Governor Kathy Hochul will pay a price for abusing Roosevelt Islanders. That’s certain, and it’s as if her narrow win last year over a MAGA cheeseball taught her nothing. The only question is how much and how soon.
by David Stone
Underestimating Roosevelt Islanders
Posted yesterday, an article in the Roosevelt Islander blog registered residents nearing a boiling point with frustration over “insane” policies forced on RIOC’s board and employees by President/CEO Shelton Haynes.
Last month, The Daily published a poll finding that over 92% of respondents want Haynes out.
But in the long run, it’s not Haynes who will pay. It’s Hochul and the Democratic machine with all its excesses that will.
Why Should Hochul Pay?
Let’s keep it simple here because it is. The Hochul machine in Albany runs the whole machine down to the local level in state agencies. It’s pretty tightfisted, at that.
That was true with her predecessor, Andrew Cuomo, under whose shadow she sheltered as Lieutenant Governor. But who ever expected she’d be worse?
We didn’t see it coming because we didn’t realize how weak she was.
With Cuomo, RIOC board members could speak up. They, along with the community, could debate, and sometimes, Cuomo might give a little. But he was still the boss, and everyone knew it.
Hochul came on strong from the start, promising change – accountability and transparency – from her government. When some, like Haynes at RIOC, essentially blew off her demand for written plans, she bent. RIOC still has no such plan, more than two years later.
And needless to say, transparency and accountability are as rare as purple carrots here.
The Broader Picture
New Yorkers like strong leaders. Lesser souls like Hochul pay a price for their wobbling and lack of mission.
Let’s be clear here where few are clear. New York is the most corrupt state in the union. Ethical compromises are everywhere, and they’re always about retaining power.
Because that doesn’t play well with voters, politicians raise funds like crazy, assuring that grassroots forces suffocate.
That is, you may vote, but you have next to nothing to say about who’s available at the voting machine.
This is where Hochul will pay dearly, keeping in mind a MAGA midget came closer to knocking her off than anyone thought possible. Next time around, you might see another Pataki like the one who bumped off Mario Cuomo after he took New Yorkers for granted.
Roosevelt Island Is a Microcosm
Don’t imagine that abusing Roosevelt Island governance is an anomaly, a rarity that doesn’t represent the whole.
For the first time in 12 years, Suffolk County on Long Island will have a new executive, replacing term limited Democrat Steve Bellone.
This time, voters elected a Republican, bucking a national trend.CBS News
That’s a trend. Democrats are losing ground. Upstate, in Hochul’s home county, the Democratic executive barely held his seat against an aggressive Republican.
Will Hochul Pay for Her Failure? What About Others?
Failing to serve anything more than political convenience, Hochul will pay. For me personally, 55 years since I first registered as a Democrat, I will never vote for her again. Her abuse of Roosevelt Island is critical.
There’s an inclination to blame Haynes for RIOC’s miserable performance, but the CEO does nothing without an Albany approval. And conversely, Albany does nothing to make things better.
Haynes and his executive team are, as he points out, “protected,” and the whole complex is so compromised that even local elected officials are powerless and, now, silent under Albany’s orders.
RIOC will change, but only after Hochul pays a political price. She has it coming.