Why RIOC Should End Residential Fees Now. We’ve Already Paid.


If there’s any sense of fair play for Roosevelt Island, RIOC should end residential fees now. All of them. That means making Sportspark, tennis courts and ballfields free for all Roosevelt Islanders. It’s smart, fair and sensible, and RIOC will hate it.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

The greed saturating the state agency that never gets it wrong has been apparent for a long time. But now flavored with gross incompetence and a lack of accountability, it glows a more vibrant yellow.

While the Hochul/Haynes administration ponders large fee increases for residents using Island facilities, history offers a longer view.

The annual budget proposed for the 2021 fiscal year, the last overseen by CEO Susan Rosenthal, planned for $1,857,000 in residential fees.

With a little over two years under his belt as RIOC’s CEO, Seldom Seen Shelton J. Haynes wants $4,246,000. That’s right. Way more than double.

Why RIOC Should End Residential Fees

The reason for ending residential fees is, technically speaking, because Roosevelt Islanders already pay through the nose. The community coughed up the cash for the haplessly prolonged Sportspark rehabilitation. The state’s contribution was…. wait, calculating… oh, nothing.

While RIOC already wangles the majority of its $34 million annual budget out of local pockets, it wants more. But what are we getting really?

A bloated employee headcount with, for example, charges for 10 public safety officers that never get hired… Where does that money go?

An unbelievable salary for Seldom Seen Haynes awards him $226K per year, more than any state governor in the U.S. with not a single notable accomplishment. And that’s before giving him top-of-the-field benefits, including free parking.

While his Where’s Waldo? act gets old, Roosevelt Islanders pay for that too along with bloated salaries for his circle of flunkies and protectors.

Governor Hochul and Haynes should immediately end residential fees. Paying more for consistent mismanagement and greed must end if there’s any fairness left in state government.

We’re suggesting only that Hochul and Haynes be as generous with Roosevelt Islanders as they are with themselves.

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