The numbers in our monthlong poll, heavily leaned toward wanting Haynes out, were shocking from Day One. As readers voted, we anticipated a change in voting with supporters coming out in favor of RIOC’s CEO, but the opposite happened. The trend got worse for him over time.
by David Stone
Our poll which ran through the month of September 2023 asked a simple Yes or No question: “Should RIOC President/CEO be asked to leave?”
The question was radical with no softer alternative or even a neutral response because we wanted a clean answer needing no interpretation. In the end, most readers did not vote at all, but that happens with all voluntary polls and may be meaningless.
- Yes, RIOC President/CEO Shelton J. Haynes Should Be Asked to Leave: 92.8%
- No, RIOC President/CEO Shelton J. Haynes Should Not Be Asked to Leave: 7.2%
It doesn’t get any clearer than that.
Haynes Out, But Why?
Because we did not specifically ask for or post any reasons from which readers could pick in justifying their votes, we don’t have a clear picture of why anyone voted as they did.
But one thing is clear. Haynes has not won over many hearts in his three-plus year tenure.
Although we picked September on impulse, it was a month in which a lot of attention fell on Haynes.
Save for a brief appearance at the MTA’s OMNY for the Tram announcement, he wasn’t visible nor did his administration post an advisory about the win.
But his presence – or the lack of it – was unavoidable. In one big week, he and Chief Counsel Gretchen Robinson sued their state overseers, contending that they were denied a chance to fight back against racism running rampant on Roosevelt Island.
Later, in a board meeting, Robinson announced that Haynes was on extended sick leave. The underlying cause: Stress, which both he and Robinson, in their lawsuit, say they suffer because of the racism targeting them.
Neither of these sent the needle in their favor. As votes came in, they turned even more strongly against Haynes.