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President's Report - February 2, 2011

posted Feb 3, 2011, 11:37 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Feb 3, 2011, 11:39 AM ]
The following is the text of the RIRA President’s Report given at the Common Council meeting on February 2, 2011 by President Matthew Katz:

  1. First, I want to apologize for the unexpected venue change.  I learned last Thursday on the grapevine that the Good Shepherd Lower Community Room was unavailable for meetings due to continued work on flooring.  Thanks to Dolores Green, who alerted me that the AA Group, which meets at Good Shepherd, had requested space in the Senior Center.  We were offered the upstairs sanctuary for this meeting, but clearly, that space is inappropriate for our needs.  I then learned that our January fallback location, Sportspark, was not available.  I want to thank RIOC VP, Fernando Martinez, and especially Child School Executive Director, Sal Ferrera, and Facilities Manager, Dennis Kenneally and his staff, for making their gymnasium available to us and on short notice.  And I want to thank Mark Rothman and his crew at RIOC for getting us these banquet tables from Good Shepherd to use tonight.  The Child School only had round tables to offer us and you can imagine the difficulties that would have created.  I don’t know how long the renovations are likely to take at Good Shepherd, but it’s probably unlikely that we will return there for our March 2 meeting.  Stay tuned; when I know, you’ll know.
  2. One of the many advantages of conducting our RIRA elections by voting machine is the receipt of certificates of election from the company that provides the machines and certifies the results.  I have what I hope is the full set now, and I’d like to distribute them to the Council seat-holders, Class of 2010-2012.  (Distribute certificates.)
  3. And finally:  I’ve been attending meetings of the New York City Department of Planning on the City’s vast waterfront since last spring.  New York City has 578 miles of waterfront; greater than the next three American maritime cities combined.  In conjunction with the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance, Planning has created Vision 2020, a ten-year project to enhance City use of our waterfronts and waterways for transportation, recreation and commercial use.  Given that Roosevelt Island is entirely waterfront, I wanted to ensure that we were included in the Comprehensive Waterfront Plan that is to encapsulate this planning.  Specifically, I want the Island included in any ferry service that uses the East River to bring commuters to Manhattan.  In addition, as recreational use of our waterways expands, Roosevelt Island is a logical center for boating activities.  We were asked for the last additions to the manuscript in October, with the final draft to be completed in December.  I’ve now been informed by my Department of Planning contact that the plan “will be released shortly” and will be available online and in bookstores.  I’ll share it with you, with the press and with RIOC (which has not participated in these discussions) when the plan is finally available.