Resign, now. You are not Roosevelt Islanders, and in spite of the goofy rationale cobbled together by RIOC, your occupying seats on the RIOC board isn’t ethical. Grow a pair, and do the right thing.
By David Stone
The Roosevelt Island Daily News
Dave Kapell, Jeffrey Escobar: Resign, now
It’s clear, plain and simple.
Of the seven public members, two members, one of whom shall be a resident of Roosevelt Island, shall be appointed upon the recommendation of the mayor of the city; and four additional members shall be residents of Roosevelt Island.RIOC Enabling Legislation, As Amended in 2006
The first qualification is met by Howard Polivy, appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. A second seat remains vacant, a likely result of Governor Cuomo feuding with Mayor di Blasio.
But the second condition, the “four additional members,” falls short because, today, there are only three: David Kraut, Michael Shinozaki and Conway Ekpo. Both Kapell and Escobar should resign now, emptying seats for residents. Maybe even a woman or two on the board for a change.
Why it matters…
Residency requirements for the board were a hard fought win, the law amended in 2006. A determined band of residents convinced the politicians that local representation made sense because it supported democracy. The phrase “taxation without representation” floating around was embarrassing.
And any fair-minded supporter of American values understands that local taxpayers must have a say in governing.
But not the next governor, Andrew Cuomo, lead a ten-year effort to abolish local democracy without changing the law. A cynical politician determined to get a board full of “Yes” votes, he let membership dwindle through retirements. Then, once those who sometimes spoke up, all women, were out, he nominated three men, replacing them.
Two of the new guys were Escobar and Kapell. Escobar was a welcome choice. He’d already volunteered many hours, serving on the RIRA Common Council. But Kapell? Nobody knew who he was, except Governor Cuomo. A successful businessman and politician in Greenport, he was also a predictable “Yes” for anything the governor rolled down from Albany.
It’s Time: Resign, Now
One striking similarity among all three new members is that none of them put in much effort. They don’t appear at committee meetings where nuts and bolts business happens. And they only show up for full board meetings where they say “Yes” on every issue. And that’s because everything is either initiated or laundered through the governor’s office.
Local rule is nonexistent, these days. But the law says warm bodies must fill a quorum’s worth of chairs, making all the “Yes” votes legal.
For their own good, why should either Escobar or Kapell risk their reputations as professionals by taking part in this ugly charade?
And getting real, neither live on Roosevelt Island. Kapell never did full time, and Escobar packed up, more than a year ago.
Both are professionals with successful careers, but neither has feet on the ground here anymore. What they do have are rising profiles as squatters planted by a disgraced governor who used them for selfish reasons.
Both ought to resign, now, because Cuomo can’t do them anyone special favors anymore.
More from the Roosevelt Island Daily
- Why RIOC’s New Constituent Services Department Is Total Bull-oneyNext up in its Hall of Cringe-Worthy Moments, RIOC’s screaming headline declares, “PRESIDENT HAYNES ANNOUNCES NEW CONSTITUENT SERVICES DEPARTMENT WITHIN RIOC.” It scores a triple crown of hypocritical, condescending and stupid. How can this highly
- Will Roosevelt Island Day Be Diminished Again This Year?Roosevelt Island Day shrunk after 2019, partly because of excessive COVID-19 concerns, but what happens in 2023? President/CEO Shelton J. Haynes’s organizers can regain some lost community support, returning some enthusiasm for 2023. But the
- From Jazz to Hip-Hop: How Harlem Transformed into a Groovy Hub of Music in New York CityThe culturally rich neighborhood of Harlem in New York City has been an epicenter for music since the early 20th century. From the birth of jazz to hip-hop, Harlem has served as a breeding ground
- Broadway Unmasked: Behind the Theatre District’s Meteoric RiseBroadway is an iconic part of American culture, a place where dreams come true and stories are brought to life. From its humble beginnings as a small collection of theaters in the late 19th century,
- Lunatic Fringe – Is Shelton Haynes Job-Hunting on Your Dime?Reporting that “He’s at it again” isn’t enough as what looks for all the world like RIOC President/CEO Shelton J. Haynes job-hunting secures a spot cleanly on the lunatic fringe. In a new paid public
[…] we asked in September, Jeffrey Escobar resigns from the RIOC board, respecting the ethical conflict of serving while not […]
[…] after our report on deficient board membership, one nonresident member, Jeffrey Escobar, stepped down. He did the […]
[…] we reported earlier, suggesting that two members should grow a pair and resign, the board fails to meet a minimum legal requirement. After the two, Jeffrey Escobar and David […]
[…] former residents moved, but when our report called for both resigning, only one complied. Jeffrey Escobar stepped down. David Kapell, though, […]
[…] October, that board members Dave Kapell and Jeffrey Escobar no longer lived on Roosevelt Island, The Daily asked both to resign. Their appointments were based on their residency. Escobar, always an ethical Island volunteer in […]
[…] Come on, Mr. Kapell, Mr. Escobar, Grow a pair. Resign, now. […]