Roosevelt Island News

David Kramer Must Go

David Kramer must go, but it’s not as simple as it was for Governor Cuomo to heartlessly boot Susan Rosenthal. That makes it no less a need.

By David Stone

Shocking as it was when Gov. Andrew Cuomo abruptly fired Susan Rosenthal, a longtime loyalist, Hudson president David Kramer made it worse with insensitive remarks.

Dished freely, answering a question from the Roosevelt Islander, his comments ought to be enough to get him out the door too. Or, at least, to reverse the welcome sign RIOC’s left hanging for him for far too long.

David Kramer
David Kramer file photo.

Among other eye-popping observations, Kramer called Rosenthal a “tough broad,” a thoughtless throw back to a time when assertive women were tagged as odd. Not really female enough.

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David Kramer Must Go

Reaction was swift and sharp.

“I don’t know exactly what Susan was fired for, but the idea that it could be justified as some kind of tough-broad attitude is what I consider both racist and misogynistic,” posted Tapan Parikh on the Roosevelt Islander blog.

“Back in the day, it was a complement,” one resident told the Roosevelt Island Daily. “Patronizing, but a complement.” And it “…’pushes a lot of buttons’ for some of us who’ve dealt with him and had less than positive experiences.”

Added Frank Farance on the blog, “…that focus comes from a gender bias in how society perceives men and women in professional/business roles.”

Revealingly, Kramer started by saying that Rosenthal was the best RIOC president he worked with in 24 years. But, he cautioned, no one should take that to mean she was “a shill” for real estate developers.

Here’s a photo of Rosenthal cuddling in public with David Kramer, not being a shill for real estate developers.

On the contrary, Kramer accused her of “bullying us.”

Throw the Bum Out

Last publicly heard from, Kramer bragged to the RIOC Board, over which Rosenthal ruled, that he’d leased out every retail location on Main Street, save one.

That was way back in October.

Taken a walk through town lately?

If not, rest assured that the familiar array of empty storefronts is intact. And that includes a pair he tagged as likely to open by the end of January.

But neither the wine bar nor the yoga studio were anywhere near opening when the coronavirus shut down construction in March.

But without posted permits, social distancing or face masks, Kramer’s choice to mar our park system, The Sanctuary, worked on while Rosenthal’s RIOC looked the other way.

All that reflects the status of Main Street retail, nine years after Hudson Related took control and Kramer promised to “shock and awe” Roosevelt Island.

Enough’s enough, and when you toss gender insensitivity into that murky porridge, it’s time to tell Kramer he’s not welcome here.

Let’s see if the governor is as willing to deal firmly with a real estate developer as he was with a valued and loyal female employee.

davidstone1313

David Stone is a New York City based writer, founding publisher of The Roosevelt Island Daily and News; author of a dozen novels, poetry and nonfiction articles and books.

4 replies »

  1. YES!!! Why not kick out all of Hudson Related though? Clearly they havent kept up their end of the bargain. There are less stores in Southtown than when they got started, even before COVID.

    • The buildings they’ve put up are fine and impossible to replace, but putting the kibosh on the dreadful Main Street retail deal would be a blessing and an opportunity.

  2. Since when does anybody in Albany care what goes on here? I’ve been here 31 years and anything we get we have to fight tooth and nail for.

    • Things got much worse under Cuomo, but we had it better with Shane, Spitzer and Patterson. Remember, we saved the Tram and, for a brief time, we got to vote for RIOC’s Board, over which we won majority resident participation. Cuomo’s beaten back a lot of that, but Roosevelt Islanders are not blameless. When the Maple Tree Group had a chance, they took over the Common Council, eventually ruining it and its authority, in a deal that ousted Steve Shane and brought us the Main Street Retail deal for no other reason than to profit Rivercross — where most of them lived — residents in going private. In the end, a small, but powerful group of Roosevelt Islanders proved as greedy as any real estate developer, and we have never gotten that authority back.

      We showed Cuomo we were selfish, not neighborly.

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