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Monday, November 25, 2013

Repair Work Starting Tomorrow On Roosevelt Island West Pier Damaged By Hurricane Sandy

 Roosevelt Island West Pier

According to the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC):
Please be advised that repair work at the West Pier will begin tomorrow, November 26, 2013. Construction on the Pier will be taking place along the West side of the Island, from the Subway station to the second staircase leading toward the street. Signs and notices to redirect pedestrian traffic will be posted.


Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Advisories Group


Jeff P said...

Rick, apparently you're not much of a details guy, but it's Prekopa, not Prokepa. To your credit you got it right about half the time, which is more than I can say for your assessment of the expulsion issue.

CheshireKitty said...

" The measure passed with an overwhelming majority." Really? According to my records you and Escobar didn't vote. Thus the vote count was 18-2-10. You needed 16 for the measure to pass; you got that, plus all of 2 besides. Not exactly an "overwhelming majority" Jeff, not exactly.

RooseveltIslander said...

Jeff, thank you for the pointing out the spelling mistakes of your name. They were corrected.

If only RIRA's mistakes on this issue could be so easily corrected

YetAnotherRIer said...

This blog is purely opinion and very little journalism in certain cases. Anything Frank Farance or the FDR memorial tend to be more editorial pieces and therefore I agree that you should not get the info just to rip them again.

YetAnotherRIer said...

Having almost twice as many votes for yea than nay is definitely an overwhelming result.

Frank Farance said...

Here's what Jeff Prekopa said in the RIRA Column in the WIRE, my comments are below:

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA)
is a non-profit corporation established to serve the Roosevelt Island community. The Common Council is the elected body of RIRA. Put simply, RIRA serves the community, and the Common Council serves RIRA. This is an important distinction. It means that RIRA, the organization, represents the Roosevelt Island community with a single, unified voice, and that the actions it takes represent the majority consensus of the community. There is no provision in the organization’s constitution or bylaws for individual Council members to unilaterally represent the organization to the community, press, or government agencies. To do so would usurp the right of the rest of the Council to equal representation.

Beyond the obligation to their constituents, Common
Council members have a fiduciary obligation to RIRA. They are duty-bound to protect the organization’s best interests, abide by majority decisions, and remain loyal to the organization. Frank Farance has consistently and repeatedly ignored those obligations, not just in the current RIRA term, but for many years. His actions as a rogue member undermine RIRA’s relationship with the community and with government agencies, interfere with the organization’s operations, and harm the personal lives and professional reputations of Council members and volunteers. In short, his unilateral actions deny the rest of the community their right to equal representation by RIRA. The motion to expel Frank Farance is not about personal grudges. The Common Council has a fiduciary obligation to defend the organization against damages caused by Mr. Farance’s actions. This motion is the most recent in a series of attempts to correct Mr. Farance’s misconduct. Past measures have included personal appeals, calls for resignation, a rebuke by the Common Council, and a formal censure. It is our hope that, through Mr. Farance’s expulsion, RIRA can put this unfortunate state of affairs behind it once and for all, and refocus on its primary purpose – working for the betterment of the Roosevelt Island community.

In the course of preparing this motion, my committee collected and reviewed hundreds of internal and external emails, Council meeting records, statements to the press, blog posts, and personal accounts. They document a pattern of unilateral actions, unfounded accusations, personal attacks, threats, and intimidation tactics, and a complete disregard for his fellow Council members. To help you understand why we feel that we are obligated to act, we’ve provided examples of Mr. Farance’s misconduct, along with copies of the organization’s constitution and bylaws, the motion for expulsion, and reference materials defining fiduciary duties in community organizations, on our website at www.riraonline

Frank Farance said...

I asked the following questions to Jeff Escobar, RIRA Vice President, but received no response:

I read Jeff Prekopa's RIRA column in the November 23, 2013 WIRE, which has numerous problems. According to the RIRA Constitution, Article 4, Section 2, Vice President:

"The Vice President shall supervise: all RIRA elections; all communications, both internal and external, of RIRA; secretarial services that are not the responsibility of the Secretary; legal representation (in coordination with the Chairperson of the Legal Action Committee, should it exist); auditing of the finances of RIRA; membership participation and fund-raising. ..."

As RIRA Vice President, could you tell me what supervisory actions you performed in conjunction with the research, preparation, and publishing of the that RIRA column (external communication)? Could you also let me know:

- who was involved in its preparation
- when/were people met
- the agendas, documents, minutes, and attendance of the meetings
- who reviewed it
- the reviewers' opinions
- what approval process was used in approving the external communication
- what kind of Common Council review/approval was sought/performed

Frank Farance said...

Mr. Prekopa suffers from hypocrisy by himself publishing a communication that represents the organization (the "RIRA Column" in the WIRE), yet the Communications Committee did NOT meet. Mark Lyon's Communications Committee Co-Chair said at the November meeting: No Meeting, No Report. Mr. Prekopa states: "There is no provision in the organization’s constitution or bylaws for individual Council members to unilaterally represent the organization to the community, press, or government agencies. To do so would usurp the right of the rest of the Council to equal representation.", but in fact that is what was done by Mr. Prekopa: to unilaterally represent the organization to the community, press, or government agencies, e.g., his article as the "RIRA Column".

Mr. Prekopa states "In the course of preparing this motion, my committee collected and reviewed hundreds of internal and external emails, Council meeting records, statements to the press, blog posts, and personal accounts.". This is complete baloney. The Communications Committee did not meet. Now I've heard from several people that there is an Anti-Frank committee that has secret meetings.

On top of that, Mr. Prekopa states: "To help you understand why we feel that we are obligated to act, we’ve provided examples of Mr. Farance’s misconduct ...", but in fact there is no substantiation of the complaints.

All a bunch of baloney from Mr. Prekopa: who appears to believe that if you say over and over the same un-truths then someone will start to believe you.

CheshireKitty said...

That's not true, Yet. Abstain votes were 10, No votes were 2. 10+2 = 12 vs 18. That's not a 2:1 ratio. It's actually a 3:2 ratio. Just as the Yes side achieved their win by a margin of 3 votes, the No side could have prevailed with 4 additional votes, either No or Abstain. To me, at least, 3 or 4 votes out of 30, is a slim margin of victory. 10% is not exactly a landslide, and far from "overwhelming".

CheshireKitty said...

Yet: Could you please look at your comment and edit it so that it's understandable. I can't make heads or tales of what you're trying to say. Thanks!

Bill Blass said...

I hope the owners of riverwalk bar and grill are paying for this.they are the ones who are benefiting from this repair work.

OldRossie said...


AGuyonRI said...

As an un-involved third party who doesn't know anyone involved here, but has read everything both on this blog and in The Wire on this issue, I can say this:

Everyone involved in this looks like idiots.

My perception (and others too, who will likely be encouraged to vote in the next election) is that this is amateur and petty. The issue of kicking someone out may be real, it may not be- it's hard to tell because everyone looks like an idiot.

Everyone should take a step back and see how this matter looks to third-parties like myself. Don't think that perception isn't important, because it is. The credibility of all involved shrinks every day this continues.

YetAnotherRIer said...

Huh? Abstain votes do not count for yea nor for nay. 18 yeas and 10 nays. That's the count. That's 80% more yeas than nays. You cannot not call this overwhelming.

OldRossie said...

I know I've added to the idiocy, but I have to agree with you.

KTG said...

Actually no they rent the space from RIOC, who use that income to fund island expenses. RIOC in it infinite wisdom delayed repairs denying them a chance to get income for the space last summer.
It another example of how RIOC is not really suited to serve as landlord and why there was a need for Hudson to take on Master lease. The changes made to Main Street are not about gentrification or pushing people out its about reversing years of property mismanagement. And making it possible to draw income generating tenants.

Why do continually post nagging/negative nonsense.

Mark Lyon said...

You neglect to quote the most significant part of your email, however. In your 6:26pm Sunday missive, you wrote:

"I am filing several complaints tomorrow morning with the NY District Attorney, NYS Attorney General, the Inspector General, JCOPE, and others; and I plan on forwarding those complaints to media outlets. Please provide your response by 9 AM tomorrow morning (Monday) so I can include in the complaints. Thank you."

This sort of thing is a large part of the problem. You're not just asking questions and pointing out concerns, you're trolling. By threatening the filing of complaints hither and thon, instead of taking time to allow reasonable, measured discussion internally, you make it nearly impossible for the organization to function. You also make it nearly impossible for someone to respond to you without risking having that response improperly dissected, selectively quoted and misconstrued. Instead, activities end up centering around triage of the fallout caused by your own impatience and inability to participate in the process.

Frank, you have a lot to offer, but threatening your neighbors with investigations and other forms of attack for not caving to your whims and demands is both un-neighborly and harmful to the conduct of the organization.

Frank Farance said...

YetAnotherRIer, in certain kinds of votes it requires a majority or 2/3 to approve. So in those kinds of votes, essentially No and Abstain votes have the same effect because the don't add to the Yes count. You'll find it in Roberts Rules and in law/regulation, too.

Mark Lyon said...

In this instance, an expulsion vote is by a "Two-Thirds vote", which is defined in the RIRA Constitution ( ) as:

"a vote in which at least two-thirds of the votes cast are in favor of a matter properly presented at a duly convened meeting at which a quorum is present. Abstentions shall not be counted as a vote cast either for or against any motion."

CheshireKitty said...

