Friday, January 17, 2014

Report From RIRA President Ellen Polivy - Roosevelt Island Goldwater Hospital Demolition And Construction Of Cornell NYC Tech Campus Begins, RIRA Member Expulsion Motion Continues And $700 Donation For Hurricane Sandy Relief

Image Of Ms. Polivy (Standing) Speaking At October 2, 2012 RICC Meeting

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Ellen Polivy sends the following Report To The Community:
Motions Passed at last RIRA meeting

1.A motion passed to donate $700 to the hurricane relief organization “you are Never Alone”. We on Roosevelt Island are fortunate that we got off easy in Hurricane Sandy.

2. A motion passed to postpone the expulsion vote to the February meeting as the parliamentary maneuvering and financial discussions that needed to happen took too long. During the preceding month, I consulted with a respected parliamentarian and attorney to get further clarity about our constitution and rules of order. I learned that the prior motion to remove the item from the agenda was unconstitutional as the RIRA Constitution is very specific on how the expulsion process is to proceed. According to the Constitution, the expulsion is a two-part process. On month one, the Bill of Particulars is presented. In month two, the Bill of Particulars is refuted by the accused and then a discussion and vote is taken. A motion to table to a date after the RIRA term is over was declared equally out of order. Two Council members quit in protest.

Cornell construction and RICC

Judy Buck, my newly elected Co-chair on the Roosevelt Island Community Coalition has asked me to add this update:

As 2014 begins, so does the life-changing construction of the Cornell complex on Roosevelt Island. In order to make this transition as painless, and as scrupulous, as possible, RICC renews its pledge to advocate for the community and its organizations.

RICC will work to hold Cornell responsible for its written and verbal promises to our community (most of which came from RICC's term sheet), to hear and address members' concerns, (including new concerns), and to stay connected to elected City officials, RIOC, and Cornell Community representatives, when appropriate.

At the moment, we're working on ideas that include a here-and-now term sheet that reflects the needs of all of us, including disabled, children and seniors. And we're identifying ways to bring home some of the tax money the City receive from Cornell co-locations.

Construction Starts Now

The first phase of construction, the demolition of Goldwater Hospital, is planned for mid-January 2014. We urge you to follow the construction process, so that Cornell, RIOC and NYC know that Roosevelt Island is present, alert, and watching.

RIOC urges residents to express questions and concerns directly to Cornell, then to copy them to RIOC on the RIOC website so that they can follow up with Cornell.


For ongoing information about construction:

To express your questions and concerns:

The Demolition Process:

Goldwater debris will be removed via barges anchored off the seawall on the east side of the river. Some details (such as continuity of Red Bus to Four Freedoms Park) to be worked out, but RIOC has control over process. Bulk materials will be loaded into 40-foot containers for barging, each barge to transport 40 containers, saving 40 truck trips; 2) asbestos to be removed by hand, as required, into special containers for barging; and 3) demolition of structures will occur from south to north.

The East Road will close temporarily, limiting scope of " the Loop." At a later point, the West Road will close, leaving East Road open. Cornell will reconstruct the Loop, and pedestrian access will remain. Metered street parking is planned (possibly limited; to be worked out). Cornell will protect their site, including guard booths, barrier fence, roadway barriers, and air quality monitors. RIOC will ensure Public Safety presence and has an independent engineer for oversight.

How RICC Helped

RIOC negotiated an extremely complex deal, and this is a significant victory. It is also a win for RICC. When Charlene Indelicato took office as RIOC president, the RICC board provided her with a detailed list of all community issues, a history of each request, and a priority list, for which Ms. Indelicato thanked us. When negotiations got under way, she hit the ground running.

Ongoing Cornell Connections

Cornell will keep us updated as they continue the approval processes at the design commission and during demolition and construction.

Town Hall Meetings. Cornell has planned a series of presentations on the Island to show residents plans for each phase of construction. All are invited.

The Cornell-Tech Construction Task Force. Originally proposed by RICC, this committee was reshaped by Cornell and New York City. It was created to ensure that Cornell meet commitments made during the ULURP process. The public and press may attend meetings, but may not speak. Minutes from the first meeting are posted on the Cornell website:

CB8 Roosevelt Island Committee. Community Board 8 has designated a Roosevelt Island Committee to review Cornell design and construction plans. Committee votes on whether or not designs will be passed on for review by full CB8 board.

The Community Needs you to attend this meeting!

Numbers count! Please "blast" your members and friends. A sea of faces sends a powerful, public message!

February 5th (Wednesday) Cornell Town Hall Presentation
Manhattan Park Theatre Club, 8 River Road 6-8 PM