Rent abatement waiver isn’t unfair
To the editor,
Public Advocate DeBlasio and the Tenants Association are seeking headlines by belittling CW Capital’s decision to grant a 15 percent rent reduction, in exchange for a promise not to be sued for losses related to the hurricane.
This is surprising, because tenants have nothing to lose by signing the waiver – and everything to gain.
The maximum damages any tenant could recover in a lawsuit would be the rent such tenant paid during the period in which their apartment did not have power. Management could contest this argument, noting that most tenants had running water and flashlights.
Moreover, suing management would take three to five years, and legal fees could consume up to a third of any recovery.
With 11,000 tenants in ST/PCV, including hundreds of attorneys, there are bound to be a few lawyers who will try to trick tenants into believing they could recover more than they were due. But let’s review the results of the Roberts litigation – which took five years and mainly enriched only the lawyers.
Moreover, if a class action were to be initiated against CW Capital, it would throw yet another wrench into the process leading to a non-eviction condo conversion of the property. A large, outstanding litigation against the property could cause our partner Brookfield Management to have a change of heart, and could spook any financing partners Brookfield would bring to the table.
A more prudent and ethical course for our neighbors is to gracefully accept the rent abatement and to say “thank you.” It would be far more constructive to sign the waiver and acknowledge that CW in fact did heroic work in restoring power after the unprecedented violence of the storm.
Rather than advise a rent strike, the Tenants Association should recall that civility is never a sign of weakness.
Name withheld, ST
Recreation’s Radu Ocnean is missed
I have lived in this complex for over 30 years. I really enjoyed all the time here and unlike most people who seem to complain about every change I welcomed it. For the past 15 years or so while my kids were growing up I felt really safe with my kids playing in the playgrounds, attending all the sporting events, Halloween Carnival, Easter etc. The playground staff always interacted with the kids, knew all their names, started games, played with the kids, watching for their safety.
For the past 2-3 months I noticed a big difference in the playgrounds. There is no more playground staff anywhere; my kids don’t see any familiar faces any more. Ever since the Director for Recreation Radu Ocnean left everything seems to have changed. For the first time in 30 years we did not have a Halloween event for the kids (I know we had the storm) but it just seemed a coincidence that it was the first time he was not here. He was a familiar face at the Christmas tree sales. We stopped by there and there didn’t seem to be any order, and everyone was listening to rap music and not Christmas music like in years past. He played Santa for the past 5-6 years and lit up the Christmas tree; this year’s Santa left a lot to be desired.
I talked to quite a few other families and they all agreed with me. We miss the old director and we feel things are going downhill quickly.
Jim Altman, ST
Calculating Garodnick’s next moves
To the editor:
In his Political Tidbits Column, Time for Change and auld lang syne, Hon. Steven Sanders’ writes: “Our political leadership will change next year,” stating a “new mayor, a new city comptroller, a new public advocate, a new borough president, a new state senator (Brad Hoylman) and possibly a City Council speaker in the person of Dan Garodnick.”
But the only change in 2013 is Hon. Hoylman, Hon. Tom Duane’s designated successor. The other offices will be decided in September’s Democratic Primary with the mayoral decided in November’s General Election. And while I’m knit picking to point out that the elected offices won’t “change” until 2014, the City Council Speaker, as Hon. Sanders realizes, is brokered by the county leaders with the last two speakers coming from Manhattan.
Hon. Garodnick would be great as Council Speaker if the leaders choose him. But would it be favor for deferring to Borough President Hon. Scott Stringer in the comptroller’s race? (At least one other councilmember, Hon. Dominic Recchia, was talked out of running for comptroller.) I happen to think that Dan would make a seamless transition from the Council to Scott’s borough president’s office. Absent an explanation, I assume that Dan values his relations with the current candidates too much to throw his hat into their ring.
If Dan does get made speaker he’s got to hope that a Republican wins City Hall. Then when Scott Stringer, say, runs for mayor as comptroller in 2017, then Dan can run for comptroller as speaker.
Billy Sternberg, ST