as a skunks behind.

It needs to go and restructured with people who care and not by those who want to be in the know and in control.

Your not bad, keep up the good work, it's the others who think they are hot stuff that need to go.

If YOU(RIRA) are taking money by means of extorsion, that's a bad look. Sorry but going to production executives and telling them if they don't pay up, there will be a boycott and all other types of juvenile threats, it's a very bad look on all of you. Let's not try to cover this up as the production people are more than happy to talk about it if asked. Just gotta find the right person to talk to.

Vinicius Fortuna said...

Chris,

All the stats I have are the elections numbers: https://docs.google.com/leaf?id=1Cf8TBmtbiJzM42TYIIs9ibsC3ZJfVxHdXMYkYt01-XGe5KndZqxXiPOYw_LS&hl=en_US

I think you have a valid point. If you look at the voters distribution per building, there's definitely a higher turnout in the WIRE buildings (in voters per slots, where the slots correspond to the number of people in the buildings).

Vinicius Fortuna said...

What I'm doing is helping residents be more informed about RIRA's activities. I'm providing you all the information to get involved in RIRA and help your community. Now it's only up to you to spend your own time helping the community.

You speak as if it's my responsibility to provide you affordable housing. But I'm not any more responsible than you are. If you want to have any sort of input in the direction of that process, take action! You claim that I don't care about it, but apparently I do much more than you do.

cutekitten said...

you should have been in charge of RIOC...I believe the kids on this island should get a huge portion of any money from these shoots here...also the bathrooms and showers at the Sports Park Pool need a good cleaning and updating.

I hope you run again.

cutekitten said...

you should have been in charge of RIRA, but RIOC too would be a good place for you

cutekitten said...

I like that you let people know some facts and do not hold back. I do not trust RIRA as is, and will not till a complete overhaul is made and the peopl on RIRA care about ALL people that live on this island and not just their friends and neighbors. 

RIRA seems shady and a bit secretive. How will you ever get people to trust such a gang of folk like that? 

I think the Wire papaer needs overhauling as well, and the sugar coating of issues has to stop. thanks for your kinds and honest replies. You have my vote if you run again

Frank Farance said...

Mr. Fortuna seems to have forgotten the point: RIRA Common Council members are elected to represent *you* the residents.  I can't imagine one of our elected politicians reacting to a constituent's concern with "No, that's your problem".  RIRA Common Council members have the ability to make decisions for RIRA and, thus, advocate the Island residents' position.

Mr. Fortuna, when you said "Now it's only up to you to spend your own time helping the community ... If you want to have any sort of input in the direction of that process, take action!", how did you expect that to happen without RIRA's involvement? You and I, as Common Council members, along with others, would have to inform ourselves, formulate positions, and make decisions, right?  You seem to not want to do that.

Mr. Fortuna, you like this RIRA Democracy activity (which is really about representative democracy), but you say "I'm not any more responsible as you are", which is not true.  As a representative in a representative democracy, you have more responsibility ... certainly at least a responsibility to listen and learn from constituents and, ultimately, advocate their concerns.

Vinicius Fortuna said...

What I meant was me as a common individual. It's no individual's responsibility to fight for affordable housing for someone else. People like "xob" can do as much as me as an individual. The difference is that I've opted to engage and help the community by joining RIRA. Now I *am* doing my part as a RIRA member (a representative as opposed to a common individual). Gratuitous attacks like that are unwarranted, and just help putting off the very few people like me that are willing to spend the time and energy for the common good.

Frank Farance said...

Mr. Fortuna, I've read three times your original comment to "xob" and your response above.  I still don't have the sense that you are committing to (1) representative democracy, (2) informing yourself on constituents' concerns, (3) representing constituents' interests in RIRA meetings.  It's these points that give you (and the the rest of the CC) more responsibility than other residents.

You frame as a "gratuitous attack", but you seem to be evasive in response to xob and the above points.  For example, you say "It's no individual's responsibility to fight for affordable housing for someone else" along with your prior statement "You speak as if it's my responsibility to provide you affordable housing. But I'm not any more responsible than you are.".

