Friday, August 30, 2013

RIOC Chief Financial Officer Steve Chironis Leaving Position Today - Bad News For Roosevelt Island Residents Losing Competent, Professional Public Servant

More Senior level management upheavals at the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC). Chief Financial Officer Steve Chironis

Image of RIOC CFO Discussing RIOC 2011-12 Fiscal Year Budget At December RIRA Meeting

will no longer be working at RIOC after today. Mr. Chironis had been absent from the last three RIOC Board Committee meetings recently and unconfirmed rumors of Mr. Chironis leaving RIOC have been heard since the appointment of new RIOC President Charlene Indelicato.

Today I asked Ms. Indelicato:
I understand that after today, August 30, RIOC Chief Financial Officer Steve Chironis will no longer be working for RIOC.

Is that true?

Does RIOC have any comment on this matter?

Does RIOC have any comment on how the absence of a Chief Financial Officer will impact the ongoing negotiations with Cornell NYC Tech and other important financial matters currently facing RIOC?

When do you anticipate hiring a new CFO?
Ms. Indelicato replied:
We can confirm that after today Steve Chironis will no longer be working for RIOC.
Mr. Chironis was RIOC Chief Financial Officer since 2008. He was a competent professional respected by the Roosevelt Island community but without a political "rabbi" for support at RIOC. He will be missed.


Samual Shelton said...

The entire RIOC establishment is poltiical Indelicato was appointed by the governor even with her past allegations against staffers. Only the political hacks on the board who are beholding to the governor voted her in, others all abstained

OldRossie said...

Wait, you're saying the the Roosevelt Operating Corporation of the State of New York, a political subdivision of the state, with members chosen by the Governor, is POLITICAL! The h*ll you say.

CheshireKitty said...

Of course - the system of political patronage appointments is a hallmark of system of gov at all levels..there is no "advise and consent" process when it comes to so many appointed positions.

On the Fed level, for example, you have many Ambassadorships awarded as plum jobs to big donors/bundlers/supporters - as lucrative/prestige rewards to those that helped the Pres in some way get elected.
Although Ambassador candidates are nominated and confirmed following hearings (giving a semblance of propriety to the process) in most cases, political appointments are confirmed - who, in gov, of either party, would want to alienate donors who usually donate to politicians of both parties?

The same system applies down the line, on the State and City levels - lucrative, status-enhancing jobs are awarded by City or State Chief Executives to political allies, or as a political favor, or to those that actually donated/bundled/enabled donations. For us, the putative "beneficiaries" of this system, the hope is that despite these officials getting their jobs because of the patronage system, they will somehow turn out to be at least OK nonetheless. We have to trust that the person we elected/supported - the Mayor or the Governor - will appoint the right people for the right job (somehow).

Unfortunately, that hasn't always been the case on RI, as we know (with quite a string of RIOC Presidents that did not turn out quite as planned - Blue and Berman come to mind immediately but there have been one or two others as well; you can even include Torres in the series of RIOC Presidents who did not turn out exactly as planned, even though she treated the RIOC President job as a "no-show" source of income, and thus was only "guilty" of "benign neglect" at most).

As you said, the folks we elected to the RIOC Board, who are, on one level at least, supposed to represent the citizenry on RI, do they have a say in who is appointed RIOC President? Not really - despite being allowed to symbolically "vote" on the appointment. The candidate was simply served up to them, and they were expected to "endorse" or "confirm" the candidate the Gov selected.

What is missing on RI is the equivalent of the City Council in City politics, or the Legislature in State politics. The resident RIOC Board members do not fulfill their function as "representatives" of the citizenry. Even though they were elected to be voice of the citizenry on the board, they do not stand up to Albany nine times out of ten. Thus the citizenry have little or no say re topics ranging from land use decisions, to development, to public safety, etc. on RI.

As you say, the resident board members obediently go along with whatever or whoever is dished out to them, either voting yes, or in "extreme" cases, abstaining.

Unfortunately, once the RIOC resident board member are elected, they undergo an amazing transformation if they are subsequently appointed to the board: They are transformed from elected representatives into political hacks, who are only on the board to obediently do the Gov's bidding, since he not only appointed them, but is also the only one that can dismiss them. Like actual hacks. their entire "existence" as board members depends on remaining compliant vis-a-vis the Gov's wishes. Any elected board member that shows even a slight spark of independence does not get appointed to the board, as only compliant board members are wanted. Thus, as you say, the resident board members complied and voted for Indelicato, with very few *daring* abstentions.