When RIOC cancels Zoom because of “…inclement weather,” a new standard is set for scratching heads and asking WTF?
By David Stone
Was it snowing on the internet? Did high winds blow away Zoom?
RIOC cancels Zoom, sparking questions and frustrations…
“It is complete disrespect of the people who planned on the meeting,” complained one victim of RIOC’s bizarre action.
After weeks of preparation, a staff accountant startled applicants for public purpose fund grants, canceling presentations with just a few hours notice.
Because of “inclement weather.”
If you’ve never been in a Zoom conference, you may still have guessed the obvious. That is, it’s online, over the internet, and weather is not a factor.
In fact, one of the charms of Zoom is that it sidesteps all those physical limitations. But not, apparently, when the ever unpredictable chaos known as RIOC stubs its collective toe.
“Why? We are all home and easily accessible by Zoom. Arranging for 10 groups to meet is a challenge and canceling a video meeting is beyond comprehension…”
Here’s a clue: the state agency closed, as most government did, with Monday’s storm. But on Monday evening, well after the storm, which never approached blizzard conditions as feared, tapered off to sleet and flurries, they shut down for Tuesday, too.
Then came the other troubling questions…
“Why was there no public notice of this meeting?” asked one media resource.
As reported here and elsewhere, RIOC’s months long fumbling of community relations includes repeated failures with state open meetings law requirements.
§104. Public notice.
1. Public notice of the time and place of a meeting scheduled at least one week prior thereto shall be given or electronically transmitted to the news media and shall be conspicuously posted in one or more designated public locations at least seventy-two hours before such meeting.New York State Open Meeting Law
RIOC failed again, extending gross negligence that blossomed after the legally questionable non-meeting where president/CEO Susan Rosenthal was ambushed.
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“The RIRA PPF Public Interviews is being postponed one week due to inclement weather.
We will be having them Monday and Tuesday February 8th and 9th instead,” Daniel Impellizeri, a RIOC staff accountant, blithely announced via email at 3:21 p.m.
There was no request for confirmation or any reason for believing that everyone got the message.
The presentations were scheduled for 7:00, and the presenters were not consulted before RIOC canceled Zoom.
The casual indifference was inescapable, the standard RIOC position of “Big me, little you” when relating to the community.
And still, no public notice as required by law.
“What is happening here?” one resident asked, broadly referring to the mysteries clouding the state’s actions in recent months.
“Time to review who is here, not here, gone, vanished, disappeared or fell off the face of the earth.”
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RIOC’s Public Purpose Funds mess is a natural outgrowth of profound laziness, official indifference to fairness and clinging to personal agendas. These 12 good reasons are those seeking grants. The nonprofits work hard and even harder at presenting their appeals, but the RIOC/Common Council pairing fails at living up to their efforts. davidstone1313 See author's