Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Roosevelt Island Residents Association Meeting Tonight - Voting On Motion To Expel Frank Farance From RIRA For Being Disagreeable, He May Be A Witch Too

The Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) will be meeting tonight, 8 PM, at the Good Shepherd Community Center (543 Main Street).

 Image Of September 2013 RIRA Meeting

As always, prior to the start of each monthly meeting there is a public session in which residents can come and address the Common Council Delegates on any issue of concern.

Among the items on tonight's Agenda is this Bill Of Particulars to Expel Frank Farance from RIRA.
BILL OF PARTICULARS

November 6, 2013

WHEREAS: the preamble of The Constitution of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association clearly states that residents “want to live together in harmony based on mutual respect and the voluntary sharing of responsibility,”

WHEREAS: An environment of intimidation, fear and hostility is not conducive to conducting the work of the Common Council,

WHEREAS: Common Council Representative, Frank Farance, has repeatedly engaged in conduct that is counter to the principles of harmony and sharing but rather is consistent with creating intimidation, fear and hostility in the following ways:
  1. Abusing his position to denigrate and defame people without a basis of fact, endangering their professional and personal reputations,
  2. Denigrating the reputation of the Common Council, itself, thereby diminishing the community’s goodwill and jeopardizing community support,
  3. Threatening and attempting to diminish the respect of government entities with whom the organization interacts, thereby hindering the organization’s effectiveness,
  4.  Cyber bullying by publicizing defaming statements and misusing various communications platforms, both internal and external to the organization, (such as the email reflector, blog, social media, and The Main Street WIRE).
  5. Depriving the members of the Common Council of the respect they deserve for their devoted service to the community.
WHEREAS: The Common Council has previously taken the step to censure Frank Farance on October 5, 2011; But, his offensive behavior has continued unabated and without improvement,

WE THEREFORE MOVE TO EXPELL Common Council Representative Frank Farance, effective immediately pursuant to Article III, Section 9, paragraph (b).
Here is October 2011 post on previous RIRA censure motion against Mr. Farance.

Did you know Mr. Farance may also be a Witch.



Here is an example of a recent statement by Mr. Farance that appeared on Roosevelt Islander and in the Main Street WIRE that some RIRA members found objectionable. In it, Mr. Farance gave his opinion that:
As a RIRA Common Council representative from Island House, I am reporting the very sad state of affairs in RIRA. We are half-way through our RIRA term, the meetings have been the most dysfunctional in my 17-year recollection....
and was highly critical of certain RIRA members (Full statement here).

In my opinion, this Bill Of Particulars against Mr. Farance is ridiculous, a waste of time and damages RIRA more than anything Mr. Farance has ever said or done.

There is nothing that Mr. Farance has published on Roosevelt Islander, or what I have seen in the WIRE, which is defamatory at all. It may be critical, highly opinionated and in some cases rude but it is not defamatory and certainly does not justify RIRA expelling him from a Common Council that he was elected to by the people who live in his building. Also, Mr. Farance often has a valid point to make, or, at least, an issue worthy of further investigation by NY State, RIOC, RIRA and the media.

The attempt to expel him is for his dissident views made public, sometimes rude characterizations as well as personal dislike of him by some RIRA members. None of these reasons are sufficient cause to expel him from RIRA.

Notice that the Bill of Particulars only contains conclusory statements about defamation without any specific examples.

I may or may not agree with what Mr. Farance says or does but he certainly has a right to publicly express his opinions about issues of concern to the Roosevelt Island community and should not be expelled because some within RIRA disagree with him.

Here's the rest of tonight's RIRA Agenda.
Common Council Meeting

Please arrive a half hour early to help set up tables and chairs

RIRA Common Council Agenda


Date: Wednesday November 6 , 2013
Time: 8pm-Finish
Place: Good Shepherd Community Center, 543 Main Street

1. Public Session: Dolores Green- speaking about Jessica Lappin thank you party being planned. Dr Catherine Reid, Veterinarian, introduction

2. Roll call

3. Elect new secretary

4. Approval of minutes

5. Approval of agenda


6. Treasurer’s Report

7. President’s Report

8. Seat Southtown representative Article III, Section 6, Vacancies "If a district has no alternate, one may be appointed pursuant to b), c), and d) above.

