Thursday, December 20, 2012

Roosevelt Island Questions & Answers With RIOC Directors Tonight 8 PM Following RIOC Board Meeting

Do you have any questions or comments regarding how Roosevelt Island is governed? If so, tonight is an opportunity to get answers from some of your neighbors, the resident members of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors, to your concerns. RIOC Board Members will be conducting a question and answer session with residents tonight starting at 8 PM following the RIOC Board meeting.

 According to the Agenda for RIOC Board Meeting tonight:
A question and answer session with general public and certain Board members will commence at 8:00 p.m.
A similar question and answer meeting between RIOC Directors and Roosevelt Island residents took place last May. Here's an excerpt of what happened

and the full meeting is here.

The full Agenda is below:

5:30 P.M.1

I. Call to Order
II. Roll Call
III. Approval of Minutes
1. September 20, 2012 Board Meeting (Board Action Required)
2. October 3, 2012 Special Board Meeting (Board Action Required)
3. October 25, 2012 Special Board Meeting (Board Action Required)
IV. Old Business
V. New Business
1. Approval of the Proposed RIOC Budget for Fiscal Year 2013-2014 (Materials to Follow - Board Action Required)
2. 2013 Meetings of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation Board of Directors (Board Action Required)
3. Authorization to Enter into Contract with ENVAC for On-Call AVAC Repair Services (Board Action Required)
4. Authorization to Enter into Contract with Nelson & Pope Engineers & Surveyors, PLLC for Blackwell House Mechanical, Engineering and Plumbing Re-Design (Board Action Required)
5. Authorization to Enter into Contract with Scientific Electric Company, Inc. for Electrical Installation at Motorgate Garage (Board Action Required)
6. Ratification of Change Order to Contract with Shawn Construction, Inc. for Waterproofing of Motorgate Garage
(Board Action Required)
7. Authorization to Enter into Amendment of License Agreement for Octagon Composting Area
(Board Action Required)
8. Authorization to Enter into Side Letter Agreement with New York City Public Library (NYCPL) in Connection with the Lease Agreement between NYCPL and Hudson Related Retail, LLC for 504 Main Street
(Board Action Required)
9. Authorization to Enter into Contract with FDR Four Freedoms Park, LLC for Maintenance Services for the FDR Four Freedoms Park (Board Action Required)
10. Ratification of Change Order to Contract with Quintal Contracting Corp. for Motorgate Ramp Drainage Improvements (Board Action Required)
11. President's Report
12. Committee Reports
a. Audit Committee
b. Governance Committee
c. Operations Advisory Committee
d. Real Estate Development Advisory Committee
13. Public Safety Report
VI. Adjournment

A question and answer session with general public and certain Board members will commence at 8:00 p.m.
Come ask your questions.


westviewgirl said...

I love how all these meetings are always last minute, or either at hours when people are still at work during the week. First question I have is when is Pollara taking the black iron fence down she was ordered to do 2 weeks ago? 2nd ? is when is a public record going to be made of all the money coming in to FF park and into RIOC and RIRA during all of this Cornell take over and construction? How many people have their hands out for money and where will the money go to? 3rd question is who is paying for board members of Cornell to rent apartments and condos here on the island, and are they paying market rate or getting a break by HR in some kind of deal. 4th question are the new buildings going up in Southtown being bought by Cornell? Have they been purchased from Hudson Related properties for their own private use? There is talk that HR will be managing these buildings for Cornell. Also, can Cornell sublet any apartment or condo in Southtown to Cornell students? I thought subletting was not allowed? These are a few on my mind...When is Mr. Schwartz Secretary to the Gov coming to the meetings and is he being brought up to date on all of these money ventures?

Joe Carbo said...


Joe Carbo said...

its all the same b.s as always.the people in rivercross run this island

Joe Carbo said...

rioc doses not run this island . the people in rivercross do.

CheshireKitty said...

