To the Editor:
Thank you to the people of Roosevelt Island who gave me your vote of confidence [in the April 17-18 RIOC Board Nominee election]. In my seven years of service on the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation Board, I have been chair of the Audit and Real Estate Advisory Committees, and have many accomplishments to share.
On community development – My committee had numerous public meetings concerning space availability and utilization. We oversaw the development of the renewed Cultural Center, with broader community access encouraged there and in Sports Park. At least six community groups had input in more than a dozen planning sessions. I helped ensure that new construction and Island House’s reconstitution happened in a way that balanced all stakeholders’ concerns.
Cornell Tech – I worked with former RIOC President Charlene Indelicato to negotiate the million-dollar-a-year agreement to be paid by the State in a lump sum by December 31, 2018, the present value of which I computed to be about $23.6 million. I have been lobbying to ensure that we get the money by the stipulated 2018 date. (The community needs to be very vocal to help that happen.)
I attended weekly afternoon RIOC-Cornell construction coordination meetings as the voice of the public to ensure that Cornell acted in good faith during the build, which they did. The meetings solidified a cooperative relationship between Cornell and the community.
Based on the Roosevelt Island Residents Association’s discussions about bicycles sharing the helix with cars, it was my idea that Roosevelt Island have a second route for bicycles and small emergency vehicles in case the helix was down. We spoke about it during the Cornell construction coordination meeting. Cornell cooperated by having their engineering consultants develop the concept for the bicycle ramp. Our current president and our elected officials worked on getting us the money. It has been funded and will be built.
Public Safety – In reaction to RIRA’s complaints about the Public Safety Department, I created an operational audit of the department, which helped formulate the basis of a more community-centric public safety operation. I encouraged Charlene Indelicato, as a new president, to bring in someone to redirect the department into a community policing model. Jack McManus was brought in to be the new Public Safety Director.
I continue to act as one of the go-to persons to discuss how the community would respond to any initiative that RIOC wants to roll out.
I hold frequent committee meetings, which are open to the public, taped, and immediately available on audio on the RIOC website and by transcript, if ordered. Some of these meetings have been well attended but others have had no public representation. We welcome public attendance to see the work of RIOC for the community. The public is able to have input during those meetings. The agendas, times, and locations of all committee meetings and general meetings can be found at RIOC.ny.gov.