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Friday, March 14, 2014

Frank Farance Commends New Roosevelt Island Residents Association President Escobar For Running A Good Meeting But Asks If Good Governance Will Follow

Reported previously on the efforts of some Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council (CC) members to expel CC member Frank Farance. Those efforts created a circus like atmosphere within RIRA and ultimately led to the resignations of several CC members, a new RIRA President and Mr. Farance remaining a CC member.

As reported following the March RIRA meeting:

Just left tonight's RIRA meeting and am happy to say the Circus has left Roosevelt Island. This RIRA meeting under the leadership of President Jeff Escobar was efficiently run, productive, civil and informative. It provides hope for the future of RIRA as an organization.

After the meeting, the overwhelming consensus of those present was that Mr. Escobar did a great job. Some RIRA members even came over to me and said they now understand why Roberts Rules Of Order is a good framework for conducting meetings.

Hopefully, this will continue going forward in the future...
Mr. Farance comments

Image Of Frank Farance

on the March RIRA meeting and governance issues facing the organization. From Mr. Farance:
I believe Jeff Escobar did good job running the March Common Council meeting. There were a variety of potential changes he proposed (e.g., auditorium seating, not circle seating as it had been). I expressed several concerns to the Common Council prior to the meeting, it's possible he was listening to my concerns. It's not the actual use of time, it's the perception about the use of time that is the problem. Ellen Polivy's meetings were so poorly run, every vote needed to be counted over and over.

The CCtalk E-mail reflector, which is not a blog (as reported in the WIRE), is sorely missed because now we are communicating with 30-ish E-mails on a To: line. I've provided the following explanation to old/new CC members and it seems to resonate with some:
"While CCtalk has been shut down, it is merely one mechanism, it doesn't prohibit other email reflectors to be set up. E-mail reflectors provide the important corporate value of making sure all directors are communicated to evenly, not some skipped by the erroneous setting up multiple recipients (three dozen or so) on an E-mail message. So if it has to do with the business of the corporation, any director has the Right to communicate with other directors. ... As I've pointed out, the RIOC board has an E-mail reflector that is public and any person can send to. Clearly, RIOC directors (including our neighbors) are able to manage their E-mail flow. [You] shouldn't look to quash corporate communications among directors. If you don't like an E-mail, you can just ignore it."
Although there are still some imperfect E-mails (even from friends), I think this will calm down soon because: (1) CC members now recognize we have a right to communicate, (2) being perceived as quashing communications is not good, and (3) the receiver can just delete unpleasant messages ... just as the RIOC Directors seem to manage without difficulty.

The lack of the corporation's minutes and prior resolutions are still an issue (a variety of Duty-Of-Care issues). And because the minutes are in poor shape, the RIRA Auditor didn't look at the Cherry Blossom Finances from last year (because the request was in the lost minutes), and thus this topic is still unresolved.

I've heard some say that we were trying to get rid of Ellen Polivy and Lynne Strong-Shinozaki, but that was not so. The goal was to correct the corporate governance, including its finances. Simply, the disagreement isn't between two factions over something arbitrary, such as choosing Chocolate vs. Strawberry ice cream for Roosevelt Island Day. The two factions can be easily described as: those interested in good governance, fairness, openness, and transparency ... and those against it via a variety of methods, such as telling untruths, misrepresentation, obstruction, manipulation, and inaction. Really, almost every argument really comes down that.

Lots of the problems that RIRA had were about getting to the truth/facts behind what was reported. The Cherry Blossom Festival was a spectacular example of a problem with the truthy-ness of the reporting from the Ms. Strong-Shinozaki and others. Simply, had Ms. Strong-Shinozaki reported the truth, been forthcoming, and answered questions, then it would have all blown over ... and RIRA would have had an opportunity to understand/correct financial/legal controls that would positively affect future RIRA fundraising efforts. But Ms. Strong-Shinozaki kept twisting the truth. It reminds me of the story children learn about lying: the first lie begets a bigger lie and so on. So rather than Ms. Strong-Shinozaki telling us the truth in a forthcoming way, her and followers doubled down with a misguided expulsion process that ultimately failed and almost toppled RIRA. The Common Council, via a democratic process, saw it for what it was. Unfortunately, RIRA is unlikely to understand/correct the problems it had with financial/legal controls with Mr. Escobar's approach to ignore the past.

Yeah, a resident writes a letter to the WIRE with genuine concerns about RIRA (which were validated and not refuted), and it percolates into an expulsion, and Ms. Polivy was quoted in the WIRE saying They've Done Us A Favor, Now This Can Drag On. Yeah, the community Got It.

