Why RIOC’s Thursday, April, 2021,Board Meeting Is Significant…

Why RIOC’s Thursday, April, 2021,Board Meeting Is Significant…

On Thursday, RIOC’s April board meeting for this year includes agenda items of considerable public interest. The board looks at Public Purpose Fund grants for 2021, plus an amendment for their cloaked coronavirus testing site. The meeting streams on Zoom, live, at 5:30 p.m.

By David Stone

Roosevelt Island Daily News

What’s significant for RIOC’s April Board Meeting…

Although subject to changes in order, grants for local nonprofits from Public Purpose Funds is Item 3.

“Authorization of Public Purpose Grants Expenditure for FY 2021-22 (Board Action
Required)”

Earlier, RIOC pulled grants from their March agenda after plans provoked public outrage. While there’s no reason to believe the state agency will do better, this time around, they’re unlikely to do worse.

Avoiding protests, RIOC so far withheld all information about changes in allocations, although certainly known internally. They also did not explain the earlier mistakes or seek public input.

RIOC COVID Testing Site, Under Construction
RIOC’s super secret coronavirus testing site under construction.

We expect a list of grant recommendations before the meeting, for board review, and will post as an update once they’re available.

We might find out some things about the secret deal for the coronavirus testing site…

Earlier this year, RIOC teamed up with an inexperienced company, converting the old NYPL space into a coronavirus rapid testing site. While it’s clear that the site fell far short of expectations, the deal making way for it remains secret.

RIOC is a public benefit corporation, set up by New York State, regularly ignoring the “public” part of its charter. Excessive secrecy, indifference to resident input and disguised motives proliferate.

But some part of the veil may lift on the rapid testing site.

“Ratification of the Amendment of Purchase Order with Swift Emergency Care, PC
for the COVID Testing Site (Board Action Required)”

So, it’s finally clear that RIOC, out of funds collected from residents, is paying Swift for its work. But we don’t know anything about how or why the contract was made, nor do we know anything about the Hudson Companies’ involvement.

After repeated false claims about the testing, RIOC has not revealed the source of its medical guidance in promoting the site.

We may not learn much, but learning some is a big step forward in breaching the wall of secrecy.

RIOC’s April Board Meeting Conclusion

Whatever the staff tosses up for the board will be approved and probably unanimously. That’s a given, but residents can weigh in beforehand.

Using this webpage, you can register comments that get read publicly before the meeting begins. This digital version substitutes for a physical appearance during COVID restrictions.

At the 5:30 meeting time on Thursday, access the live streaming video here.

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