Friday, December 21, 2012

RIOC Directors Speak On Roosevelt Island Management Upheaval - NY Governor Cuomo In Control, RIOC Directors Do Not Know Why RIOC President And Vice President Resigned

Among the topics discussed at last night's Question and Answer session between Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) resident Directors and members of the community were the recent management upheavals at RIOC with the unexplained departures of former President Leslie Torres and former Vice President of Operations Fernando Martinez.

Residents expressed concern about the lack of management running Roosevelt Island.

RIOC Director David Kraut said that there was an upcoming RIOC Governance Committee meeting that will address executive staff issues.

RIOC Director Margie Smith was more forthcoming expressing frustration because:

... We're in a tough position ... we hear things in Executive Session that we can't say to anybody...
and that Governor Cuomo is:
... very much in control of what's going on, he's now looking at Public Authorities...
... we see Leslie resigning, we see Fernando resigning. We don't know if there was something behind the resignation or they chose to resign. They didn't share that information with us. there's not much we can do about it
... we're trying to get those positions filled ... we're trying to keep this place running to the degree we can...
Here's the discussion on Roosevelt Island management upheaval.

More information on Roosevelt Island management upheavals from previous posts.

Will have full video of RIOC resident Directors Question and Answer session with residents soon. Here's previous Q&A session with resident Directors from May 2012.


Joe Carbo said...

doses not matter if there is a pres. and vic pres .its the people in rivercross who run this island .

westviewgirl said...

our island and home will never be the same again...the fight for land and property rights between Cornell and the ones that run the Four Freedoms park will insue. They have gotten Goldwater out of the way, now there is a black fence put up to divide of a peice of the pie of the island for FF park people to keep. Will these intities also deside one day to try to get all the residents out of the way to try to obtain the whole island for money making purposes as they see fit?

I wonder who has the most money and people to back them, and who will win? Will Cornell get the ruins to make into a cafe, giftie shop or will Ms. Pollara and her millionaires win this round of land ownership? Ms. Pollara spent 30 thousand dollars of someone's money to take it upson herself to install this big black fence that divides the island, that she says is protecting the ruins. Why? RIOC has told her to remove it, it is still there. Why does she not do what RIOC as asked? When is the Govenor going to come down and tell her to take it down? Last time I checked, Ms. Pollar is not on the board of RIOC or RIRA is she? I did not vote for her, never will.

12/23/12 12:38 AM

CheshireKitty said...

FF Park intends to turn the ruins into an entrance pavilion. A Sept. 2012 Times article referred to the ruins as the future entrance pavilion to FF Park. Evidently, no-one shared this information with RIOC.

Westviewer said...

A very good adaptive re-use.

Mark Lyon said...

I was actually a little surprised they weren't "accidentally" destroyed during construction. They clearly don't fit in with Kahn's memorial. Re-using them as an entrance seems... odd.

RooseveltIslander said...

RIOC Directors have discussed possible future uses for Smallpox Hospital.

FF Park does not not control the site. RIOC controls the site and any future use will have to go through the Request For Proposal Process available for anyone with a good idea and the money to bid on.

CheshireKitty said...

According to the 9/12/12 Times article on FDR Four Freedoms Park by MICHAEL KIMMELMAN, "The sober ruin of an adjacent 19th-century smallpox hospital, designed by James Renwick Jr., architect of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, is to become the park’s entry pavilion..." Rick, why not contact Kimmelman to find out where he got his information from? Here's the link to the Times article

Mark Lyon said...

In one of the recent RIOC committee meetings (I think the same one with the fence issue) the FF people walked this back.

CheshireKitty said...

I love the Renwick ruins - even if they look like they're crumbling. Whatever happens to them in terms of possible future adaptive re-use, I hope the ruins are finally completely stabilized. It may be that the only way to preserve/stabilize the ruins is to have them included within a new structure, such as a museum/entry pavilion for 4 Freedoms Park.

CheshireKitty said...

In that case, what was the reason they gave for the placement of the fence?

Mark Lyon said...

"Miscommunication" with staff. I agree that the ruins are great, but can't imagine the same people who refuse to degrade their monument by inscribing the names of donors (as promised) would want to re-use anything "old" as part of their tribute to the great architect

CheshireKitty said...

I guess the ruins will remain in the same limbo they've been in for so many years - going through stabilization crisis after crisis, and probably slowly crumbling nonetheless. As far as the FF Park foundation re-using the ruins as an entrance pavilion, maybe Rick could contact Kimmelman, the author of the Times article, and find out where he got his information. If Kimmelman got the info from someone on the FF Park Foundation, then the Foundation sure does have a problem communicating - er, that is, "miscommunicating". A communication problem that will lead to a waste of thousands of dollars as the Foundation has to pay for moving the fence. I'm sure the donors to the Foundation will not be happy to hear about their money spent in moving a fence around... or were the donors told the ruins would eventually become an entrance pavilion to the Monument. It'd be nice to know who is being told what.

westviewgirl said...

Quoting the article from the NY Post THIS IS what I am really concerned about, a toxic clean up right here where we live.

" The nation’s No. 2 engineering school was outbid by Cornell, which was willing to pay more to build on a Roosevelt Island site that required toxic cleanup. Stanford, meanwhile refused to agree to a bill for remediation that wasn’t capped, sources said"

CheshireKitty said...

Is it a Superfund site?

Westviewer said...


westviewgirl said...
with thousands and thousands more coming to our island with Ferry Service, I see now even more so why Gina Pollara put up the fence, more money in her pocket with a cafe and gift shop. I also wonder who Pollara will partner with in any food selling venture on the island? Would it be someone that already is selling food on the island? hmmmmm, I really do hope Cornell out bids this woman and her team. She is sneaky, corrupt, and has allowed destruction of so much beauty and wildlife down on the south end of RI. She could care less about the natural habitat here, this is just a huge paycheck for her and her friends. RIOC should shut her down for good, she should be audited, the whole FF park deal, the donations, all the meetings and parties she has had and given in name of FF park, how much was collected? She is on the board of the FF park, and the engineer? Come on Cornell, you can do it! I will buy a Corneel Corndog anyday over anything she has to do with!

Ratso123 said...

New York State should advertise on the Tram and the Manhattan Station that Four Freedoms Park is only opened 4 days a week. There are people going there everyday and they are dissapointed to find it closed.

CheshireKitty said...

Why is a State Park in the middle of the most populous metro area in the country only open 4 days a week? Doesn't make sense.

westviewgirl said...

Here is the contact numbers for Ms. Pollara and her Boss Ms Minard . Maybe we should call the FF Park office and ask all our questions to them...they have never had a Q and A for residents that I remember, why? I believe there were a few million in public funds to help build this thing down the street, we have the right to know why it is only open certain days and hours? Never seen a park that was closed so much to the public. .

Gina Pollara, Executive Director
Sally Minard, President

Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, LLC

147 West 35th Street, Suite 1505

New York, New York 10001

(212) 204-8831

Four Freedoms Park Conservancy
133 E 62nd Street
New York, New York 10065
(212) 486-0195

All press inquiries should be directed to

Four Freedoms Park Conservancy
Board of Directors

Ambassador William J. vanden Heuvel, Chairman & CEO
Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., Co-Chair
Sally Minard, President
William R. Griffith, Secretary & Treasurer
Kathy Sloane, Vice President
John V.H. Pierce
Gina Pollara
James S. Polshek
Carl Weisbrod