The Cornell Board members residing on RI should disclose what they paid for their Southtown apartments. If Cornell is going to be involved in a real estate deal in Southtown (i.e. housing for students at the new Southtown buildings), not revealing this information leads to questions such as Westviewgirl's - that Cornell struck a very lucrative deal with H-R. We have taxpayer money in the form of the huge City gift/subsidy to Cornell to build on RI, which Cornell then leverages with H-R to obtain a deal on housing for students. Somehow, moderate-income residents are left out of this RI money-go-round.

Frank Farance said...

CheshireKitty, while I am concerned about conflicts of interest, I'm not seeing the connection between Cornell staff purchasing apartments in Southtown and how that would affect us on the Island. One could imagine, hypothetically, a sweetheart deal for a Cornell executive and that executive is influencing decision-making for Cornell-HR deals (note: I'm not aware of any actual issues in this regard). However, those potential concerns are really the interest of H-R (how much profit they make) and the interest of Cornell (how much it costs them), and most likely *not* the interest Roosevelt Island residents.

As you point out Cornell has a subsidy, but the program goals of that subsidy is to develop a high-tech campus, not to develop affordable housing.

You concern about moderate income housing has nothing to do with the Cornell deal, it has to do with the RIOC ground lease for that deal. Recently, RIOC had an option to renegotiate that deal since H-R isn't digging dirt by December 31. I am not aware of any efforts by RIOC to insist on more affordable housing in Southtown 7-9. Your complaint is with the RIOC Board.

And Yes, you can start wondering how Mr. Howard Polivy (head of the RIOC Real Estate Committee which negotiates with H-R and Cornell separately) and Ms. Ellen Polivy (co-chair of RICC and negotiating with Cornell, CB8 rep for RI and negotiating with Cornell, and RIRA President whose Common Council has issues with the RIOC Board) connect on various conflicts of interest.

There might be other points that could sway my opinion about H-R/Cornell, but I'm not seeing a concern right now about Cornell staff's purchase.of apartments.

westviewgirl said...

RIOC and RIRA used to have say about this island, seems now that Cornell is bringing in it's say about things and bulldozing toxic land to blow into our windows scares me...just for the sake of building a tech school for them to brag about. Be afraid, be very afraid. All the money in the world cannot get rid of toxins sometimes. If the land is deemed toxic, how is is possible by NY state laws and rule to do construction?

CheshireKitty said...

Look at the logic of the massive City subsidy/gift to C-T. The money is tax-payer money, mostly extracted from the middle-class, since the rich and the corporations have wonderful ways of avoiding tax, although they do pay some taxes. The money goes to C-T, and C-T reaches out to H-R to arrange a mutually beneficial deal. Indirectly, the tax-payer money is now benefiting H-R. H-R, which definitely does not want to see those that paid the tax money - the middle-class and moderate-class people - living in H-R apts. You can say C-T benefits everyone, maybe so. But too many of the moderate-class are trapped by substandard housing, living conditions and substandard education. It is unlikely they will ever see the inside of an Ivy League institution of higher education. The elite class self-perpetuates in most cases. Do you see the irony? Cornell is progressive. In a way the C-T project is another way for Bloomberg to help his developer buddies - using a progressive institution to help his friends. That of course is just one aspect of the development. It is a good thing overall - it's just that it's another example of Bloomberg's priorities, geared toward the developers, one way or another. The developer of the Nets stadium, in obtaining the endless permissions to build the project, promised to build low-income housing. But now that the stadium is finally built and is successful, he's dragging his heels on building the housing he promised. And of course Bloomberg/his administration, does nothing. And that's just one example - actually a striking example, since community opposition was so great to the stadium and the community was so organized to oppose it. I think there is a potential conflict - a highly selective private institution of higher education, an Ivy League school, receives massive amounts of taxpayer money from Bloomberg, perhaps secures apartments dirt-cheap from H-R in the upcoming buildings. Or maybe C-T will pay alot for the apartments - to the even greater glee of H-R. Actually, it doesn't matter either way. The point is, the cozy game of directing taxpayer money to either (1) luxury development or (2) perpetuation of elites - continues! This is what I mean by money-go-round: Money is mostly gathered from the middle-class and moderate-income taxpayers. It is distributed directly or indirectly by Bloomberg to his friends, the developers, or his friends at the elite institutions of higher education. In this money-go-round, the folks that mostly paid into the tax-money do not get to see a dime of it benefiting them - either in bettering their schools or providing them with better housing. They are about to be squeezed for even more taxes - in the form of higher transit fares, higher tolls, and so forth. (I know this fare and toll hike hardly enters the consciousness of the rich, who usually ride around in limos and rarely have to worry about money, train fares, budgets and so forth.) The tax-payer money the City gathers is instead directed by Bloomberg to the developers (as I keep repeating) to keep the development bubble going, to benefit the elites mostly.

