/

Coming Up: RIOC Board Meeting, June 23rd, 2022

Start

Once upon a time, RIOC board meetings were widely publicized. The state agency did not flinch or cower from public exposure. Those days are over now with the super-secret Hochul/Haynes administration.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

Although RIOC’s control over Roosevelt Island is as weighty as it is concealed, the best Roosevelt Islanders can do is watch and comment.

So, while RIOC email blasted about DOT Bridge Testing, they did not similarly reach out about likely the most important meeting of the year. Neither did they post board materials that would give you a chance to review the items under consideration.

What’s So Important About This Board Meeting

In its last meeting until late September, the board votes on the fiscal package for the current year, which began in April. Those items are the core of the agenda.

Usually, this is a little dry with votes coming after committees already reviewed and approved the packages, but this is different. Among other items, there is an “Insurance Binder” needing approval. We now know it reflects mounting employment lawsuits during the Haynes/Hochul era at RIOC.

So many lawsuits have hit RIOC that its insurance carrier refused to renew its agreement with them. And the newly recruited carrier, Chubb, agreed only after demanding a deductible increase from $250K to a whopping $1 million. That means RIOC and, ultimately, residents must cover the first million in penalties when the state agency loses, which it usually does.

And as terminated RIOC legal counsel Arthur Eliav points out in a letter to the RIOC board, protesting his dismissal after 15 years, legal fees routinely paid out to firms representing RIOC in court are mountainous. And Roosevelt Islanders foot all those bills, too.

And because super-secret RIOC has not released any documents, we don’t know the baseline cost of the Chubb deal.

Annual Budget Matters

Another revelation gathered from Eliav’s letter and court filings is that RIOC appears to carry two sets of books. One is for public disclosure; the other, with far greater detail, for internal workings.

Eliav suggests that the Hochul/Haynes administration began giving the board – and the public – a general summary budget for approval that obscured important data.

The summary budget did not cleanly itemize executive salaries as it had in the past, which, Eliav says, relieved the board of its duty to scrutinize payrolls. In addition, material we received from an anonymous source suggests that Haynes used this to hide huge pay increases for himself and loyalists awarded without review.

There are also an emerging questions about low and no-show jobs padding the budget without any accounting over where the money really goes.

Conclusion

The board meeting will be publicly videoconferenced on Thursday, June 23rd, at 5:30 p.m. Although no link has yet been provided, anyone wishing to make a comment that will be read to the board before the meeting can do so via this link.

Toss in a few bucks for our expenses…

Help us continue our independent journalism with some quick cash. Thank you.

Thank you!

More from the roosevelt island daily news

  • What Black History Means to the 19th Staff
    Black History Month has been reserved to acknowledge and commemorate the achievements of our ancestors, their great contributions and what they’ve done for the world. Growing up we learn about the likes of Frederick Douglass,
  • A Budding RIOC Bromance Softens the Sugary Narcissism
    The RIOC bromance between President/CEO Seldom Seen Shelton J. Haynes and Akeem Jamal first blossomed as Haynes’s longtime friend, Altheria Jackson, was shown the door. Haynes was so taken with Jamal, he hired him at
  • New York City’s Energy Future on Roosevelt Island’s Horizon
    The Ravenswood Generating Station, just across the river from Roosevelt Island, becomes a key to New York City’s energy future with a transition to offshore wind power. The facility, long known as a significant source
  • Why cats are the best-evolved animals in the modern world
    There’s no denying that cats are some of the most fascinating creatures on the planet, but are they also the best-evolved? And while there are many reasons why they’re so special, one thing, in particular,
  • Five Mindfulness Quotes Bringing Light and Insight for Life
    “Mindfulness” is a word that gets tossed around a lot these days. But what does it really mean? Is it just another fad or buzzword? Actually, mindfulness is an ancient practice with proven benefits for

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Previous Story

Rent Guidelines Board 3.5% Hike, Biggest in Nearly a Decade

Next Story

Rebecca Seawright, Built for Our Times and Places

Latest from Featured

0 $0.00
%d bloggers like this: