Was a cheapskate holiday for Roosevelt Island exactly what RIOC President/CEO had in mind when RIOC’s contractor spread a much-reduced collection of decorations in early November? Downplaying local traditions is a hallmark of his administration. But is it anything more than laziness and indifference driving the new penny-pincher theme?
by David Stone
Ironically, it was RIOC under then-President/CEO Susan Rosenthal that raised expectations for holiday decorations. Underwhelmed by the lack of seasonal sparkle on Main Street, she brought the first flourishes in 2017.
But just like Don McClean’s lyric from American Pie, Haynes bumped off Rosenthal on the day the music died.
The Cheapskate Holiday Continues a Shelton Shrinkage Policy
From Roosevelt Island Day, which he reduced by 70%, through the Halloween Parade he tried to cancel through Fall for Arts, which he also wanted to cancel, Haynes has dulled community spirit with persistence.
One thing about Shelton J. Haynes that can’t be dismissed is consistency. Activities and expertise shrink and salaries rise. There’s no element of surprise in RIOC’s upper echelon.
This year for the cheapskate holiday, RIOC culled the herd at the Tram Plaza, where the reindeer are gone completely. And the sleigh, the one thing people seemed to enjoy in Good Shepherd Plaza, bit the dust too.
And while Roosevelt Landings gets generous strings of lights all along the portico, RIOC has nothing for the Octagon, Manhattan Park or any of the Southtown buildings. Island House and Westview and virtually ignored.
Strange as all this is, we saved the dumbest for last
Last week, RIOC posted on Instagram about a tree-lighting ceremony. It was sort of a cult of personality thing where Shelton J. Haynes ranks above everything else.
And it just about demands questions: What music? What performances? Are there any community partners?
Why has RIOC downplayed its cult of personality, cheapskate holiday centerpiece? Is their $150K per year Communications AVP too busy raising campaign funds for Yonkers’s mayor?
After the past year’s backstabbing management staff firings, are there not enough capable people left to tape the posters up?
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