9. Committee reports
Communications- Motion to approve a Bill of Particulars
SC&E- Resolution to approve insurance
Resolution to approve anti bullying campaign
Resolution to approve Ben Hugs day
Public purpose
Constitution-Bylaws committee-resolution to create a
Code-of-conduct committee
Housing
Public Safety
Island Services
Planning
Government relations

10. Old business- motion to reconsider Korean Pavilion vote

11. New business
resolution to create a code of conduct committee
UPDATE 11/7 12:30 AM - The Bill Of Particulars to expel Frank Farance was approved by a majority vote of the Common Council. As described by its RIRA supporters, the Bill Of Particulars approval was the equivalent of a showing of probable cause to expel Mr. Farance.

At the next monthly RIRA meeting in December, Mr. Farance will have the opportunity to defend himself against the charges. In order to expel Frank from RIRA it will take a vote of 2/3 of the Common Council.

Though some Common Council members spoke thoughtfully of perceived harm caused to them or others by statements made by Frank, I did not hear any specific statement that Frank made which caused the alleged harm. There was no substantiation to any charge against Frank other than he publicly embarrassed the RIRA President by publishing criticism of her in this Blog and the WIRE.

The overwhelming sense of those who supported this motion was that Frank was being disloyal and harmful to RIRA by making his criticism of RIRA public to the Roosevelt Island community.

Frank was not going to be permitted to speak at this meeting but after he requested time to speak was allowed to speak for about 4 minutes.

I video recorded the RIRA Bill of Particulars motion to expel Mr. Farance. Here's how it began with RIRA President Ellen Polivy



and other RIRA members



voicing their opinion on the issue.



Will post rest of the discussion video later today.

UPDATE 10:15 PM - More video from last night's discussion on the Bill of Particulars to expel Mr. Farance.

RIRA Public Safety Committee Chair Erin Feeley-Nahem described how her committee worked with Frank despite differences.



Island Services Committee Chair Aaron Hamburger offered an additional Bill Of Particular against Mr. Farance which was accepted by RIRA.
AMENDMENT TO BILL OF PARTICULARS

Organized a “Public “ Safety group independent of RIRA. This group is in competition with RIRA’s Public Safety Committee. This group undermines the work and credibility of RIRA’s Public Safety Committee.


RIRA Vice President Jeff Escobar spoke of his concerns that statements by Mr. Farance hurt the professional standing of Common Council members.



RIRA Member Helen Chirvas asserted that Mr. Farance was being punished soley for exercising his constitutional right to free speech but RIRA member Nicole Warden said it was not a question of free speech but responsible speech and protecting RIRA's effectiveness.



Finally, Mr. Farance spoke followed by the vote on the Bill of Particulars. The vote was 18 in favor 2 opposed and 10 abstentions.



Stay tuned. I am sure there will be more on this subject.

59 comments :

AGuyonRI said...

I find the allegation of cyber bullying incredibly insensitive to anyone who has been the victim of cyber bullying. I've re-read Mr. Farance's letter from the Wire and there is a tremendous distinction between criticism of an elected and public leader (RIRA leadership) and bullying.


I don't know any of the people mentioned here, and I haven't been involved with RI politics to date, but I may reconsider and I encourage others to do the same. Between the articles in the Times and actions like these it's easy to say that this is incredibly embarrassing for the community. At a time when members of the Island truly need assistance and to find a haven in their community that treats all interested equally, an agenda like this is disgusting. It's like Middle School...

OldRossie said...

Fundamentally, I believe, Frank is often wrong in his approach and misguided in his opinions. I've even gone as far as to accuse him of having ulterior motives. Nonetheless, the elected officials that should be removed from office are those NOT willing to risk defamation, question government entities, or enter public debate. Moreover, someones removal from office for "depriving the members of the Common Counsel of the respect they deserve" is a statement I would expect to read in a judgement made under Communist law, not a Residents Association (save for Del Boca Vista). I don't like Frank, but I agree that this going as far as an agenda item discredits RIRA. At least in my view.

Jeff P said...

You should consider the possibility that the other folks in RIRA are genuinely interested in serving the RI community, and that Frank actively and intentionally disrupts their efforts. That this may simply be a practical measure to improve the organization's effectiveness, and one that has been carefully considered.

OldRossie said...

By blogging, whining, and generally being a jerk? Is there an association without one? Or are there more specifics - he yells at people in meetings using foul language... because if he's simply a public nuisance, I'm sure there are other ways an ELECTED official is removed. Otherwise, it reads more like abusing the "position to denigrate and defame people without a basis of fact, endangering their personal and professional reputations"... Frank's.

Jeff P said...

The dynamic is pretty simple... you have most of RIRA pulling in one direction, and Frank Farance pulling in the other. To characterize it as Middle School is an oversimplification. All RIRA members have an obligation to their constituents to be as effective as possible while they serve. Clearly many of them feel they could accomplish more without Frank than with him. If Frank were truly concerned about RI he would step aside. Instead, he's chosen to obstruct the organization's agenda.

Jeff P said...

There's a lot more in play than just being a public nuisance. Does the fact that he's elected change anything if he's disrupting and entire organization that was also elected?

AGuyonRI said...

That's what good governance is- managing a process that allows for dissenting opinions to be heard. It's the reason why things like parliamentary procedures exist. If his conduct at meetings is preventing business from occurring or from an organized meeting to continue occurring then I agree that steps should be taken. If it's because he has a different belief than others in the organization... that is extremely scary to me that RIRA has a my way or the highway view.

OldRossie said...

Yes, it does change things! If congress got together and said the majority are decided in one direction, and anyone that disagrees is expelled... would that be an acceptable approach? That's the dynamic you just described! Descent should be part of the process. (I think I just stole AguyonRI's point, so I guess I second it)

OldRossie said...

I never thought I'd say it, but I stand by Frank on this one.

Jeff P said...

The only "my way or the highway" is coming from Frank. I've worked with a number of other Council Members with opposing positions and found them all to be flexible in their thinking. I don't believe there's a cultural issue in the organization at large.

Jeff P said...

My point was that everyone in RIRA is elected. It's not about being elected and it's not about having a differing opinion. The Council is full of differing opinions. It's about disrupting the operation of the organization. Let's look at this from the other side. If I were to say to you we're sponsoring fewer events and doing less community outreach because one individual is obstructing the work of others, would you still say he should be untouchable because he was elected? His actions are costing the RI community.

OldRossie said...

I would say, the issue would be more understandable should the published bill of particulars identify events not sponsored and outreach programs not effected. Considering he is elected, I would think specific examples would make the perceived need for expulsion clearer to those not on the Council. Expulsion might still be a stretch, depending on the extent of the disruption. But with a nonspecific rationale, why elect... may as well let RIRA choose.

YetAnotherRIer said...

Interesting. I don't necessarily agree with this approach but it tells volumes about what kind of person Frank is and how he comes across. Being a public figure requires finesse that he just does not possess and probably is not able to learn. I am not even a tiny bit surprised it came that far. Rick, the problem here is not that he points out things. It's about how he is unwilling to listen to different opinions and how he handles people that disagree with him and pretty much calls them names from the get go.

OldRossie said...

Is there no audit? There are more than a few not-for-profit audit firms that can be recommended.. should one be called for.

YetAnotherRIer said...

The problem is that it doesn't matter how good your points or findings are. They are drowned by the way you present and argue them. You are not respectful towards people you are trying to convince. That's all there is to it.

OldRossie said...

Please provide a post-meeting update. I'll be interested to hear the outcome.

commonsense540 said...

The key is in all that Frank is saying is anything true, has anyone addressed that issue.

Jeff P said...

For anyone following this thread, the RIRA Common Council voted to accept the Bill of Particulars and proceed with expulsion process. Frank will have an opportunity to defend his position at next month's meeting, and then the expulsion vote will be called.

RooseveltIslander said...

The Bill Of Particulars to expel Frank was approved by a majority vote of the Common Council. As described by its RIRA supporters, the Bill Of Particulars approval was the equivalent of a showing of probable cause to expel Frank.

At the next monthly RIRA meeting in December Frank will have the opportunity to defend himself against the charges. In order to expel Frank from RIRA it will take a vote of 2/3 of the Common Council.

Though some Common Council members spoke thoughtfully of perceived harm caused to them or others by statements made by Frank, I did not hear any specific statement that Frank made which caused the alleged harm. There was no substantiation to any charge against Frank other than he publicly embarrassed the RIRA President by publishing criticism of her in this Blog and the WIRE.

The overwhelming sense of those who supported this motion was that Frank was being disloyal and harmful to RIRA by making his criticism of RIRA public to the Roosevelt Island community.

Frank was not going to be permitted to speak at this meeting but after he requested time to speak was allowed to speak for about 4 minutes.

Will have video of the whole meeting soon.

Ratso123 said...

Depending on your politics, you can find "obstructionists" everywhere. In my opinion the House of Representatives is filled with them. Like them Frank was ELECTED. Not only does this possible expulsion subvert the democratic process, but it also conveys to the elected officials of Roosevelt Island that they better "tow the line" or else.

YetAnotherRIer said...

Congress is a large beast that can deal with disruptive forces a lot better than small orgs like the RIRA. Again, I am not sure I support the RIRA's way of handling this problem but I understand why they are doing it. This is not just about him being critical. This is about him insisting that he is the one and only truth in town and the disrespect he has constantly been showing.

td said...

On numerous occasions in the past year or so former and current RIRA members voiced their extreme disappointment with the current RIRA president. Some were happy for not being members of RIRA any more as it has been completely dysfunctional due to the weak leadership. Moreover, couple of years ago the current RIRA president compared Frank to a dog who needs 'behavior modification', and the best thing to be done is to treat him as such. Now, the thing that was upsetting them at that time was the fact that Frank could voice his opinion online for everyone to see, and therefore those that provide him with this opportunity (such as
Roosevelt Islander) should be equally punished. But let's get straight here: the truth is that nobody likes Frank - not even people outside of RIRA who have to deal with him for other issues. It's enough to mention Frank's name for people to start rolling their eyes. But that's not the
reason to expel him from RIRA. There were stories of people getting into physical fights in RIRA, and they never got reprehended for that. If we could cancel or expel someone just for voicing different opinion or
bashing us publicly we'd be resembling North Korea today. So RIRA people: quit whining, toughen up, and beat Frank with strong arguments and valuable proposals. RIRA fought for years to have RIOC board
democratically elected (instead of being appointed by Albany), and now that same body is doing exactly the opposite of what it stands for?? And RIRA president, please grow up!

Rebecca said...

My TIME WARNER cable / internet AND phone is down as well - Went to down around 10am this morning. Coincidence? NOt a happy camper!

CheshireKitty said...

No problem with my land-line.

Mark Lyon said...

Call before you dig...

maryelizak1 said...

I admire Fank Farance for his courage and think the rest of RIRA should be ashamed of themselves. It is they who have tarnished the reputation of RIRA by their intolerance of dissent

RooseveltIslander said...

RIRA purports to represent the interests of Roosevelt Island residents. RIRA members are elected by residents. RIRA also receives $100 Thousand from NY State through RIOC to distribute to local organizations.

Therefore, RIRA is a "Public" organization, not a book club or some other private group of people getting together for their own private volunteer purposes.

How else will residents know what is going on inside RIRA if RIRA members who disagree with its President are not allowed to state those disagreements publicly?

Personal grudges are not sufficient reason to remove anybody from RIRA nor is the opinion of some that Frank is mean and/or callous. Some RIRA members have to grow up and remember Sticks and Stones from their childhood.

Also, Frank does raise many valid issues which nobody else will.

Take a look at this Politico article today about name calling in the debate about education policy.

This stuff happens all the time so if Frank's language bothers you, rebut him or just ignore him.

Frank Farance said...

Verizon tech said "three weeks", managing agent said November 18. According to the Verizon tech, there were two 3000-pair phone cables and a fiber set that were cut. Jokingly, I asked "so you'll be done splicing 6000 pairs tonight, right?". He said "three weeks".

The infrastructure drawings are maintained by RIOC and an independent contractor said that the present drawings (a couple years ago) were inaccurate. RIOC was supposed to upgrade all those drawings to current standards. It seems odd that TWO utility companies would get this wrong, more likely the RIOC drawings were out of date or inaccurate.

Rick, maybe you can inquire about the dates of the drawings and (more importantly) the GIS drawing quality level (A, B, C, D). With the phones out for 2-3 weeks on Island construction, we really need to understand this better.

My recollection is that the drawings RIOC had were at Quality Level D and they needed to be at Quality Level B. Here's two links that explain the levels. The first is a powerpoint summary on slides 5-9 (see "http://c.ymcdn.com/sites/www.mapps.org/resource/resmgr/2013_summer_conference/croshaw-mapps_utility_survey.pdf"). The second is the excerpt of the ASCE standard "Standard Guideline for the Collection and Depiction of Existing Subsurface Utility Data", which is dense standards prose (see "http://www.dot.ga.gov/doingbusiness/utilities/sue/Documents/ASCE%2038-02.pdf").

OldRossie said...

So, $100,000 of tax money is provided to RIRA's discretion. Meanwhile, a justification for booting Frank, in the third video at the 2:43 mark, "we are not using taxpayer dollars... none of us are acting in an official capacity... People that are receiving tax dollars sign on to be exposed to the press." Soooo it is a state sponsored organization of elected... people, right? Personally, I'd prefer my tax money to be refunded to the state, who can more efficiently reallocate to appropriate organizations. The state may be dysfunctional, but at least someone can have a public opinion without getting fired.

RooseveltIslander said...

A clarification.

RIRA has been delegated by RIOC with the task of allocating $100 thousand annually in RIOC Public Purpose funds to local Roosevelt Island non profit organizations.

