Tell RIOC what you think. Make yourself heard now.

Tell RIOC what you think. Make yourself heard now.

Your chance to tell RIOC what you think, what you like and what worries you is here. Put your thoughts together and share them, good, bad or indifferent, with the board.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

Your chance to tell RIOC, directly

Roosevelt Island Red Buses
Main Street, Roosevelt Island.

Roosevelt Island isn’t much for democracy, having probably the least of that supposed American value in the country. But a few times a year, the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation lets you bend its collective ear with your thoughts, ideas and concerns.

That’s the public comments section that takes place before every board meeting. As yet, we don’t know if RIOC will meet in person, but we are probably still in the Zoom era. The process works differently with onsite meetings, and we will update if that changes.

How it works…

RIOC’s next board meeting is on Thursday, March 24th, at 5:30 p.m. A Zoom link as well as an agenda will be posted before the meeting. Watching the business being conducted is welcome, but if you want to contribute your thoughts before it gets underway, here’s how.

The state agency offers a free opportunity for sending in your comments, right here. After filling in your name and email address, you have a 500 word space for sharing whatever you want. It should go without saying that obscenities, abuse or tirades are not appropriate. Praise and constructive criticism are.

We all have feelings about our hometown, more or less, and that makes respecting each other important.

At the beginning of the session, prior to the official meeting, someone will read your submitted comment or comments. Usually it’s Chief Counsel Gretchen Robinson who does a fine job of conveying the message, whether she likes or agrees with it or not.

The board, which includes Albany officials or their representatives, normally listens in silence. But your message is received on multiple levels.


The board does not always listen in silence. Sometimes, someone will volunteer an answer to a question. Other times, the board’s unofficial Angry Man, David Kraut, will growl out a response. Once, he volunteered his observation that local journalists – that’s us – were amateurs, assailing local reporting. Other times, he has ripped into defenseless commenters when he doesn’t like what they say. So, if you’re sensitive to destructive criticism, beware.

It’s worth noting that RIOC has, more than once, reminded residents that the comment period is a privilege, not a right. They can yank it at any time and without notice. So, be respective of the privilege, keeping in mind that the current hypersensitive and deeply secretive management team is always capable of the unexpected. And/or unwelcome.

Click here for the chance to speak up. Tell RIOC what you have on your mind.

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