And the WIRE is part of this, too. So you have WIRE staff (Sherie Helstien, Matt Katz) angling to get in something positive, some kind of exoneration for Ms. Strong-Shinozaki. Here is an excerpt of a February 19 E-mail from Sherie Helstien (Matt Katz, Jeff Escobar are CCd) where Ms. Helstien is pressuring the RIRA Treasurer:
Sherie Helstien> "... you agreed that you’d write something for The WIRE letters section, clearing up the issue around RIRA’s finances (w/the "clean bill of health" from the Audit). We’ve not seen that letter you promised you’d write. PLEASE write it and send it to Matt today so he can look it over. ... Preferably, the letter should appear in The WIRE before the March 5 Common Council meeting. Dick Lutz’s deadline for copy in the February 22 issue, the last before the March CC meeting, is past, but he may be able to make space for something important like your letter."
The RIRA Treasurer did not write such a letter. What he has said was:
CBF Financial Report was "misleading", "did not reflect arms length transactions", and "could not be considered a valid accounting report and should not be considered as such".
And for additional WIRE influence on the process, Jeff Prekopa resigned as RIRA Secretary in early December. However, he can develop the WIRE's fancy new website, he advertises in the WIRE (Big City Softworks), and he can attend RIRA Common Council meetings (as he did in February, on behalf of the WIRE?), but for three months he can't seem to give Mr. Escobar or Ms. Polivy the website administrator's user ID and password so that RIRA can correct/update the content. That's not about doing stuff competently, it seems that this is about inaction that favors that protected circle, right? And do you think the WIRE is going to report that Mr. Prekopa, in his sudden resignation, has been irresponsible in not promptly handing over corporate assets - for three months? Certainly, had the WIRE provided unbiased coverage, maybe some attention would have been given to a matter that actually affects RIRA's integrity and long-term governance.

Sure RIRA has a new President and Vice President, but it still remains to be seen whether this translates into good governance, openness, fairness, and transparency ... all for the benefit of our community. Certainly, my constituents have always supported these goals.

Frank Farance
Island House


YetAnotherRIer said...

And Frank will just keep on going, going, going.... nothing learned.

Frank Farance said...

YetAnotherRIer: If my concerns weren't genuine and legitimate, then there wouldn't have been such a strong reaction, right? Obviously, my concerns touched upon the status quo: the ecosystem of the WIRE, Maple Tree Group, etc. because that ecosystem doesn't do well with openness, fairness, and transparency.

SherieL said...

To ALL RI Readers of the Blog:

Frank, you say I asked for "exoneration of" Lynne Strong-Shinozaki, who I know did nothing wrong in terms of RIRA's finances, and which was, at the March RIRA meeting, agreed to by Russ Fields, RIRA Treasurer, when I asked him the direct question. Lynne isn't much of bookeeper, but she is most certainly not a thief, as you have been so busy implying with no proof. My email, to Russ, proves what I was asking, that Russ vouch for RIRA's finances. Dear reader, you should know now that anyone who sends anything to Russ Fields as a private email, will apparently be shared with Farance. It was done without my knowing and without my permission. This is what Frank Farance will stoop to using: second party emails for which he's received no permission to print. Even Rick the owner of this blog sees no problem with this. So look out everyone! Forewarned, is forearmed. Shame on them all. Dear reader, is this really what you want be part of?

To continue, the email you, Frank, quote above says NOTHING about Lynne. It does say: " you agreed that you’d write something for The WIRE letters section, clearing up the issue around RIRA’s finances (w/the "clean bill of health" from the Audit)." This was because we wanted to make sure that RIRA would finally be able to put to rest your constant, mean-sprited battering and false innuendos. The community needs to know there had been no illegal financial activities. Jeff Kerr spoke at the March RIRA meeting. He and Russ concurred that RIRA's finances are actually fine and the innuendos are unfounded, finally putting this issue to rest for all intents and purposes.

Readers, Frank, also draws some inference, some deep "conspriacy" to my and Matt's association with The WIRE. Now, pathetically, he's just pissing up someone's leg! Proudly, we are both VOLUNTEERS for the paper of record and will not be giving that up just because Farance is pissed at the WIRE's last note on his comment "last stand". Farance thinks he can bad-mouth anyone/everyone who disagrees with him and his shit tactics. I am here to say, it ain't so. I have proudly been The WIRE Circulation manager since 1996 and I make sure every door gets that paper. If you don't want it, toss it. Easy-peasy. What's Farance doing these days? He is intent on one project: Destroy those who will not heel to him. Well, it's time this community decides if it's Frank's little dog or not. His latest target now is The WIRE.