Public Purpose Funds are not tax money from NY State but rather funds from RIOC which is a NY State Public Benefits Corporation.

RIOC has historically accepted the recommendations from RIRA but is under no legal obligation to do so. RIOC pays out the money to the organizations recommended by RIRA.

More details on RIOC Public Purpose Funds below.

http://rioc.com/grants.htm

SherieL said...

p.s. one correction: the authority to remove a member from RIRA rests in its Constitution, not the By-laws. It has been part of the document since the inception of RIRA 35 years ago. Also, the Congress does have a mechanism to impeach members and presidents (the latter 2 times in our history). The Ethics committee of Congress can also take action against it's own members. RIRA is doing what it is allowed to do. Those who have so many opinions about RIRA and recent events, but have never attended a meeting nor put themselves forward for a seat, would do well to become part of the organization and help it move forward positively.

SherieL said...

RIRA has always, once a year, had it's very small treasury audited by an outside CPA. You can speak to the RIRA Treasurer if you need more info.

SherieL said...

This most recent action/vote taken by a MAJORITY of RIRA members to proceed with this expulsion, is most decidedly a democratic process and bears no relationship to anything in the communist world! As in my note above, the RIRA Constitution mandates this very democratic process and has since 1977. It is taken very seriously as it must be done in two parts: first, the Impeachment, or Bill of Particulars must be accepted by a majority of the Council, and one month later a vote of 2/3 of the Council must vote in favor of removal of the member. The reasons for this action were given in the BofP presented in the November meeting. Anything further will be stated in the Dec. RIRA meeting. As noted, Farance can speak in his defense then. How you are able to liken this process to communism is astonishing! I believe sending folks w/o any trial (or at best, a completely rigged "show" trial) off to the Gulag is more like what you're thinking of. Rest assured, FF will still have his life to live in all its fullness after RIRA. So, puleeese....

RooseveltIslander said...

Still have not heard one specific example of Frank slandering or defaming anybody on RIRA. It appears that certain current and former RIRA members are using their personal animosity as a sledgehammer to remove somebody they don't like and who asks questions that if ever answered, may prove embarrassing to some.


Please, if you can, somebody from RIRA give a specific example to justify expelling Frank other than the vague, meaningless conclusory allegations contained in the Bill of Particulars.

SherieL said...

I don’t know all the issues, but it was noted in the past RIRA meeting that he has sent (RIOC Board?) complaint correspondence to various State entities/representatives which included his own committee members’ emails WITHOUT their permission, so
that it appears they have been part of his complaints, which apparently they
were not. What do you and your bloggers call that?

Your readers need to remember that RIRA is an all VOLUNTEER organization. No one has to join. People have run for their seats with the thought and hope of doing something good for their community. Frank has written things in public areas that some are legitimately concerned will/can affect their business and professional affairs. That is something he was warned not to continue doing in the last RIRA “class”. That is why he was Censured and that was done with a pretty solid majority vote of the Common Council. Anyone can look this up in The Main Street WIRE archives.

He continues to do his (dirty) work with comments on the blog about his colleagues, instead of talking with them privately. This is an uncollegial and truly unprofessional approach. His attacks on the SC&E Chair and her neighbor and friend who helped with the Cherry Blossom Festival, for what? Based on what? These were unfounded attacks in public. He chose not to take his concerns to either of them, or to the RIRA officers and/or the RIRA treasurer privately, and let them handle his concerns, which is what a professional does. Instead he chose to willfully blast his erroneous “claims” in public, giving a mis-impression of his colleagues and neighbors, which have been found to be incorrect. With this kind of action he displays a willingness to damage others’ publicly in order to build himself up in the public view. What do you call that?

This is FF's modus operandi throughout the 15 years I and many of us have known him. Sometimes he could be ignored. But I don't believe that is so now. We never saw anything quite like his most recent behavior.
When behavior is so disruptive to the organization and may have other professional and legal ramifications for its members, his colleagues, the organization has every right and is required to protect itself and its members. RIRA is not the Congress and shouldn't be likened to it entirely. It is a registered corporation. Expulsion is part of the RIRA Constitution and it is legal to use.

Further, from what I’ve heard from my friends on the Council, there are those who are afraid to come up against him directly, hence your readers should construe what they will from all those Abstentions in the vote taken at the last RIRA meeting. These folks fear FF’s retribution, whatever form it could/might take. With a paper (no identity of the voter) ballot, their votes might very well change to help remove him.

