Longtime Roosevelt Islander slams RIOC and targets its CEO as out of touch

Longtime Roosevelt Islander slams RIOC and targets its CEO as out of touch

A thirty year Roosevelt Islander slams RIOC CEO Shelton Haynes after a thickheaded community advisory hits where it hurts. “I won’t hold my breath,” the frustrated Roosevelt Islander wrote in a response of which we obtained a copy.

By David Stone

Roosevelt Island Daily News

Mindless Advisory Provokes Roosevelt Into Slamming RIOC

Out of the blue, this morning at 10:15, RIOC email blasted this…

“Though the pandemic has caused a tremendous downturn in the market and made expansion for financial institutions distinctly challenging, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) has been looking at creative solutions to bring a bank back to Roosevelt Island. In doing so, we’re working closely with our local elected officials, the New York State Department of Financial Services, Cornell Tech, Hudson-Related, and other key stakeholders to realize this necessity.”

If you dismiss the lack of clarity and detail, it still reads weird with so much else unclear. Roosevelt Island’s been rattled by an unexplained drowning in the Sportspark Pool, for example. And the state agency also ignores requests for details about its Swift COVID Rapid Testing Center.

Roosevelt Island slams RIOC over loss of banking access.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

A mirror too distant…

But Haynes emailed this way back in August…

“Hudson Related and RIOC have reached out to Citi, TD, Dime and Chase Bank about potentially coming to Roosevelt Island. In addition, we have reached out to regional branches about coming to RI as well. John O’Reilly (RIOC CFO) has also spoken to Amalgamated as they are closed earlier than the original September date citing COVID-19 as the reason. I had my first call earlier today with David Hirschhorn to discuss this matter further and understand the long term commitment for the space the bank occupied. Please know that we are diligently working with our partners/stakeholders to get a bank here to the island as quickly as possible.”

That was 10 months ago. And there is no indication of any actual efforts by RIOC of doing anything but taking an unearned bow.

But nothing happened, and in its failure, RIOC preferred wishing it washed away over time.

Early in May, as we reported, RIOC’s alleged Communications Team summarily tossed out local resident Raye Schwartz’s appeal, deeming it of “medium” importance. At this time, that team exercises outsize authority over RIOC policy and its implementation.

When a thirty year Roosevelt Islander slams RIOC, it’s not without reason

But it goes without respect.

Perhaps a paragraph appended to Haynes’s August email clears up some of the confusion…

“As a staffing update, Terrence McCauley is no longer with RIOC and all external communication/media inquires should go to Erica Spencer-EL who is copied on this email exchange.”

In a move as stunning as it was suspicious, Haynes promoted Spencer-EL to communications director with a six-figure salary almost immediately after involvement in Susan Rosenthal’s racism-tinged dismissal.

Haynes placed her in charge of public information officer Terrence McCauley. McCauley owned 25 years experience in the field. Spencer-EL had none, and the veteran chose resignation over seeing his reputation ruined by amateurism.

Within a few months, Spencer-EL explained to RIOC’s always credulous board that “external communications” amounted to nothing more than “branding” and “marketing.” Somehow, she got the idea that RIOC was more like Trader Joe’s than Battery Park City.

And neither Haynes nor the Cult of Cuomo board flinched.

That alone explains the absence of media contact, refusals when asked to explain and brainless, wordy advisories.

A last word from this Roosevelt Islander…

When this Roosevelt Islander slams RIOC, she doesn’t mince words. After “I won’t hold my breath, Shelton,” she elaborated…

“Now you’re talking with our local elected officials…not because you give a damn about us and don’t respond to emails or phone calls, but because we’ve complained to our officials. It’s over 8 months that we’ve been without a bank here!

“I’ve lived here for over 30 years, and we’ve had many RIOC CEOs, often removed by elected officials. You should update your resume to show what you’ve done: a Covid-19 part time testing center from a group nobody heard of and commandeering a national landmark/tourist attraction (Blackwell House) that our maintenance/rentals fees paid to renovate that you now want to use for your new office!”

‘Nuff said.

More from the Roosevelt Island Daily News

  • Is it expensive living on Roosevelt Island? Not when you know where to look
    “This just made me so sad for this lovely Island… “I just observed a woman urinating in a cup in the sitting area at top of subway steps/elevators.  No public safety, no NYC police and no mta  employees visible. By David Stone The Roosevelt Island Daily News “I have only been working on RI 5
  • Happy Pride at Roosevelt Island Graduate Hotel
    Graduate Roosevelt Island hosts Happy Pride, a series of pop-ups from NYC favorites on Saturday, June 26th. Graduate recently opened at the entrance to the Cornell Tech campus. The Roosevelt Island Daily News So, what’s up with Happy Pride The event includes Big Gay Ice Cream, nail-art and mini manicures from Paint Box, Magic Mix Juicery, a
  • At last, RIOC shuts down its costly, mysterious COVID testing site
    RIOC’s mysterious COVID testing site is closing, stopping the cash drain from residents’ pockets. But the state’s still unwilling to tell us enough about it. By David Stone The Roosevelt Island Daily News While lies and deception remain unchecked, RIOC says its Swift Rapid COVID testing site expires on June 30th. This follows an inexplicable
  • William vanden Heuvel dies. The Founder and guiding spirit at Four Freedoms Park
    Yesterday, June 15th, 2021, William vanden Heuvel died at his home in Manhattan. The cause was pneumonia, but in real time, the man’s legacy lives on. He’ll not simply be remembered, his spirit will be embraced. By David Stone The Roosevelt Island Daily News “We need the patience to prevail, the discipline to succeed, the
  • Hey, New York! You earned it. COVID restrictions blow away with fireworks tonight
    As Governor Andrew Cuomo promised, most COVID restrictions blow away today after New Yorker hit the 70% adult vaccination rate. Worth fireworks? You got ’em. The launched across the state, last night. By David Stone The Roosevelt Island Daily News COVID Restrictions Blown Away Restrictions fell away on capacity, social distancing, cleaning and disinfection, health
Share

Written by:

378 Posts

View All Posts
Follow Me :

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: