Nearly two years passed since the AVAC stink first swelled down the corridors in Southtown. After more than a dozen breakdowns of varying lengths since, the system is out again.
Despite alleged Communications Team staffing costing close to half-a-million dollars annually, RIOC did not release any advisory when the system failed on Sunday nor as it continued through Monday.
Coincidentally, the AVAC stink for Southtown comes on the heels of a prolonged breakdown involving three buildings on the west side. RIOC introduced that breakdown with an astonishingly illiterate advisory that ended with a lie.
How This Season of AVAC Stink Got Underway
“The west side of the AVAC line is obstructed impacting garbage collection via vacuum along the duct work servicing building complex at Westview and BLG 531 (Rivercross),” it fumbled.
Then, it shifted, diverting responsibility away from RIOC, which owns the system, and laying it on others.
“DSNY,” RIOC said, never making clear that it’s the Department of Sanitation, “is working on this and the service company ENVAC is scheduled to be here from Spain starting on July 16th.”
“In the mean time, these building has been asked to close their garbage chutes and bring in garbage directly into the AVAC Plant.”
RIOC President Assistant Vice President Akeem Jamal pulls down $150K per year, but since his arrival, the agency remains hobbled with illiteracy. We can thank Governor Hochul for this gem of a find.
The advisory closes with this: “There is no definite projection of time of when it can be resolved, but daily updates will be sent before end of everyday about any progress made, until it gets resolved.”
That was a lie. Also haplessly illiterate.
There was never a single “daily update,” not when ENVAC arrived, not even when the shutdown ended on Sunday and nothing in-between.
Absence of Accountability
Despite the staffing bloat and staggering salaries rewarding incompetence, Team RIOC is simply incapable of managing the AVAC.
The future of the once groundbreaking pneumatic tube system is in doubt because RIOC did not plan for the future. There is no maintenance or replacement plan, although the AVAC is now decades past its expected lifespan.
Which brings us to another uncorrected failure at RIOC under Governor Kathy Hochul and President/CYA Seldom Seen Shelton Haynes. Haynes devastated the professional staff in what court documents suggest is a racial cleansing of Caucasian staff without bringing in capable replacements.
The worst of that was the mysterious dismissal of Chief Financial Officer John O’Reilly. Haynes’s predecessor Susan Rosenthal hired O’Reilly chiefly because of his lengthy experience in overseeing infrastructure.
When he left, in August last year, a plan for overhauling the AVAC system was on his desk. Nobody knows what became of it.
But the prevailing AVAC stink might give you a clue.