I am not a member of RIRA anymore, but I know many of the folks still sitting on the Common Council. Their fears and anger with Frank are real and it is not just because he’s disagreeable as one of your bloggers has written. RIRA has functioned with many other "disagreable" personalities and has never, in the time I have served, felt the need to expel a member. We did, however, keep someone from returning to the Council after a long absense That was with a unanimous vote, I might add.

All pertinent issues will be brought up in December’s meeting.

SherieL said...

Dissent is NOT the issue here. Disruption and endangering colleagues' professional outside lives is a real problem.

SherieL said...

RIRA has a Constitutional right to remove a member if it finds itself in that position. RIRA is not the Congress. RIRA is a CORPORATION. Corporations will fire someone if they decide that person is endangering the organization.

SherieL said...

There is no subversion going on here. Read my note about the organizations being a corporation. Corporations (and even Congress) have rules. If Congress were to follow its own rules, many more folks might be more stringently treated: lose their committee chairmanship, be tossed off committees, be demoted to some "do-nothing" committee, be publicly shamed (does shame even exist anymore?) etc.

SherieL said...

FF was the highest vote receiver when he ran for the RIOC Board in our first election. Did you and the other readers know this? And lately one of FF's fights, since he wasn't chosen to sit on the Board, (can you wonder why?) is to go after all the Board members, especially those (a majority) who live in Rivercross and who are now in the midst of privatization saying they're only going to make decisions that favor their privatization. Of course, wouldn't that have been true of Mr. Farance too? Margie Smith, Howard Polivy, Dr. Grimm, and Fay Christian (formerly of Westview when elected by the community) all live in Rivercross. If Frank had been chosen, along with Erin Feeley-Nahem, who lives in Westview, would that argument have followed for them too? Now Frank wants all the community members to be removed by the Governor, 'cause what? They have something to gain? I'd call this a case of sour-grapes gone wild. Anyone elected to Congress must live in their district. They also benefit from the government money, jobs, projects that come to their community as well as their constituents!! The point of having elections in a community that is basically a colony of the State of New York, is to give us some say in how our community is run--being part of the decision-making. Frank is not happy not being on this Board. Boo-hoo.

YetAnotherRIer said...

I agree with you.

OldRossie said...

You regularly say RIRA is a corp, not congress, but here you're comparing impeached presidents to Frank - below you scoff at the comparison to communism. Johnson: impeached for violation of the Tenure of Office Act (ironically), and Clinton: Perjury. But defamation? See: Liu Hu.

However, you've posted quite a few important notions supporting ousting Frank - primarily that this is for the general protection of other RIRA volunteers, and it is RIRA's right. Interestingly, this entire story and process, in my view, is SLANDEROUS against Frank. But as you said, he "will still have his life to live in all its fullness after RIRA. So, puleeese...." Too bad the rest of RIRA's volunteers aren't as resilient.

My last point is on the idea that Frank detracts from islanders' perception of RIRA, consequently detracting from RIRA's effectiveness. I think this whole mess is worse than anything Frank has done. At least, that's the perception of this islander.

NotMyKid said...

Frank is not a reasonable individual by any means. My issues with him is that he goes on an offensive, but with added attacks. Highly manipulative with words and uses them against you in ways not intended to be used.

He jumps the gun on many issues and always sees the light. The answer man.

He will pound a person with Wikipedia information and google searches, with no real knowledge on issues at hand. And over night genius on a particular subject. Reading about a particular subject does not make him or her an expert. Real world experience makes one good at what they do, yet still not an expert, how is Frank the number one answer man with solutions to EVERY problem?. The answer is, he is not and far from it.

Nothing personal against him, just the facts.

Is he the best? I don't think so... But just ask him! He will tell you otherwise.

NotMyKid said...

Elected OFFICIAL?

Who are you kidding?

It's regular citizens who are on a "resident board". The equivalent of children playing with each other. Once a kid is not liked, they kick him out of the group and keep playing.

There is absolutely nothing official with rira.

Is it needed? Yeah. Def not official.

NotMyKid said...

You mean just like Frank when he goes in circles with his accusations and comments?

Or his slandering of former psd members with absolutely zero proof?

Riiiight.

NotMyKid said...

Of course it's a book club. It's a needed book club, but its nothing official.

A not for profit corp can usually get funds from the govt to redistribute to help the community. Add in a few wink and nods and you have yourself an organization with funding.

NotMyKid said...

So it was just out of thin air to expel him?

Jeff P said...

