“Shelton Haynes and His Incredible Projects on Roosevelt Island.” Should We Be Worried?

“Shelton Haynes and His Incredible Projects on Roosevelt Island.” Should We Be Worried?

Just when we thought the dumpster outflow hit rock bottom, Shelton Haynes and His Incredible Projects pulled itself up over the rim, dumping itself into the streets. But there’s reason for concern here. Albany oversight failed to rein in the CEO’s excesses, and now, the articles are weirder and darker.

by David Stone

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

“Nothing could be published unless he approved, and he needed to get clearance from Albany,” Haynes told one manager.  “How is this for a thought…..he is writing this s**t on his own. With no RIOC involvement. He is setting himself up to look for a job.”

But there are problems with that equation. First, the writing is dreadful, but also worrisome. Whoever wrote this stuff has an issue with disordered thinking and a striking inability to focus. If Haynes did write it, it’s a clinical explosion of chronic narcissism, a problem deep enough that it obscures objective reality.

And it’s also error-prone. Here’s the photo the writer used in the article we reported on yesterday.

Borrowed from CNN.

Although credit is given to Haynes for The Girl Puzzle and the Lighthouse Restoration in recent published articles, this picture comes from a time before anyone broke ground on either project.

Not only is the fact checking awful, the illustration is stolen and ridiculously out of date.

About Shelton Haynes and His Incredible Projects on Roosevelt Island

Yes, that’s the actual title. And the article starts with this line:

Many city managers and operational corporation CEOs would find their work in maintaining the status quo. Still, Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation CEO Shelton Haynes has big plans for his two-mile-long East River island.

Author Unknown

(Because the website is unstable, we will attach a PDF at the end of this article.)

The problem here is that no such “big plans” appear anywhere. And this is where the disordered thinking comes in and becomes entangled with misrepresentations. Although “his two-mile long East River island” is gag-worthy in and of itself.

And then there are the projects, all completed over a year ago, and broadly misrepresented.

The Roosevelt Island Youth Center

“Shelton Haynes marks it as his landmark project.” But it wasn’t his. All the planning and funding happened under his predecessor as President/CEO, Susan Rosenthal.

FDR Hope Memorial

“Produced with help from the Roosevelt Island Disabled Association, it wasn’t the only park to receive ADA updates…” Aside from the memorial not being a park, but in one, RIDA did not “help.” And it was always ADA compliant, never got or needed an “update.”

The whole project was inspired by the late Jim Bates, RIDA’s founder, and developed with a committee while Haynes was still back in Georgia. When funding for completion ran short – You guessed it – Rosenthal persuaded RIOC’s board to come up with the money. Even then, after Haynes took her job, the memorial foundered until The Daily shamed him over the neglect.

FDR Hope Memorial under Haynes before news coverage.

The Tram Elevator Project

Delays due to poor planning made this incredible project far overdue and more than 100% over budget.

The Lighthouse Park Tower Project

This “…continues the work of 19th-century architect James Renwick.” Really?

And Haynes was not part of the planning or construction. That was done by then-CFO John O’Reilly and RIOC owners representative LiRo.

Last of the Incredible Projects Haynes Had Little or Nothing To Do With: The Girl Puzzle

“‘We’re so proud to house this important and awe-inspiring monument that all New Yorkers can take pride in,’ said Shelton Haynes in a recent interview.”

Okay, but it was never his “incredible project.” Funded by the board, it was the brainchild of a committee lead by Rosenthal and included artist Tad Sudol and RIOC staffers Erica Spencer-EL and Jessica Cerone. Haynes was not a member.

“Bly was best known for her articles detailing inhumane conditions within insane asylums in the 19th century, leading to dramatically improved conditions.”

Her articles, later published in book form as Ten Days in a Mad-House, were the result of her time as an inmate at a madhouse for women on Roosevelt Island. The Octagon apartment complex’s main lobby was part of the institution.

Incredible Projects or Incredible Deception and Instability?

We don’t know who wrote the last two Shelton Haynes promotional articles. No one is bylined on either, but whoever did desperately needs an editor and maybe some counseling.

Under the final heading, Bright Future For Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation, the author writes this:

“This planning will provide a promising future for the island long after other parts of the city have faded with age, both in terms of economy and community. With guidance like this, the island will continue to be a hot spot for visitors for many years.”

Gag-worthy though it is, the corporation paying Haynes $226,000 per year is not mentioned.

The only question remaining, Why is he still here?, must be answered by Governor Kathy Hochul who has protected this administration, through over a dozen lawsuits and investigations and without much success..

Is there a reason she’d rather not let us know?

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