Time to own is now, before students take over
To the Editor:
Here we go again. The big move-in by students, new grads and those just starting their first jobs. The SUVs and U-Hauls are here with hopeful parents bringing the usual bric-a-brac items needed for city living. And it’s three or four to an apartment to split the rent that no one else can afford alone. Say hi to them and ask how long they might be living here, and they will say a year or two and then on to other pastures.
Unfortunately these people will be heard howling in the courtyards when they come home from their weekend drinking and bar hopping and then on to clip-clop with their high heels on the uncovered floors to wake up their neighbors at 3 or 4 in the morning. They use the laundry carts as moving aids to get their things from street to floor. But none of them will help create a viable community where neighbors get to know each other over the years. They are just here to fill their “dorm” time and for the landlord to fill vacancies when there are few others.
So what’s the solution? It’s time for PCV/ST to be converted into co-ops or condos. Where people will own what they live. Where neighbors will be neighbors who care about each other and care about what they own. Demand that this be done.
Demand that CW do this. And at a reasonable conversion rate that is affordable to all the tenants who live here today and to those that have been living here for 30 or 40 years or more. If CW won’t comply, demand that they do. Get someone bigger than them so they will. If the Tenants Association can’t do it, find someone else who can. If our elected officials can’t make it happen, vote for those who want it converted and who will make it happen. It’s time. We have all been waiting long enough and we don’t want to wait any longer.
See you when I own my apartment. And everyone is a proud owner.
Larry Edwards, ST
Garodnick was right on bus driver contracts
Re: “Garodnick: Why I voted against grant bill for school bus drivers” T&V, Aug. 28
To the Editor,
Thank you for publishing Councilman Garodnick’s explanation of his vote against the proposed grant program for school bus drivers. He clearly made the correct decision.
As I understand it, the city held a competitive bid among school bus companies for bus service for the city’s students. The low bidders won. The drivers for the low bidding companies were willing to work for less than the drivers for the higher bidding companies. Since the higher bidding companies lost the bid, they didn’t need all the drivers they had and terminated the employment of some of them.
The goal of the grant proposal was to use city funds to pay more money to the lower paid drivers of the winning bidders and to pay salary continuance to the drivers who lost their jobs. The city’s initial cost of the grant would have been $42 million.
The purpose of the bidding process is to create a competitive environment where bidders strive to reduce costs so they can make the lowest bid and win the business. Through this process, the city’s costs are reduced.
Creating a grant to compensate employees of the high bidders who lost their jobs and to increase the pay of employees who accepted lower wages in order to have a job with the low bidders destroys the purpose of competitive bidding, i.e., to save the city money. Payment of the $42 million grant would have offset the benefit of competitive bidding. Thus, it would, in effect, have been a violation of the city’s competitive bidding requirement.
Looking at only the employees of the high bidders who lost their jobs and the lower pay of the employees of the low bidders does not show the whole impact on employment. The low bidders created, or preserved, jobs by bidding low and winning the work for their employees. This creation and preservation of jobs is a positive result that must be appreciated.
From a macro perspective, the total number of drivers working for all the bidders combined exceeded the total number of drivers the city needed. Supply exceeded demand. When the supply of workers exceeds demand, wages go down and the supply is reduced. That’s what happened.
More broadly, the excess supply of low skilled workers and unskilled workers in the city keeps their wages low, causes unemployment, and increases the demand for affordable housing.
Floyd Smith, PCV
Patients First lost me over unnecessary lab work
Re: “Patients First has closed,” T&V, Aug. 28
I stopped going to Patients First Medical Center and seeing Dr. Glen Marin years ago and, especially after reading the article in T&V about them closing their First Avenue office, I’m glad I did.
Every time I would go there – no matter the reason – he would direct his nurse to draw blood and send it off to a lab for analysis. Soon enough, I got fed up with what I believed was unnecessary and unethical treatment by Dr. Marin, especially after I saw the absurd amounts my insurance company at the time was being billed for the lab work. The last straw was yet another big lab bill and my discovery that the facility doing the blood work was – surprise, surprise! – a lab owned by Dr. Marin. Once I found that out, I called him on his devious scheme and, needless to say, I never went back to see him after that.
My only regret now is that I didn’t report him to the appropriate authorities back then. I can’t imagine how many insurance companies and patients he bilked out of who knows how much money with his unnecessary and unethical lab work. I say good riddance to him.
Name withheld, ST