These kinds of responses sound evasive to my ears: you told us what is not your responsibility and you said that you've "opted to engage" but not necessarily to xob's points.  Which goes back to my point in the first paragraph. 

Chris Fuller said...

Vini, I agree with you that any "common indivual" (odd choice of words but whatever), unentangled with political associations, can have as much impact on the community as any other.  Given that, it's difficult for me to understand why anyone would choose to join a political organization that has no actual political power and has been disregarded by close to 90% of the community it claims to represent.  I mean, why not run for an actual political office if this is something you feel passionate about?

I feel the same way toward Frank but his power of persuasion is so finely tuned that I have to assume he knows what he's doing. 

Frank Farance said...

This issue isn't whether or not a single individual could have an effect on the world (we all know it's possible), but on whether or not Mr. Fortuna is committed to (1) representative democracy, (2) informing oneself on constituents' concerns, (3) representing constituents'
interests in RIRA meetings.

If we put forward the idea that we're only representing our own individual interests, then of course RIRA will be disregarded.

I've pointed out to Mr. Fortuna several times on RIRA E-mail lists that, lately, it has been the bad behavior by RIRA's members that have further diminished its stature.

This whole sub-thread got started by xob's interest in RIRA's support of affordable housing, and Mr. Fortuna's (unfortunate) responses.

I continue to participate in RIRA because I am willing to spend the volunteer time, and I am happy to represent the interests of constituents.  And, Yes, I am in favor of preserving affordable housing.

Chris Fuller said...

See what I mean, Vini?

JimmyLaRoche said...

Frank,

RIRA holds no political water and can't make the laws. At the end of the day it's not what RIRA wants, it's what people want.

Sorry but Vini is right, he can't fight for affordable housing if people are against it. I personally don't want it. I am sick of the welfare laden non working individuals on this island living off my tax money. Perhaps REGULATED housing, but surely not affordable, aka welfare housing.

Vine is right that he is no more responsible to condone if if the people don't want it.

RIRA FAILS TO LISTEN time and time again. It's what THEY want and nothing else.

It's a bit sickening.

There is no need for treasury, getting money for shoots, all those positions. Perhaps three positions max and just have ballots out for different issues and LET THE PEOPLE SPEAK.

Steps to a working RIRA.

A-LISTEN TO THE LATEST CONCERNS.
B-LET THE PEOPLE WHO CAN CHANGE KNOW WHAT'S WRONG KNOW.
C-ASK AT THE MEETINGS WHAT IS WRONG.
D-REPEAT.

Definently not hard to do with emails, ballots, banners and social media.

It will also eliminate the high chins I see with RIRA folks walking around like their behinds don't stink.

Once the few realize they need to get off their high horse, maybe there's a chance for a future, for now it needs a shutdown.

xob said...

well i would like the rira to call  ron vass to a meeting . and have him answer questions about how he sold out  the middle income working tenants of eastwood  100s of tenants have been forced to move. while ron vass has his rent  subsidized apartment .while many of my good freinds have been forced to move .i would the  rira to  do an  inquiry into this .also have the lawyer there also, his name is  serge joseph of himmelstein,mcconnell,gribben ,donoghue and joseph. i gave  money to the eastwood building committee, and i got nothing for it  i was forced into sec8 with no  safety net ,if my income goes up , and makes me  no longer  ellgible for sec8 . thats  why  there are  over 300 vacant apartments in eastwood .these people were working middle income people who had to move ,thanks to ron vass , legal negotiantions chairperson, on the  agreement . i am asking the rira to please have an inquiry about this matter , as i and others  in my situation. would like some answers.  ron vass has never ever answered to anyone for the injustice he has commited,

xob said...

i dont think   the rira would do this, because  matt katz and ron  vass  are good friends.

CheshireKitty said...

