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Monday, May 15, 2017

Discussion Of RIOC Board Member Appointments On Agenda For Roosevelt Island Operating Corp May 16 Governance Committee Meeting

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors Governance Committee is meeting tomorrow. The only specific agenda item is a discussion of RIOC Board member appointments. According to RIOC:

PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that a meeting of the Governance Committee of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at 5:30 P.M. at the RIOC Administrative Office, 591 Main Street, Roosevelt Island, New York.


1. Discussion of Committee’s Role in Assisting with Board Member Appointments.
2. Any Other Committee Business That May be Brought Before the Committee.


The Open Meetings Law of the State of New York requires that all public bodies conduct meetings, convened for the purpose of officially conducting public business, in a manner open to attendance by the general public to observe and listen.
As previously reported, Governor Cuomo has asked for information:
... seeking details about the RIOC Board vacancies and appointment process....
leading to community speculation that new RIOC Board appointments may be coming. As noted in the video of April 20 RIOC Board meeting, the Governor was asking about all Public Authorities Board vacancies, not just RIOC.

However, during the May 3 Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Common Council Meeting Public Session, in response to a question from RIRA's Aaron Hamburger, NY State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright's Chief Of Staff Katerina Matic said that her office has no new information regarding RIOC Board appointments.

Ms Matic added that Assembly Member Seawright will be meeting with the Governor's office very soon and the issue of RIOC Board appointments:
... will be at the top of her list...

RIRA conducted a vote on April 17-18
Image From RIRA

to provide Governor Andrew Cuomo with recommendations for Roosevelt Island resident nominees to fill 7 vacant and expired seats on the RIOC Board of Directors. The results of the vote were as follows:
  • Lydia Tang 558 Votes
  • Brian Bower 470 Votes
  • Mark Block 464 Votes
  • Michael Shinozaki 432 Votes
  • Eduardo Janey 429 Votes
  • Howard Polivy 287 Votes
  • David Kraut 235 Votes
Howard Polivy, David Kraut and Michael Shinozaki are currently seated RIOC Directors. Howard Polivy and David Kraut were added to the ballot without their consent. Director Michael Shinozaki consented to appearing on the ballot. The remaining current RIOC Directors, Margie Smith and Faye Christian, did not appear on the ballot. Ms Smith indicated she did not wish to be on the ballot. It's not clear if Ms Christian indicated any preference about having her name on the ballot.

The remaining nominee candidates are not currently on the RIOC Board.

The RIRA May 3 Common Council approved the following letter be sent to Governor Cuomo:
Dear Governor Cuomo,

On April 17 & 18, 2017, the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) conducted a referendum to determine how the community would like the expired seats on the Roosevelt Island Operating Corp. (RIOC) board filled. We understand that vetting by the State is an important part of the process and we hope that the State will find the following community residents worthy of the task:
Lydia Tang
Brian Bower
Mark Block
Michael Shinozaki
Eduardo Jany
Howard Polivy
David Kraut

There are 7 expired seats on the board. We hope you will honor the community’s wishes and appoint all seven Island residents to those expired seats.

We sincerely thank you for considering the voice of the community regarding this important matter.


Jeffrey R. Escobar

President, Roosevelt Island Residents Association
Below is the approved RIRA letter to Governor Cuomo regarding the RIOC Board Nominee Candidates vote.

The RIOC Board Candidate Nominee vote is not without controversy. Claims of ballot fraud, which I am not going to get into right now, have been raised. Click here to read about the election controversy in this comments thread.

Will have more on the vote controversy in upcoming story.