mpresident said...

Am I mistaken, or did Frank Farance not attend an Ivy League University and also resides in affordable housing?

I also attended an Ivy League University, but am very far down on the wait list to get into affordable housing (making less money and paying more rent than many of those who currently live in affordable housing).

I wouldn't think of it as a perpetuation of an elite class, but rather an institution which only has an interest in looking out for its own. And in the world we live in, why should it do any different?

CheshireKitty said...

Affordable housing that was constructed over 30 years ago. Has an affordable project on the scale of Northtown been developed since? Or more precisely, since Bloomberg's been Mayor?

Today, Frank would be expected to live in a luxury apartment, not a Mitchell-Lama. Mitchell-Lama buildings were projects for the middle-class, but unlike projects, they have a termination point.

If you do get into a Mitchell-Lama, you will need to certify annually. Sometimes there are rules governing the amount of rent increase you will have to pay (a surcharge) although likely that wouldn't affect you. You can be on a waiting list for years and years before you get into a Mitchell-Lama. Try applying to Manhattan Plaza - on 42nd St & 10th Ave. It's a huge Mitchell-Lama that somehow managed to stay in Mitchell-Lama even when it was supposed to have emerged - and is still a rental. They also have Section 8 tenants - so if your income really falls, say, once you retire, you could probably transfer into Section 8 and stay in your apt.

The point I was making was that the money is used in general to improve things for the "upper class" - such as helping an elite school, or selling/renting luxury apts. Each is out of reach of most of the population for a variety of reasons. I don't see Bloomberg throwing millions and millions of dollars at providing mass affordable housing - which is a choice he could have made anytime during his tenure but didn't. What did we get from Bloomberg? The Barclays Center development (great for his developer friends) the 2 new baseball stadiums which included huge "presents" to the respective ball clubs, the "present" to Trump of the S. Bronx golf course, and now, the "present" of the C-T campus on RI. Did I forget the $150,000,000 present to the venerable New York Public Library - requested by the developer friends of Bloomberg's that dominate the Board of the NYPL - to "overhaul" the old Main Branch building on 42nd St? What a nice "present" that was! Did Bloomberg once say, well - we have damaged public housing in the Rockaways. I am going to spend $100,000,000 on constructing new state-of-the-art public housing for those residents. No - he has not, even though the head of NYCHA just today is pleading about how much money the repairs to those damaged buildings will cost. Instead, the western edges of Queens and Brooklyn are specifically rezoned under Bloomberg so that luxury high-rises are built adjacent to, even within - 40, 50, or 60 year-old public housing projects! Who makes a bundle with the re-zoning? Why, Bloomberg's developer friends!

westviewgirl said...

Rushing to collect any money from Cornell or FF park for deemed for RI island improvements may have serious health issues on us all today and for decades ! All that land south of the Tram is toxic and rolling out the red carpet to Cornell and Ms. Dove and Ms Pollara and the FF park people too fast could be a dangerous thing to do for all of us that live here. They do not live here, and have an agenda and will rush the whole not forget that people.