According to an after-hours “advisory” on Friday, April 7th, RIOC folds on Motorgate parking charges previously claimed as unalterable. The Hochul/Haynes administration provoked initial outrage in January, authorizing monthly parkers’ rate increases without prior notice. Worst of all, they slammed disabled permit holders with first-ever charges of $125, also without notice.
by David Stone
The RIOC Folds Advisory
RIOC has long clung to the widespread government practice of releasing news they don’t want you to read late on Fridays. Most of us have better things to do and will skip the news as the weekend begins.
This is no exception, released at 5:32 p.m., after most TGIF buttons have been pushed.
“After careful consideration, RIOC has adjusted the monthly permit rates at the Motorgate Garage – aiming to be fair and equitable to all Island permit holders,” Team Hochul/Haynes spilled.
While they wait for you to come home, schedule now to be sure Roosevelt Island’s Best Cat Sitter is there for them.
But less than two months ago, President/CEO Shelton J. Haynes insisted, “I have spoken to countless Island residents and stakeholders and have had time to consider your feedback concerning the permit rate increases, specifically the disabled rate at the Motorgate Garage.”
That was nonsense, of course, because Haynes never talked to “countless residents and stakeholders.”
Certainly, he got angry messages and calls from elected officials, but we couldn’t find more than one resident he spoke with.”
But he went on…
“RIOC remains committed to finding an equitable solution for all. However, RIOC cannot lower the $125 fee and adopt a more minor increase, as this would not be fair to our elderly constituents. In the spirit of impartiality, I must stand by my decision, as both groups should be treated fairly.”
He never explained that strange reasoning nor did he ever identify a single individual who complained about any alleged unfairness.
The Trouble With President Haynes
Following a pattern we’ve seen before, once this effort proved fruitless, Haynes vanished behind the “Team RIOC” label on Friday:
“Beginning May 1, 2023, the Disabled monthly parking permit rate will be reduced from the proposed $125 rate to $62.50 only for existing enrolled customers before April 6, 2023, at 11:59 PM for a period of one year through May 1, 2024. On May 1, 2024, the Disabled monthly rate will be aligned with the Senior Citizen parking rate. All new customers applying for the Disabled monthly parking permit rate will be subject to the proposed $125 rate.”
RIOC folded, but the victory was only partial because, lacking genuine leadership skills, Haynes could not swallow his pride long enough to recognize the many mistakes committed since permitted holders were blindsided with increases in January.
And even with the changes, Team Haynes/Hochul did not seek community input or consensus. This leaves residents with raising hell as their only option for squeezing fairness out of RIOC.