Thursday, April 11, 2013

Roosevelt Island Garden Club Opens Tomorrow But Leadership Controversy Remains - Does NY State Public Authorities Act Require RIOC To Issue RFP Prior To Renewing Expired Garden Club Permit?

Reported previously on the insurrection over leadership at the Roosevelt Island Garden Club (RIGC),

Image From April Ward

allegations of inappropriate behavior by some RIGC members and the recent fire that burned down a RIGC shed. All of this controversy plus the expiration of the RIGC's permit resulted in the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) keeping the garden closed. Until tomorrow. According to this RIOC advisory issued earlier today:
Please be advised the Community Garden will re-open Friday, April 12th at 7:30 AM.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group

In addition, RIOC also sent this notice to RIGC members:
For the next thirty days beginning tomorrow, Friday, April 12th, access to the garden will be provided to Club Members from 7:30 AM to 7:30 PM. Locks will be placed on each of the five entry gates of the garden, providing for one entry point near the comfort station, and will be unlocked and locked by Public Safety Officers at the opening and closing times. In addition, a sign will be created and placed in several areas around the vicinity of the garden stating the following:

"The Garden Club will be open from 7:30 AM to 7:30 PM Daily. Trespassers will be summonsed accordingly."

We expect a Land Use Agreement to be executed no later than May 17, 2013. If an agreement is not in place by then, we will revisit our decision to open to Garden.
Today I asked RIOC :
I understand that the RIGC permit has expired and that RIOC is allowing the Garden to open tomorrow.

Does the NY State Public Authorities Act require RIOC to issue a Request For Proposal before they can issue a new permit for the land currently occupied by the RIGC?

If that is true, when does RIOC intend to issue RFP for the land currently occupied by the RIGC?
No response yet from RIOC.

Below is April 2 RIOC Real Estate Advisory Committee (Audio Web Cast of meeting is here) discussion of RIGC controversy.

During the discussion, the RIOC Directors reported that it was not their job to decide internal leadership at the RIGC but RIOC Director Fay Christian stated that it was their job to make sure that "equity" was maintained in the operation of the garden. RIOC Director David Kraut also noted that he thought it a bad idea to allow non Roosevelt Island residents to hold plots at the Garden and that policy should be changed.

Here is a portion of RIGC April 3 meeting showing the leadership dispute between supporters of April Ward and Ron Schuppert.

RIGC Secretary Karen Lee commented today:
The only thing i can say is that 83 members signed a document recognizing and accepting the current Officers and Executive Board and these were submitted to RIOC for their information in the last few days.
That is
President- Ron Schuppert
Vice President- Susan Sinisi
Secretary- Karen Lee
Treasurer- Alexis Villafane

The Exec Committee also includes the Chairs of our Standing Committees as stated in our by-laws

Rose Garden- Marjorie Marcallino
Publicity and Publications- Edward Litcher
Standards- Neal Weissman
Park Maintenance- Vaughn Anglesey
Audit and President Emeritus- Ali Schwayri

We are happy that our gardeners will finally get to do what they love to do -garden.
Stay tuned to see what happens next.


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