RIRA is akin to civic associations found in all neighborhoods or towns in the US.  Most residents vaguely hear about them through community newspapers like the Wire -  and most people really pay no attention to these organizations - except if a "burning issue" occurs, in which case they may take more notice, or even attend a meeting or rally.  However, civic associations such as block associations are often the conduit for input from neighborhoods to elected officials.  So, in some ways, they are the grass-roots organizations "representing" - albeit on a volunteer basis - the interests of residents. 

Unfortunately, I fully understand Jimmy's stance on affordable housing - it reminds me of the sickening conservative or prejudiced attitudes of years ago. 

The wish to keep "welfare" people out of neighborhoods has resulted in defacto segregation throughout the US; additionally, the rate of minority unemployment of is much higher than that of whites.  One factor is connected to the other - if minority citizens are discriminated against in employment, they have no choice but to become welfare clients. 

Despite the election of an African American president, the US has a long way to go in implementing full employment and housing equality.  Until it does, the ethical thing to do is to lobby government to provide affordable housing since society obviously still stacks the decks in such a way as to make so-called welfare housing necessary. 

In addition, not all affordable housing is occupied by welfare clients.  There are many working families in affordable housing, as well as those on fixed incomes - meaning retirees on pensions, disabled, etc.  Because of the unfairly high rents charged in NYC, affordable housing is the only alternative for these folks.  

If today the young, rich condo owner of Roosevelt Island feels they have it made and would rather not have affordable apartments constructed at Southtown so that they do not have to bump into "welfare people", disabled or elderly people living on a fixed income, remember that one day unemployment and possibly even destitution may be a reality even for a well-off condo owner, or disability, or inevitably old age - and then you will see why those who advocate for affordable housing, even if they do not need it themselves, were doing the right thing. 

Frank Farance said...

JimmyLaRoche says "I am sick of the welfare laden non working individuals on this island
living off my tax money. Perhaps REGULATED housing, but surely not
affordable, aka welfare housing."

I guess I'm one of those people you are unhappy about: I live in Island House, which is all affordable housing.  So is Westview, too.  And Rivercross.  And much of Southtown 1 and 2 (465 and 475 Main Street).  And about 20% (I think) of Octagon, and the rest of Southtown.  Oh, and Southtown 7(?) to be built across from 455-465-475 will be all affordable housing.

Affordable housing comes in many forms and income levels.  The seniors and disabled live in affordable housing, too.

As for Section 8 housing, the idea that they're all "Cadillac-driving welfare mothers" is just not true.  I've heard people around the country say things like this.  However, when you interact with your neighbors, their children, their families, and their friends, you find a lot of commonality -- whether richer or poorer.  Unlike the caricature, I have yet to meet anyone turning down work.

That's the great experiment of Roosevelt Island: it's not as much racial/ethnic integration, it's *economic* integration that one should strive for.

So it makes me just as unhappy to see people complaining about poor people in Section 8 housing (Eastwood and Manhattan Park) as it does to see people complaining about those rich people in their condos (Southtown).

Finally, there is the complaint of "[people] on this island living off my tax money".  I point out that EVERY tenant/owner on Roosevelt Island benefits from a variety of tax breaks and such, which are funded by the tax payers.  All of us have benefited from the $100+ million in infrastructure that was paid by our parents'/grandparents' taxes/bonds in the 1960s and 1970s.  And I'm told that virtually none of it has been paid back.  These monies are supposedly to be paid back when RIOC is making a "profit", but that is less likely because of all the sweetheart deals for the developers of Octagon and Southtown, which translates into lower housing costs for both of those developments but not for the rest of the Island.

I'm writing this not to be disagreeable, but to provide information that you might not have already.


So I ask JimmyLaRoche: Do you really want to "cast that stone" on receiving benefits from tax payers? :-)

Maybe you have concerns that can be expressed without singling out a class of people.  I'd like to hear your concerns and continue the dialog.

cutekitten said...

I agree that if you go to a RIRA meeting and hold your hand up to ask a question...the Wire building people and the people that live in the older section of the island always, ALWAYS are called upon first and given the floor longer...Southtown people are shunned, not heard nor taken serioiusly with their questions or concerns. Hence, you will not see many southwon residents at these meetings as they arguments, and slanted favorism towards the " old timers " is just absurd and what is the use?  REally, what is the use when RIRA and RIOC alway will just look at you like you are crazy when you have a a question or concern, I mean, come one, yeah we live in new buildings, so what problems could we have right? Anyone can live in a new building, first you have to have the desire to imporove your home and surroundings...when you pay much cheaper rent, and the red bus stops at your front door, why to shuttle you to the tram, and you have a lot of extra spending money each month because of cheap rent, why move right? There should be a RIRA group for the Southtown buildings, and a group for the rest of the island...then they can meet each month and explore improvements...RIRA as is, well is so tilted towards one area of the island it will never survive as it is and you will never get more than the 30 or so people to come to the meetings, what is the point? Also, too many conflicts of interest riddle RIRA as is. More of a fan club than a residents assotiation. 

cutekitten said...

what a freaking joke? Allow you to print something?  What era are they living in? This island and the Wire is so tilted! Democracy?  Everyone is yelling about Democracy? please.......

cutekitten said...

the wire is just a megaphone for those with an agenda...should be closed down

Chris Fuller said...

Frankly, it's difficult to view The WIRE as an unbiased news source when the RIRA president is also the paper's distribution manager. 
 
Katz is a friend and I'm sure that he isn't violating any written by-laws in his involvement with The WIRE.  However, it does seem like shenanigans when you consider RIRA's recent sensitivity to even the "perception of a conflict of interest".

Chris Fuller said...

It's very difficult to criticize something like affordable housing regulations without coming off like a complete asshole... and I think a lack of sleep makes me a grouchier person in the morning. 
 
I'm short on sleep, Frank, because I "interact with my neighbors" from 2-4 River Road every night (weather permitting) from around midnight to 4AM.  I would have nothing against affordable housing if it weren't for the noise pollution it seems to create during those hours.  Are there any RIRA members who feel passionately enough about this cause to defend it by stationing themselves on the benches out front of 2-4 RR at that time to disperse the gang of loiterers as they assemble?  We (my neighbors and I) notify Public Safey quite frequently but the nightly revel continues -- despite the fact that this particular spot was pinpointed as a BGM HQ in the recent "gang summit".
 
There is another "great experiment" underway on Roosevelt Island -- a sleep deprivation experiment. 

Frank Farance said...

Mr. Fuller, did you know that Manhattan Park's agreement with RIOC/PSD is to NOT have PSD patrol their buildings. I'm not sure where the boundary is between MP building and PSD patrol.  I've heard the original thinking was: MP the buildings will have doormen and we (MP) don't have to pay ground lease fees to RIOC for the PSD service (note: the WIRE buildings pay the lion's share of fees for Public Safety).  <-- In other words, you'll probably need to complain to your managing agent, too.

I believe PSD will respond to calls in MP, but not patrol them.

If you're not getting the right kind of attention for noise problems, then contact Director Guerra at PSD (+1 212 832 4545) and also contact Ms. Erin Feely-Nahem, Chair of RIRA Public Safety Committee, at efeelynahem -AT- aol -DOT- com.  Let them know when you called PSD, and how many times.

Let me know if it doesn't get prompt resolution through Director Guerra and Ms. Feely-Nahem.

Chris Fuller said...

Very interesting!  No, I didn't know that, but it certainly explains a lot.  Thanks a lot for that information, Frank.  It should come in handy when lease renewal time rolls around.

In the meantime, I will definitley make use of those numbers and let you know how it goes.  Come to think of it, maybe I need to tell the nightshift doorman to put on his BGM-fighting gear and go do his job.

bartonfinck said...

