The changing nature of the Island came from the changing State administration of this place. The people appointed to run the Island by governors after Governor Mario Cuomo were bureaucrats. Understandably, they looked for a solid legal base for the state to run a local community. There was no such Chapter in the State Code.
Main Street WIRE covers tell of two RIOC Presidents fired, left Jerome Blue, and right Robert Ryan
Especially, there is no legal basis for the State to run a municipal type operation within an Incorporated City. So state officials took the safe way; they ran the Island using ill-fitting State laws. In June 1999 it was becoming apparent that then RIOC President Jerome Blue just had to be replaced, apparent even to the second floor of Albany, where the governor's executive chamber is located. The replacement, RIOC President Robert Ryan, was lacking as well. He told me he would never move to Roosevelt Island because he did not want residents ringing his door bell. That comment is a perfect attitude of the wrong way to be responsible for a local government.
RIOC President Steve Shane, the best RIOC President, according to the author
From my point of view, the high spot of State control was during the period when Steve Shane was the head of the State administration. Unfortunately Steve was pushed out by those people who wanted to turn the Island over to the Real Estate interests. Subsequent State appointees took on a landlord posture, paying increasingly less attention to the residents in a community.
They increasingly ignored the founding idea of our community — the idea of a middle class community drawing residents from a broad mix of incomes, backgrounds, and races. They ignored any involvement by citizens in Island operation. Their emphasis increased on seeing that residents followed imagined State rules. Their emphasis shifted from a community of wide middle class population. Now an upper-middle-class-professional-occupation base of citizens is the aim. The new residents were people focused on the other side of our bordering river. The needs of residents run into RIOC employees whose lives were focused elsewhere, with only a 40-hour work week assignment here.
David J. Bauer