Saturday, September 22, 2012

RIOC President Leslie Torres Last Report To The Roosevelt Island Community - No Mention Of Resignation Cause Or New Interim President

 Image of Former RIOC President Leslie Torres from 2010

As reported yesterday, Leslie Torres resigned effective yesterday as President of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC). RIOC General Counsel Don Lewis, who has been in that position for about a year, was named Interim President/CEO by RIOC Chairperson Darryl Towns. Mr. Lewis was appointed to the position by Mr. Towns without the prior approval of RIOC's Board of Directors.

Below is Ms. Torres last report to the Roosevelt Island community which was received yesterday. As you can see, no mention of her resignation.
Greetings Roosevelt Islanders! Excitement continues to mount for next month’s opening of Four Freedoms Park, the memorial to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Last week, The New York Times wrote that the park will be the city’s “new spiritual heart,” and that it is “a monumental triumph for New York and for everyone who cares about architecture and public space.” I couldn’t agree more. Four Freedoms will be a special place for Roosevelt Islanders, New Yorkers and visitors from far and wide.

Restoration Projects Eligible for FEMA Reimbursement

By the time Hurricane Irene reached New York City a year ago, it had been downgraded to a tropical storm, but that didn’t stop it from leaving considerable damages in its wake on Roosevelt Island. In particular, the westside waterfront sidewalk, from the Meditation Steps to Island House, was undermined and partially collapsed by the East River’s rushing floodwaters, and many of the lighting structures at Lighthouse Park – poles, foundations and wiring – were destroyed.

The RIOC Board of Directors has now approved the hiring of contractors to reconstruct the westside waterfront sidewalk and restore the lighting at Lighthouse Park. Both projects have been pre-approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and qualify for up to 75% reimbursement of the total costs. As I wrote earlier this year, RIOC became eligible for reimbursement funds because we had previously undergone companywide FEMA emergency preparedness training and we executed the agency’s command procedures during Irene.

NYPD to Continue K-9 Training on Island

The RIOC Board of Directors has also approved a three-year extension to a permit agreement we entered into a year ago with the New York City Police Department Transit Bureau K-9 Unit for the location of a police K-9 agility course on Roosevelt Island. The agility course is used by the K-9 Unit to train police dogs for special operations, investigations, and search and recovery exercise. We’re always happy to help the NYPD, with whom we have a great working relationship. The Department, for example, uses our Tram periodically during off-peak hours for routine training sessions to test their equipment.

Brazilian Street Artist Visits, Creates

You may have noticed some unique public art popping up on the Island this past weekend. That’s because on Saturday the acclaimed Brazilian street artist Bel Borba was here, unleashing his creative spirit as part of a multi-facetted visual art project called Bel Borba Aqui New York. Borba is renowned for making striking creations out of found or discarded materials, like the “Belkenstein” sculpture he made out of old plastic traffic barriers which you can see near the Tram. His work will be on display for a few more weeks. For more information on the project, visit
The RIOC Governance Committee will be meeting on Monday to discuss the issues of Ms. Torres resignation and the hiring of a successor.


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