With all due respect you have no idea what you're talking about. Are you now, or have you ever been part of the Common Council? Have you been on the receiving end of one of his smear campaigns? Have you had to do damage control with government agencies? Tried to raise funds despite what donors think about Frank? This is much more than personal dislikes. Frank's misconduct exposes the organization to legal liability. He disrupts meetings. He makes it difficult to recruit and retain talented people. This has been going on for years. He's been counseled, asked to resign, rebuked, formally censured, yet he's still convinced he's right and everyone else is wrong. And before you get all wound up about democracy and free speech, you should know the Council voted 20 - 2 to pursue the motion to expel, and the final vote will require a two thirds majority. If Frank is expelled it will be because a lot of people agree the organization is better off without him.

YetAnotherRIer said...

"... is SLANDEROUS against Frank ..."


That is funny. Frank doesn't need any help in that regard. He is what he is.

YetAnotherRIer said...

"If Frank is expelled it will be because a lot of people agree the organization is better off without him."


And that is entirely within the RIRA's right to do so.

YetAnotherRIer said...

Hmmm.... Frank is good news for a blog. Without him there is less to write about.

YetAnotherRIer said...

Or his actions as RIRA president? CC'ing God and the world about his rants over the Bluebeard incident? Again, that was the time when I just could not support Frank and his actions anymore.

CheshireKitty said...

Perhaps - but everyone should have the right to speak their mind, without fear of retribution, or retaliation.


If the expulsion takes place, RIRA loses all credibility as the organization representing RI residents, the organization looked to by the elected officials, as the de facto representative organization of RI. Such a representative organization as RIRA must abide by the rule of law - including the Constitutionally protected right to free speech and free speech.


If the expulsion occurs, I, and I hope many others, will petition the Governor to direct RIOC to withhold RIOC funding of RIRA elections - since it's State money used to perpetuate an organization that flouts the law insofar as free speech and free press is concerned - and select another, less authoritarian, organization to help RIOC distribute the Public Purpose Funds.


If the expulsion occurs, the State has no business lending even an iota of credibility or official recognition to an organization that blatantly flouts the law upon which our entire structure of government is built: The Constitution, including Constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press.

CheshireKitty said...

But, what exactly is the reason for the expulsion? Because former RIRA CC member and current RIOC Board member Margie Smith was upset that she was listed as a recipient on an email to Governor Cuomo about RIOC Board member Mike Shinozaki and RIRA CC member Lynne Shinozaki - the email that got the Shinozakis summoned before a State Ethics Panel, because Frank had correctly identified the conflict of interest inherent in Lynne participating in RIRA's Public Safety Committee (PSC)? The State Ethics Panel agreed with Frank, for goodness sake, and Lynne was correctly kicked off - oh, excuse me, had to remove herself from - the PSC as the State Ethics Panel directed!
What is wrong with that? Nothing! Frank is one of the few with the guts to take on the entrenched interests on RI, and for his efforts, to suffer expulsion. As I said above, the expulsion is only going to lead to the complete discrediting of RIRA as the purported "representative" organization of RI residents.

CheshireKitty said...

There are a handful of non CC RI residents that attend CC meetings, so most islanders do not have a first-hand idea of what goes on at these meetings. These meetings have been problematic since Ellen Polivy took over RIRA a year ago, following an uncontested election to RIRA President. Polivy has been unable to keep it together since her accession to the RIRA Presidency, and to forestall a move to remove her, initiated a move - the Bill to Expel Frank - to rip the guts out of those opposing her, who had suggested she step down. It's clear that the hastily put together expulsion motion was a defensive measure on the part of Polivy, who was under the microscope for several weeks for her deficient performance prior to the expulsion motion being filed by her "lap-dog" Jeff P. It is obvious that Polivy hatched the motion with the help of her close friends, clients, and political allies on the council so as to quash the dissenting voices on the CC that are loudly calling for her removal or resignation for non-performance. She gives as her signal achievement so far the fact that she managed to get 2.5K out of the film production company that briefly took over the RI bridge to shoot a scene? And the fact that, as a result of a comment in her Wire column, she was able to find a volunteer Girl Scout Leader? Maybe these are "big" achievements - in a universe where she can't even conduct a RIRA meeting with a minimum level of competence. Her non-performance is what triggered her move to remove Frank - and Frank's questions about a number of questionable issues regarding RIRA governance, financial reporting, and so forth. I suppose the idea is, once Frank is gone, oh, and maybe a few other opposition members that are weighing a walk out if Frank goes, then RIRA will be "purified" of the "taint" of an opposition, and can just continue as a bastion of civility, with Polivy gathering her loyal followers around her, as a Mother Goose might gather her goslings (or, possibly gulls - as in those that are gulled by untruths).