Call RIOC 212-832-4540 and ask Mr. Martinez to add Red Bus and Q102 bus service to the new South Point Park!! Everyone on this island should be able to go to the new green space on the island and enjoy it!  The disabled, elderly and the children of the island are not able to take a bus to the new and
much talked about South Point Park on Roosevelt Island. A lot of people are not physically able for the hike of almost a mile down to the park and then to make it back home. I
have called Mr. Fernando Martinez at
RIOC and  Ms. Tores at RIOC to request a bus stop to be placed at the entrance. My grandmother cannot walk, her and her friends would like to take a bus to see the new park and spend some time outside as would most of the island !  There are a lot of people that live northbound on the island that would like to get on one of the 2 bus services on the island to go down to the new park to enjoy such an outside space. Why is bus service not offered to the residents of this island? The disabled have the right to go to any point on this island, it should start today! They have been saying " when SP park opens, the buses will be go there " ....how long has SP Park been opened? Do what you say you will do RIOC and you may garner more respect from islanders. Please call  RIOC  and and email them as well http://www.rioc.com  Next stop Lappin's office, then the Governor's office! 

bartonfinck said...

Frank can you help out with this????? One should be able to get to any point on this island via either bus system! That being said, I have a friend that would like to go down to visit the new South Point Park yet Mr. Martineze at RIOC refuses to have the Red Bus system go down there? He told her more than one time that when the park opened, the buses would be going down there, both the Q102 and Red Bus. Why is the service limited to even the areas were there are the most disabled people on the island? Being able to get out in the world among other people can make the difference in your life if you are homebound or have any mobility issues or handicps.
 
The Park at South Point is a beautiful place and it would be nice if everyone can go down to see it and enjoy it! Kids of the island would love to go down the the park and play as well. WE need to get with the program and offer the new park to all the residents of the island as well as tourists that may want to go. The MTA would be glad to put a stop down there for the Q102, RIOC has to approve it first...Mr. Silverman of the MTA has told her in an email  that he would add a stop at the entrance to the new park BUTbut Mr. Martienez if RIOC has to approve it first. Please check in to this if you have the time. Mr. Martinez has the email from Mr. Silverman at the MTA stating he would do it. Maybe a date that this will happen would be good, or any information about the buses going to the new park. That should be a priority. Her and other's requests seem to be just ignored or just on the back burner without a date of when this is going to happen...also, some ladies at Island House would love to go to the pool at Sportspark, the red bus goes to the front door, but there is not red bus stop there...why not? The island is 2 miles long, there are 7 read buses...what is the promblem?  Thank you for your time. 

455Resident said...

Wow!!  I just read this long list of responses and have to wonder where you all find the time to post these long drawn out arguments?  Roosevelt Island is a community like any other; a mix of old and new blood which always brings difference of opinion. However, it is totally unacceptable for anyone to criticize the current system without getting involved.  You want to cry or you want to change things?  Be a Frank Farance, or a Matt Katz, or a Sherie Helstein, or Vinny Fortuna.  Have the guts to be involved, learn the true facts, not just some BS you read on a blog spot.  And this is not a slight against Rick, the author of the RooseveltIslander.  He provides a great forum.  But many of you are totally misinformed and are perpetuating the lies.  Get involved, learn the truth!

Frank Farance said...

Aaron Hamburger, Chair of RIRA Island Services, has been pestering RIOC staff (Fernando Martinez and Cy Opperman) on a variety of bus issues.  Mr. Hamburger, Matt Katz, and I have several outstanding Red Bus issues to resolve, including your points above.  Hopefully, we'll have a meeting soon.  One of us three will report back.

Regarding the Q102, basically they have summer and winter schedules, as bounded by when the clocks change.  I hope the Q102 changes can be incorporated into the winter schedule.

