Although it may be more about amateurish communications, apparent chaos at RIOC spilled over since Friday. And now, concerned residents are asking worrisome questions.
By David Stone
Chaos at RIOC?
“What else can RIOC do wrong?” asked a longtime Roosevelt Islander. This was after hearing about a drowning death in Sportspark. While there’s no evidence that anyone did anything wrong, RIOC’s handling of the news was a mess.
Another resident was more elaborate…
Let’s see — Since Friday —
1. Mysterious move of Covid test center?
2. Late & Poorly disseminated info about TV Shoot Inconveniencing many?
3. Individual drowns at Sportspark & RIOC tries to hide it?
4. Anyone’s guess for what’s next…?Roosevelt Island Pioneer
We have an answer…
RIOC board does a backflip
May 12th, 2021, Advisory: Please be advised that the RIOC Board of Directors meeting, scheduled for Thursday, May 20th of 2021, has been cancelled.
The second time a board meeting was cancelled — not postponed — this year, signalled that the state’s descent into the bunker escalated. For years, until current president/CEO Shelton Haynes took over, public board meetings were our most consistent source of information about the agency the community is forced to pay for.
May 17th, 2021, Advisory: Please take notice that an emergency meeting of the RIOC Board of Directors will be held on Tuesday, May 18th, 2021 at 5:30 P.M., via videoconference.
Almost all “advisories” land in mailboxes after hours these days, but no explanation was given for the flip.
And don’t mistake it for a return to transparency. The single item on the agenda is a retreat into “executive session” where they’ll discuss “pending litigation.”
Because RIOC’s not saying any more about this secret session, the topic is unknown. However, RIOC’s board and state officials, all of whom are defendants, suffered a major courtroom setback. Last week, the court ordered them to hand over information about Susan Rosenthal’s dismissal that they fought to hide.
But it’s a guess.
What else suggests chaos at RIOC?
How about the “mysterious move of the COVID test center…?”
More than three hours before publicly acknowledging an incident at Sportspark that occurred the day before, RIOC’s alleged Communications Team released this:
“Please be advised that the COVID-19 Testing Site will be closed from Wednesday, May 19th through Saturday, May 22nd. This temporary closure comes ahead of an anticipated relocation of the site to RIVAA Gallery (527 Main Street).”
A head scratcher?
More like a head-spinner with more questions raised than answered.
Already subject of suspicions surrounding its funding and practices, the testing center’s abrupt closing startled. Why? RIOC again denies residents’ right to know.
But the real corker is a move in RIVAA Gallery? RIVAA currently has a major exhibit in place, Vernissage 20, and it’s scheduled until May 30th. A solo show featuring Georgette Sinclair is already on tap, following.
So, what happens to RIVAA? As usual, RIOC’s not saying, and a RIVAA executive did not respond to an email seeking information.
Again, what appears as chaos at RIOC may be nothing more than amateurish fumbling by a Communications Team lead by an athletics instructor. But taken in total, for a frustrated community, it is what it is.
Residents hope the chaos will sort itself out, but no one’s counting on RIOC’s help in doing so.
Also from the Roosevelt Island Daily…
- RIOC Board Meeting, May 2022: A New Exercise in Bunker ModeBunker mode fits as well with New York’s Open Meetings Law as a whale on a shrimp boat. They’re antithetical. One reveals things; the other hides them. But controlled by an irresponsible governor and a board of virtual lacky arthropods, it’s what we’re likely to get for the foreseeable future. No one within that framework
- Another One Bites the Dust: Markus Sztejnberg Exits RIOCMarkus Sztejnberg, the latest domino to fall in a row of RIOC executives, left recently after just a few months on staff. He “…is the latest RIOC executive to resign,” an informant tells The Daily. “Haynes is keeping quiet about it in his bunker. It all looks and smells bad.” by David Stone The Roosevelt
- Losing Maloney, Maybe. Serrano for Sure. Final RedistrictingFinal redistricting by a Special Master appointed by a Steuben County judge guts the voting map approved by Democrats. The same judge threw them out as unconstitutional, and New York’s highest court agreed. Big change for Roosevelt Island is certain. It’s only a question of how big. by David Stone The Roosevelt Island Daily News
- What Went Wrong? Bungling Public Purpose Grants AgainUnderstanding what went wrong – again – with distributing public purpose funds starts with a single point. It’s an aggravating factor that’s existed for years. RIOC knows it but won’t fix it. While showing extraordinary generosity to its executives, the state agency under Governor Kathy Hochul is an unsparing cheapskate when it comes to the
- Spring is here, and the Southpoint Rock Farm is… RockyThe Shelton J. Haynes/Langan Southpoint Rock Farm promised pathways with “lush vegetation.” Promise fulfilled? You decide. by David Stone The Roosevelt Island Daily News The Southpoint Rock Farm Today The secret deal cut between the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) and bestie Langan yielded significant seawall safety improvements. And torturous esthetic sins. A rock garden