The WIRE sat down with self-described cantankerous, caustic, vituperative former Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) President Steve Marcus, in the warmest place in Rivercross, the Orange Wing couches, for a wide-ranging conversation on the growing pains and (ultimately hopeful) future of RIRA and the Island.
Fernando Martinez defrauded the Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation (RIOC) while serving as its Vice President of Operations. Last month, he pled guilty to charges brought by the Manhattan District Attorney in Criminal Court. The action against him originated with an investigation by the New York State Inspector General.
Ellen Polivy, president of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) since November 2012, resigned Wednesday night.
The basement of the Good Shepherd Center is an appropriate venue for the June 5 Residents Association Common Council meeting: full of hot (and humid) air. And while most Council members arrive in short sleeves, sundresses, and/or flip-flops, RIRA Vice President Jeffrey Escobar is nattily attired in a pinstriped suit, tie, and pressed shirt, complete with mother-of-pearl cufflinks. He sits to the right of President Ellen Polivy, cool despite the environment.
Over the next four years, the morning-rush crunch at the subway will get worse, according to an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) prepared for Cornell University. However, during that period, most new riders will come from the increased population in Southtown – the new Riverwalk buildings – rather than from the opening of the Cornell NYC Tech campus in 2017.
Ellen Polivy’s resignation from the RIRA presidency need not be a crisis in the Common Council of the Roosevelt Island Residents Association. Vice President Jeffrey Escobar is an outstanding replacement for her as she takes the steps necessary to sail out of stormy seas into the calm necessary to handle other obligations and personal matters without a raucous distraction.
- After eight years as Roosevelt Island’s City Council member, Jessica Lappin has a new job as president of the Alliance for Downtown New York and the Downtown Lower Manhattan Association. She commented, in a press release, “The transformation unfolding in Lower Manhattan is inspiring. Few places anywhere can boast of the constellation of game-changing projects.”
- And, as observed in a letter (page 5), former Public Safety Director Keith Guerra now works for Urban American, owner-manager of Roosevelt Landings.
This past week, RIOC welcomed a new member to its staff. Frances Walton, our newly appointed Chief Financial Officer and Vice President for Financial Affairs, comes to us with a rich background in public administration, banking, and financial management. For more than 16 years, she served as the Chief Financial and Administrative Officer of the Empire State Development Corporation (ESD). She directed the agency’s financial functions, including banking, investments, cash management, debt insurance, budgeting, accounting, portfolio management, loans and grants, and project finance programs. She was also responsible for the management and direction of their Information Technology, Human Resources, and Administration departments.
As I write this column, it’s a warm day. The day you read it, who knows, it may be cold and snowing. My point is that sometimes this column must be written in advance of events that will occur before WIRE publication, and therefore it may not really report on things – even important things – that have happened. By the time you read this, the February 5 Cornell NYC Tech Community Forum and the February 5 RIRA Common Council meeting will have occurred. I hope that you attended at least one of those meetings. I hope that they were productive, with questions answered. I hope that those meetings achieved results that will help build this community, but as I write this, there is no way of knowing. Only hope.