The red bus schedule can change without waiting for daylight saving time to begin/end.

xob said...

well i was  just offered a job that will pay me  10,000 more than i am making now . wow great right. well i dont think so . because i get sec8, so than  i will lose my sec8 as this new income will be too much to stay in sec8 , buy my rent will go up 25000.dollars per year so i get a job making  10,000 more per year but my rent goes up 25,000 dollars per year , so what  do i do .well i did not take the job because i dont want to lose  my apartment  in eastwood . see this is life in eastwood for working middle income people , people who are not are fixed income. i have asked matt katz and the rira to help me and people like me . but he dose nothing .ron vass has done this to us so i guess i will always  stay in sec8 if i want to keep living on this island

xob said...

while ron vass lives in his rent subsidized apartment. thanks  ron ,for taking my money for a lawyer .and doing nothing for the working people of eastwood who were forced into sec8 many many many people have moved because of this mess you and your eastwood building committee have creative .but you are happy in your rent subsidized apartment 

Joe Chevarley said...

Morris ?

bartonfinck said...

Mr. Silverman at MTA has responded by email that he will put a Q102 bus stop at the park entrance all that has to happen is Mr. Martinez has to approve it....should not be a problem...the MTA will put the bus stop there, just needs approval...the red bus goind down and around should not take but a few minutes more...we have 7 buses on the fleet, and rhe red bus making 2 stops at the tram takes jup a lot of time...drop people off and pick people up at the same stop...going to the trong of the kiosk and sitting there again is another break the driver takes and more time just doing nothing. Maybe there should just be one stop at the tram to drop off and pick up. Thanks for your time in reading my request...you seem to want to know what people need on the island...please run for a place on RIOC or RIRA ...I feel that it would be a great change from the present.

Frank Farance said...

Yes, you've described the process that we're using: Mr. Martinez needs to coordinate with the MTA.  As soon as I have some news, I will report it.

As for the two stops at the tram, it is only Mr. Martinez who wanted this.  Mr. Katz, Mr. Hamburger, and I have always advocated for a *single* bus stop right next to the tram, not by the river.

Thanks for your encouraging words!

bartonfinck said...

thanks for taking interest in the questions...I feel they are issues that will help everyone here on the island, thanks so much ...making 2 stops at the tram is just time consuming for the driver and not a good use of road time..What is Mr. Martinez's reason for this? It would keep the buses moving and people on their way...if need be, the drivers could take a break at South Point Park if they need to, there are restrooms there, and they can relax for a bit and keep in touch by radio with the office if they need to hold back or speed up their commute.

I have been using public transportation all my life and I hope that our buses her on the island will rival the service in the city one day :) Thanks for your help and understanding.

Frank Farance said...

Mr. Martinez felt that the second stop by the river was needed because of Southpoint park (which they don't run any present service to).

While it is a no-brainer to have the Q102 stop at Southpoint, it is more complex for the red bus.  Right now, the red buses are serving the residential buildings and the timing is tight.  Adding a Southpoint stop complicates that.  I'm not sure what the right schedule should be, but it needs to be studied.  Until we have a good plan for Southpoint Park stop(s), the second red bus stop at the tram should be removed.

bartonfinck said...

If the red bus after dropping off folks at the tram would continue down to the park make a stop and then pick up hospital employees that need to get to the train it would be more revenue for the island and going down and around the island would not take up more than a few minutes, about the same amount of time that the red bus sits at the tram right now. The bueses should be running to the new park and down around the island to the front of the hospital and continue to the train and north bound. Also a stop should be put at the front door of the pool on the East side of the sportspark. More people would buy a membership if the buses went to the front foor of the pool I would think. We are not using the bus system to the fullest here, and are missing out on revenue for the island. When the new college comes, they will love to know that the red bus makes all stops on the island at all venues...it is important to push for the red bus to make important stops...not drive around and sit in front of the tram for 10 minutes each time it drops off people. We have to seem more pro island with the red bus.

thank you ! 

xob said...

cheap rent where, the rent in roosevelt landings is not cheap or anywhere in the wire buildings ,oh it may be cheap to you because you make 100,000 and more per year 

bakgwailo said...

It is cheap rent, do you even know whats rents are in Manhattan or even LIC?

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