RIOC's "Hey Susan," Column

November 26, 2018

I've just received and read this excellent column which attempts, through RIOC President Susan Rosenthal's responses to questions, to answer Roosevelt Island residents' concerns.  As there is no mechanism within the advisory to comment on the Q&A, I would like to address just one of those queries here.


A neighbor asked why President Rosenthal doesn't live on Roosevelt Island.  In fact, no RIOC President has ever been a resident of the Island, nor is there any requirement for any RIOC employee to live here.  However, as a result of the efforts of Island activists who met with then Governor George Pataki in 2002, there is a requirement that a majority of the RIOC Board of Directors be Roosevelt Islanders. 




Avatar of RIOC President Susan Rosenthal, RIOC


To that end, a system of elections was created to present Island candidates for the position to an Island electorate and, at one time, seven of the nine seats, mandated by statute, were filled by our neighbors. 


Today, as a result of Governor Cuomo's concerted effort to ignore us, four of those resident board seats are unfilled as a result of retirement and resignation. Out of the five remaining directors, only three are Islanders. 


June RIOC Board meeting, l-r, Resident Board member David Kraut, RIOC General Counsel Jaci Flug, RIOC President Susan Rosenthal, NYS Division of the Budget representative, Resident Board member Howard Polivy, and Resident Board member Michael Shinozaki.


This is not result of any lack of effort by RIRA; in fact RIRA has held three elections since 2012 to fill those vacant seats.  This governor, this State government which administers this Public Benefit Corporation, has failed RIOC and failed us.  Democracy matters, more, it seems, than ever in our history, and we don't have it.  What do you think?


Matthew Katz

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