The fact that someone can be ejected from an organization for pointing out problems with the leadership, problems which now include misleading financial reports, and improper requests for funds from RIOC, tells volumes about the cabal-like clique that currently runs the organization.

CheshireKitty said...

If it's a corporation then it should not represent itself as a representative organization. And it should definitely not receive a dime of RIOC funding for its elections, which it currently does. It should also not be given the 100,000 of PPF to distribute by RIOC - since it seems to be unable to conduct its own affairs in a fair and democratic manner, according too the wording in the Preamble to the RIRA constitution.


Democracy, is, after all, a messy affair. If someone, a RIRA Cttee member, gets up to tell lies before a RIOC Cttee, lies that are correctly laughed at and received with a hale of angry comments by RIOC officials, we shouldn't know? That someone was definitely guilty of at the very least improper behavior - trying to con RIOC out of money. Con artists - that's what RI residents expect out of RIRA? If so, then you'll get what you want once Frank is gone: A bunkum organization filled with con artists, angling to get money out of RIOC any way they can.


RIRA wants to turn RIOC into a giant piggy-bank, it seems. RIOC should be thoroughly investigated by the State for its cozy relationship with RIRA.

CheshireKitty said...

NotMyKid: Remember, the entire CC voted unanimously to get Guerra removed, if that is what you are referring to. The evidence seems to be pretty conclusive that Keith T. Guerra went too far, was waaayy too gung-ho in terms of over-enforcement, when he was running PSD. That means there is proof that Guerra was brutal, and was correctly removed.

OldRossie said...

There you go AGAIN! Commenting on a blog, while trying to make fun of people commenting on a blog!

CheshireKitty said...

The Bluebeard incident was widely reported in the island media. Let's get the story straight on the Bluebeard incident, for the benefit of those who may not be familiar with it. Bluebeard is a nicknamed used by a Mr. Mansour, a RI resident and dad, who actually is quite involved in community affairs. Mansour was watching his kid play in a Little League game at Capobianco Field - the ballfield adjacent to Eastwood - when a dispute arose with an off-island Little League team waiting to start their game. The problem may have been the RI teams were going into extra innings. The respective parents of the island and the off-island kids got into a minor squabble about the end time and start time of the games. Someone actually called the cops - the PSD - instead of letting the teams/parents work out a compromise - and PSD decided to shoo off the RI island teams willy-nilly, so the off-island teams could start their game. Mansour had his camera - nothing surprising there, since he had been taking pictures of his son playing baseball - and when he decided to take a picture of the island teams leaving, as he was in the process of leaving, a PSD cop told him to stop taking pictures. To this day, no-one has explained why the request was made - it seems senseless to ask a resident to stop taking pictures of the teams and the parents as they streamed off the field in an orderly fashion. Since Mansour didn't comply as fast as the cop wanted him to comply, he was actually cuffed and dragged over to the PSD office - really, for no reason, or for a capricious reason: The fact that he hadn't complied "fast enough". Unfortunately, Mansour, who has disclosed that he is a diabetic, had just taken an insulin injection as he was planning to have lunch with his son after the game. Mansour was chained to the wall at PSD HQ and denied food and even a sugary drink like soda which could have kept his blood sugar level at a safe level. The PSD officers instead scoffed at his passing out. Finally a non-PSD RI resident intervened and handed over a soda for Mansour to drink, which saved him from possibly losing consciousness and going into a diabetic coma.


Anybody have any problems seeing what happened with the Bluebeard incident, which, by the way, Guerra never disavowed? A respected, involved, and caring dad, was needlessly and inappropriately arrested, and then sadistically treated at PSD HQ, until he was practically killed off by the laughing PSOs, despite his pleas for for at least a soda, despite his telling them immediately of his diabetes.


No - there is no amount of explanation that can excuse what the PSD did to Mansour. Anybody who calls the story a "rant" is a benighted idiot IMO. The Mansour incident is a stark story of police abuse of the worst kind. Luckily, Mansour did get the soda even though he nearly did pass out etc. That doesn't excuse PSD. Every criticism leveled at PSD by Frank, the PSC, and anyone else opposed to police brutality, over the Mansour incident, was fully justified. Thank goodness Guerra is long gone.

YetAnotherRIer said...

I don't see why it is a problem for one organization to have an "in" into another one. Sure, it backfired this time but it is not a problem per se.


Okay, so your argument is pretty much down to "show me the money" and the presumed incapability of the people involved to throw this event?


None of this is reason to call people names and make your rants as public as you did.