You can see it any way you like, but you cannot convert Abstain votes to Yes votes.

Any vote that is not a Yes vote is not, and cannot count as, a Yes vote.

You and your committee need about 26 Yes votes to get to 2/3 on 4 December.

Whatever the combination of No votes or Abstain votes that day, you will still need to gather at least 26 Yes votes to pass the measure.

So your problem is finding at least 8 additional votes among the 12 who voted No or Abstain, or those who were absent, or those who had left by the time of the vote on 6 November. Good luck.

As far as people who "buy" or "listen" to what Frank and the Cheshire Kitty say, that's a matter of opinion, isn't it, Jeff?

Given the 12 who did not vote Yes on 6 November, at least 12 do "listen" to Frank and the Kitty. (Please refrain from calling me Helen as I, a mere cat, do not answer to that name, as I've indicated before.)

And characterizing opinion as BS, as with all name-calling, means you have run out of arguments or ideas.

The fact is, the vote on 6 November wasn't overwhelming. Many of those who voted yes - did so because they wanted to see what is the additional "evidence" your committee said it would provide.

So far, none has been forthcoming, other than the denunciations of Vickie Feinmel and Lydia Tang.

Could you please put up the link to the actual evidence (the hundreds of emails, articles, and so forth, that you refer to in your column that you claim are so "evil")?

You said in your column you were going to provide the evidence so we can know what you are referring to as the reason for the Motion. So can you please provide the link now so that all of us have a chance to read/evaluate the hundreds of pieces of evidence before December 4th? Please?

CheshireKitty said...

That is correct. 2/3 must vote in favor. Abstain or No votes do not count as Yes votes.

CheshireKitty said...

You didn't read my comment carefully. 18 Yes vs. 2 No + 10 abstain = 18:12. That's not overwhelming. It's 10% - or 3 votes more than what they needed. Nobody would call 10% overwhelming.

YetAnotherRIer said...

You don't convert them at all. Abstains are "don't care" and don't count. The overwhelming majority voted "yes". This is black on white.

CheshireKitty said...

I'm sorry - you are wrong. You cannot convert Abstain into Yes votes and you cannot infer what those who chose not to use their votes, those who abstained, meant to convey by not using their votes. You cannot infer and I cannot infer, even I know in many cases what they did mean to convey.

You cannot say an Abstain vote = a Yes vote. The total was therefore 18Y-10A-2N. 18 out of 30 is overwhelming? Not really. I've explained why before. Overwhelming is something like 75% and up. That would have required more than 23 Yes votes. With 2 additional votes needed to exceed the minimum needed to pass the measure (16), they did get a majority to vote Yes, but not an overwhelming majority. Not by a long shot..

RooseveltIslander said...


The RIRA Farance Motion Expulsion Page lists documents purportedly to help us understand the reasons for expelling him. Among the documents listed is:

"The statement by the RIRA Treasurer that he found no irregularities in the SCE Committee's accounting of the 2013 Cherry Blossom Festival"
I asked RIRA Treasurer Russ Fields if the RIRA description of his Report regarding the accounting for the 2013 Cherry Blossom Festival was accurate.

Mr. Fields responded a few hours ago that:

"Unfortunately that statement is misleading and not in compliance with the contents of the report. The report stated that the method of accounting was unacceptable..."
Any explanation on why RIRA mischaracterized the RIRA Treasurer's Report on the 2013 Cherry Blossom Festival and who was responsible for writing the misleading statement?

Frank Farance said...

Mr. Lyon, your committee co-chair is either not telling the truth or holding secret committee meetings, yet you find that acceptable. Do you think residents find that acceptable?

Mr. Lyon, your committee co-chair is publishing false and misleading statements about the Treasurer's statement, e.g., one reads the RIRA website and one might believe a "clean opinion" was stated by an accountant, but that it no so. Do you think residents find that acceptable?

There is no trolling: I have raised genuine and substantive concerns. The problem is: the poor culture presently in RIRA.

In wasn't always like this. I trace it back to the secret Maple Tree Group meetings of summer 2010 (something Matt Katz was fine with), and then very early into Mr. Katz' 2010-2012 term, he advocated for quashing committee reports because there might be something unpleasant in a report. What that meant was: as a RIRA Common Council member, you couldn't discuss documents in the agenda package with your constituents (people in your building). Mr. Katz's approach was: it's more important to protect people than to reveal the truth to the community. With Ms. Polivy, it has gotten much much worse: a year of dysfunctional meetings and now months wasted on the dysfunction itself.

As for the part of the message you cite that was missing, I added it because of Nicole Walden's request.

AGuyonRI said...


This is the first unfiltered item that has been shared on this. As an island resident I would like to see this report. Can it be shared?

I would hope for a response from RIRA. Evictions aside, this now reeks.