Friday, July 31, 2015

NYC Public Advocate Letitia James Holding Roosevelt Island Town Hall Meeting Hosted By NY State Senator Jose Serrano Wednesday August 5 - Bring Your Questions & Concerns

NYC Public Advocate Letitia James will be holding a Roosevelt Island Town Hall Meeting hosted by NY State Senator Jose Serrano 6- 8 PM Wednesday August 5 at Good Shepherd Community Center.

According to the NYC Public Advocate web site:
The Office of Public Advocate for the City of New York is a citywide elected position in New York City, which is first in line to succeed the Mayor. The office serves as a direct link between the electorate and city government, effectively acting as an ombudsman, or "watchdog," for New Yorkers by providing oversight for city agencies, investigating citizens' complaints about city services and making proposals to address perceived shortcomings or failures of those services.

Public Advocate James is a non-voting member of the New York City Council with the right to introduce and co-sponsor legislation. Public Advocate James is also charged with appointing members to various boards and commissions, including one member of the New York City Planning Commission. Public Advocate James serves on the committee which selects the director of the Independent Budget Office. These duties are laid out in Section 24 of the City Charter.

On November 5, 2013, Letitia "Tish" James was elected as the fourth Public Advocate for the City of New York. She began her term on January 1, 2014....
Bring your questions and concerns to the NYC Public Advocate's attention at the August 5 Roosevelt Island Town Hall Meeting.

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Government Relations Committee Chair Joyce Short shares this list of concerns.
Here are some of the most pressing issues we face in our community, and it would be wise for the Public Advocate to be prepared on these topics:
  • Con Ed's gas line installation down Main Street, our ONLY traffic corridor
  • The unreasonable expectation that RIOC should charge high fees to the non-profit organizations that support the quality of life in our community.
  • The negative impact of RIOC's policies to charge the community for the use of recreational fields, prohibiting our children from the use of our fields in favor of the paying permit holders.
  • Failure of Westview and Island House's landlord (Hishchorn) to disclose the actual costs that will fall on the resident's shoulders if their buildings are converted without performing the energy upgrades to convert to submetering.
  • Lack of merchants and commercial services on Main Street
  • Cornell's lack of contribution to the community including no financial backing for school programming even though they claim to have "adopted" our school. (You actually need to feed the children you adopt.)
  • Failure of Cornell to address the pressure on public services such as Public Safety and use of recreational fields that will result from their increased population
  • Failure of NYC to address the pressure on public services such as Public Safety and use of recreational fields that will result from Cornell's increased population
  • Greatly increased revenues to NYC as a result of the creation of Cornell-Tech with absolutely NO contribution pay-back to the community, by the City.
  • The State of NY floated a bond issue to develop Roosevelt Island as a low and middle income community. But the conversion of the last two Mitchel Lama properties eliminates all subsidized housing stock in the community. What can your office do to insure that the residents receive the best protections for affordability?
  • Roosevelt Island is a community in excess of 14,000 people who are governed by a Public Benefit Corporaton, not by elected government. RIOC is comprised of board members who are appointed by the Governor. Even though we have nominated people to serve on the board, Governor Cuomo has ignored those recommendations and has allowed the seats to expire. Just as all residents are entitled to democracy throughout our country, we residents of Roosevelt Island are entitled to democracy here on Roosevelt Island. What can you do to bring a democratic process of government to Roosevelt Island?
I would add having the NYC Department of Transportation improve bike safety on the Roosevelt Island Bridge by covering over the metal grated bike lane

 Image of Roosevelt Island Bridge Metal Grill Bike Path and Roadway

which is very slippery when wet. This issue has been known by DOT since at least 2011.

Ms. James was the guest on July 2 episode of CB 8 Speaks discussing issues concerning the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island. Here's what she had to say.

What would you like to ask Ms. James?