Is Shelton J. Haynes One of Manhattan’s 100 Most Powerful?


Was it a joke when City & State named RIOC President/CEO Shelton J. Haynes one of Manhattan’s 100 most powerful people? The site rings Shelton in at #91, even if he isn’t really 91st on the list. He is also not the person described on the list.

The Roosevelt Island Daily News

Here’s the Napoleonic pose Haynes struck for the City & State article.

Valery Petrova / City & State

Compare with this creepy where-is-his-hand photo from a party with Mayor Eric Adams…

Haynes with Deputy Mayor Sheena Wright outside Carl Schurz Park.

Now these may be the same man, but you can’t tell anything from the most powerful list because they write that he is “…running Roosevelt Island’s day-to-day operations while serving 12,000 residents on the small island that’s administratively part of Manhattan.”

The real Shelton J. Haynes is bossed around by nameless Albany handlers assigned by Governor Kathy Hochul. When he has tried exercising his clout, they’ve been forced to rein him in.

For example, this spring he tried charging outrageous fees for membership in Sportspark. Residents paid for a much needed facelift, but he tried converting it to a sort of awkward Equinox, which most could never afford.

Outrage soared and Haynes’s power turned to dust. After Albany got through with him, he graciously cut the ribbon with his original fees deflated like the Goodyear Blimp on repairs day.

But What Else Does the City & State Most Powerful List Say About Haynes?

“Much development has taken place under Haynes’ watch, including beautification efforts using public art and establishing a new constituent services department.”

Okay, okay, we’re all used to Haynes grabbing credit for things accomplished under predecessor Susan Rosenthal or President/Assistant Vice President Akeem Jamal. It’s sleazy, but somehow, City & State bought it.

But the crowning achievement is one for the ages.

Under Haynes, they say, “Next, the island is set to house a $185 million mixed-use property.”



In the reality where most of us get along every day, Haynes does not really chime in at 91 because numerous rankings before include groups bunched as, for example, “City Council Members.”

Anyway, Haynes’s real bell gets rung somewhere in the triple digits.

Who was #1?

#1 Most Powerful, Congressman Jerry Nadler, holds up the ribbon for cutting by #91 Shelton Haynes at the Sportspark opening.

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