FARANCE IS A MEAN HUMAN BEING AND SEEMS TO HAVE NO USE FOR anything/anyone. HE IS A DESTROYER OF COMMUNITY and SPIRIT, PARTICULARLY WHEN HE CAN'T GET WHATEVER HE WANTS. He so debilitates many folks that they will not do anything where he may have a presence, or input. That's his great contribution to this community. In truth, Farance doesn't actually seem to have that many truly close friends (at least on RI, just a few here) and most folks who I speak to from all the various buildings, (and I know an awful lot of folks because of my DEMONIZED VOLUNTEERISM), want nothing to do with him: they don't trust him. They don't know how, why or when he'll turn on them to eke out some false benefit for himself. Only a small few do trust and become his mouthpieces, Cheshire Kitty, aka Helen Chirvas for one. We all get to make our choices of the bed we lie in.

So fellow residents of Roosevelt Island, be careful what you write or say to Frank or to any of those who conspire with him, 'cause Farance is saving it up in one of his files for sumpin' to use against you!

I'm sure there'll be a follow-up from Farance to my comments, about which and to whom I have nothing more to say. Go to it Frank. Show your TRUE COLORS. A be gezunt!

SherieL said...

Fun Fact: Frank, you were a member of a long defunct organization on Roosevelt Island called "The Council of Organizations" aka RICO. It was headed by Shirley Margolin who passed away some years ago. When you were a member of this organization, it lost $30,000. What was your role in the organization and what happened to that money?

OldRossie said...

I'm a big fan of the wire. No point here - just saying.

CheshireKitty said...

SherieL is again spewing lies as anyone who says there is an iota of truth in the 2013 Cherry Blossom Festival (CBF) financial report written by Lynne Shinozaki and Lydia Tang, which is a tissue of lies, is of course, lying. SherieL is lying if she says the Auditor or the Treasurer "exonerated" the report. The report is a fraudulent report.

The RI community should be aware of the following facts: RIRA will never be turned into the Mafia, which is what SherieL is advocating, with shady "accounting" "cover-ups" and "theft".

The fraudulent financial report written by SherieL's friend Lynne and Lydia was publicly exposed; those that wrote or backed up the report have all quit RIRA. It is now time for SherieL to quit, as well.

(1) The Treasurer has never and will never say the 2013 Cherry Blossom Festival (CBF) financial report is “factual” since the report does not reflect the facts re the actual CBF proceeds ($711.74) that were deposited into the RIRA bank account. The 2013 CBF financial report, issued in late September 2013, thus was a tissue of “lies” concocted to back up
the misstatements (commonly termed “lies”) about RIRA finances told by the 2013
CBF Co-chair Ms. Lydia Tang at the 5/2/13 RIOC Operations Advisory Cttee meeting. If anyone has any doubts about the 5/2/13 misstatements (“lies”) of Ms. Tang, they can view the tape of the 5/2/13 Operations Advisory Cttee meeting here In this tape, she gives as the "reason" for her asking a NY State agency RIOC to fork over to RIRA $1,500 the LIE that SCE and the vendors made no money at the 2013 CBF, whereas she well knew that both statements were false. The vendors all made money at the CBF and the SCE also made money, having already deposited the proceeds of their CBF fund-raising effort ($711) into the RIRA bank account. So Tang was misstating the facts, to back up her improper request for money that didn't belong to RIRA or SCE (improper request for money is known in many circles as "theft").

(2) If anyone doubts that the Treasurer is not stating the facts with regard to the nature of the 2013 CBF financial report, and they can prove
it, then the RIRA Treasurer should be asked to resign.

(3) Those that believe the Treasurer's statements will see that SherieL is lying.

(4) If SherieL is lying, then SherieL should be asked to resign, just like all her lying friends in RIRA resigned.

What is the alternative? If we believe SherieL and her lies, then all the “truth-seekers” can hold the 2013 CBF financial report close to your
hearts as the “factual” reflection of the finances of SCE and the taped
statements of Ms. Tang as the “true” accounting of RIRA finances. All the truth-seekers can embrace the lies of the crowd that quit, the lies that are trumpeted as the truth by the "WIRE."

Maybe it is this embrace of lies that some, perhaps even the editor of the WIRE, would prefer: A continuation of the topsy-turvy “accounting” of the Polivy administration by completely “exonerating” the misstatements
(commonly termed “lies”) of 2013 CBF financial report written by ex-CC Member Lynne Shinozaki and Ms. Tang with the assistance of ex-CC President Ellen Polivy and ex-CC Communication Cttee Chair and ex-Secretary Jeff Prekopa.

It it clear the continuation of the lies of the Polivy administration is already underway with SherieL's lies..

SherieL and the remaining liars in RIRA need to quit forthwith. RIRA rejects all liars and their lies and will not be turned into a Mafia-type organization.

We had enough of their lies when they were in RIRA. RIRA rejected their lies then, and RIRA rejects their lies now.

SherieL: Rather than put the organization through another protracted struggle to remove yet another liar, please do the community a favor and resign now.