Tuesday, May 19, 2009

RIOC Board Nominee Elections Today - Please Vote, It's In Your Interest To Do So

RIOC Election Logo From Main Street WIRE

The election to nominate 2 resident candidates for the Roosevelt Island Board of Directors is taking place today. The Main Street WIRE has all the information below on where to vote and why it is important to have Roosevelt Island residents as RIOC Directors.

Voting Continues to 9:00 Tonight
For RIOC Board Nominations

The polls are open until 9:00 p.m. tonight (Tuesday, May 19) in Roosevelt Islanders' voting to nominate two residents to the Board of Directors of the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC).

The candidates are:
Lee Edelman
Tammy Jackson
Michael Shinozaki
Margie Smith

Statements by the candidates are available in the most recent issue of The Main Street WIRE, on line at http://nyc10044.com/wire/2917/wire2917.pdf (allow extra time for loading). An editorial from the May 16 WIRE, on why it is important to vote in this election, is reproduced below.

Polling locations are:
Octagon residents:
6-9 am, Octagon lobby
10 am-4 pm, Good Shepherd Community Center
4 pm-9 pm, Octagon lobby
Southtown residents (buildings numbered 475 and lower)
6-9 am, 455 Main Street lobby
10 am-4 pm, Good Shepherd Community Center
4 pm-9 pm, 455 Main Street lobby
All other buildings
6 am-9 pm, Good Shepherd Community Center
The WIRE editorializes on the importance of this election and your voting which I wholeheartedly agree with.
Yet Another Boring Appeal to Please VOTE...

Yes. Here we go again.

This time, The WIRE’s appeal that you vote on Tuesday is even more critical than usual. That’s because this time, there is no simultaneous city, state, or federal election – not even a primary – to move voters to the polls.

That means the vote on Tuesday, in which we residents will select our community nominees to the RIOC Board of Directors, is a pure test of the local governance question.

That question is this:

Do the residents of Roosevelt Island really want a measure of democracy on the body that runs Roosevelt Island and makes development decisions here?

We believe the answer is yes.

We believe the necessary answer is yes.

We believe that answer is necessary because since this community’s founding as a residential entity, ordinary residents have had no direct democratic voice in its development, administration, or day-to-day operations. Over the years, jobs at RIOC, including its presidency, have too often been doled out to political hangers-on to whom the state administration has owed something.

No reflection on current RIOC President Steve Shane, but during the Pataki years, you can imagine the conversations between the governor and Republican kingmaker Al D’Amato: Well, we’ve got to give something to Jerry Blue. He knows too much and he’s been a faithful servant of our personal needs. Sure, he’s barely competent as an administrator, but we’ve got to give him something... What about Roosevelt Island? He can’t do much damage there, can he? And what the hell – everybody there votes for Democrats, anyway. Screw them.

So the system is bad... A system in which incompetence and venality had to be rewarded with salaries near and above $100,000 a year.

Democracy is an imperfect cure for this sort of thing, but it sure as hell works better than just about anything else invented by humankind.

Tuesday’s election is terribly indirect. We choose, then the powers-that-be, notably the governor, get to say yes or no to our choices. But a strong turnout in this "pure" election will send a powerful message that Roosevelt Islanders want more local control – a greater ability to reward or punish at the polls. A greater ability to approve or disapprove of the way Roosevelt Island is run and – lest we forget – developed.

So: Yes. This is another boring appeal that you vote.

But this time, you can do so knowing that because the numbers will very likely be small by comparison to any other election ever held here, your one vote will measurably emphasize the need for greater local control here.

Please. Please vote on Tuesday.
I plan on voting for Margie Smith and Michael Shinozaki. In my opinion they both have the most knowledge concerning Roosevelt Island issues and experience to oversee a Public Benefit Corporation such as RIOC.

Even though I will be voting for others, I wish to thank Mr. Edelman and Ms. Jackson for their willingness to participate in the process and serve the Roosevelt Island community.


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