Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Share Your Roosevelt Island Community Concerns Or Questions At May 19 RIOC Board Of Directors Meeting Public Session Via Zoom - For Example, Will Reasons For Public Purpose Fund Allocations Be Made Public, Will RIOC Comment On Staff Corruption Allegations & Does RIOC Favor New Board And CEO Residency Legislation?

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) Board of Directors will meet 5:30 PM Thursday May 19, 2022, via video conference. 

You can watch the Board meeting here and ask questions or share concerns about Roosevelt Island issues during the opening Public Session before the start of the meeting. Submit your written question or comment here. 

I submitted the following comments/questions:

1- The NYC Community Trust refuses to disclose the rationale for choosing Roosevelt Island organizations receiving Roosevelt Public Purpose Fund grants and the amount of funds allocated for each organization. In past years RIRA recommendations to RIOC For Public Purpose Fund awards included detailed reasons for their selections and amounts allocated.

Will The RIOC Board require NYC Community Trust to be transparent and open with the Roosevelt Island community by publicly stating the reason for the selection of each organization receiving a Public Purpose Fund Grant and the reason for the amount of that grant as has been done by RIRA for many years in the past.

Does the RIOC Board think it appropriate that the Carter Burden Roosevelt Island Senior Center received $5 Thousand, Roosevelt Island Historical Society received $5 Thousand, Wildlife Freedom Foundation $1 Thousand and the Piazzollo 100 received $1 Thousand.

All of these organizations received much less than all the other recipients with no explanation from NYC Community Trust. 

 2- The New York State Legislature earlier this week passed legislation awaiting signature of Governor Hochul to require a majority of the RIOC Board of Directors and the RIOC Chief Executive Officer to be residents of Roosevelt Island.

Does the RIOC Board of Directors or CEO favor the Governor signing this legislation?

3- A document was published on the OPNLTTR (Open Letter) web site dated March 26, 2022 purportedly shared by a group of Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) employees raising serious allegations of wrongdoings against the RIOC President and certain members of the RIOC executive staff. The employees sharing the document wish to remain anonymous claiming they fear retaliation.

Among the allegations are:

Misappropriation of state funds
Covering up a negligent death
Mismanagement of the AVAC System
Abuse of power
Predatory Behavior/Grooming and Fostering a toxic work environment
Disability Discrimination
Violating NYS equal employment laws
Violating NYS ethics laws: JCOPE (title 19/disclosure of outside activities)

Is the RIOC Board investigating these allegations? Does the RIOC Board have any comment to the Roosevelt Island community about these serious allegations?

But be aware that RIOC Board Members and staff usually do not respond to questions during the Public Session though sometimes they may do so or address the subject during the actual Board meeting.  

If you have a question or concern, give it a try, you may get a response. 

Below is the Meeting Agenda:

It's interesting to note that the RIOC Board will go into Executive Session, closed to the public, for the second consecutive meeting to discuss what is believed to be an employment related issue involving another senior executive departing RIOC.

Click here for the Board Materials, including design services for Blackwell Park improvements project.