Letters to the Editor: Feb. 18

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

An election closer to home

Forget Donald. Forget Hillary. Forget Bernie. Forget Ted and Marco.  The election that counts is coming this spring.  It’s the election of members of the Board of Directors of the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association. Like the run for the US Presidency, this is not for sissies.

Members of the board serve all residents in a variety of ways. They negotiate with management on quality of life and other community issues. They, together with the Tenants Association’s attorney, handle appeals of Major Capital Improvements (MCIs) and other rent and lease issues with the Department of Housing and Community Renewal. They work with other tenant organizations in lobbying Albany and City Hall for fair rent laws and practices. They communicate with community residents via printed notices, a website, Facebook, Twitter and a phone-and-email Message Center.

“They” are the members of the Tenants Association’s Board of Directors, elected by Association members for rotating unpaid four-year terms. Although their names appear on the TA’s letterhead and many of its communications, you might like to know what special expertise they bring to our organization, which works on behalf of all Stuy Town and Peter Cooper residents.

The Board includes the hands-on vice president of a New York City construction firm; an urban planner with 20 years of experience in real estate development, property management and city government; a technology director of a major hospital; a marketing director; a special education teacher on child-rearing leave; a retired writer, editor and public relations professional; a writer and book editor.

Several members have been community activists for years; two serve on Community Board 6.  Four members are attorneys, in diverse fields of law, one with a practice focusing on estate and commercial matters, another is a supervisor in the Legal Aid Society’s Criminal Practice. A third is the retired partner and chairman of the litigation department of a leading law firm, and the fourth is in the office of Mayor De Blasio as a senior health policy advisor and attorney.

Each spring, the Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association holds an election for its Board of Directors.

Being a member of the board means working to solve a problem when the solution is bound to leave at least some residents unhappy. It means hours of work with no compensation.

But current and past members of the board report that their time and effort pay off in other ways because being a member of the board of the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association is a commitment to the continued protection and preservation of a unique experiment in urban living.

Susan Steinberg,
Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association 

Encouraged by Blackstone’s responses

To the Editor:

I recently needed to contact Stuyvesant Town management, over an issue of major importance to me, but perhaps not so important to management. While it was critical to me that the issue be resolved, there was no reason that management should be equally concerned.

At 7:20 p.m., on a Thursday evening, I sent an email to Rick Hayduk, the new resident manager. I expected that I would perhaps hear back sometime the following week, probably from an assistant, or from the Legal Department.

At 7:24, I was astonished to receive a personal reply, emphasizing that while he could not guarantee a solution, I would have a response the following week. And sure enough, the following Tuesday I received a call from Resident Services, asking me if I could meet with them sometime that week.

Without getting into specifics, I can say that Gregory Claude, the manager, was extraordinarily gracious and understanding when I met with him last Friday. His attitude towards me was that, “We want to do everything we can to make sure you enjoy another 20, 30 or 40 years at Stuyvesant Town.”

Now considering that I am 61 years old, fulfilling such a commitment is unlikely to be possible, but the fact was, he listened, and tried to work with me to find solutions.

I have lived here for over a decade, and experienced the ups and downs of rotating owners and management companies. The response of the current Blackstone group to tenant concerns, and especially MY concern, is extremely encouraging.

I am sure that the young students are far more profitable than the senior citizen rent-stabilized tenants. Yet this management team could not have been more responsive.

Obviously time will tell whether the actions match the words. I have obligations to fulfill, and they have committed to finding solutions. But based on my experience, I think the future of this community is very bright.

Robert E. Beacham, ST

Thanks for removing our light and air

To the Editor,

Reading Sabina Mollot’s “Stuyvesant Post Office: Progress being made,” in T&V, Feb. 11, floored me not because what Ms. Mollot herself wrote, but for the forward-looking really excited comments over the eight-story wall soon to be put up on 14th between A and B.  Notice the detached cool: “The L train corridor has many of the attributes we’re looking for,” said Richard J. Mack, CEO of Mack Real Estate Group. “Attributes” indeed!

Personally, unimportantly, I do not welcome the cheerful description of an undertaking that will turn 14th Street between A and B into a canyon. Personally, unimportantly, I find it irritating to be told that our area, Mr. Mack’s idea of a corridor, is to be used for the further narrowing of sky and light. “God said, ‘Let there be light’,” and reality replied, ‘Ok, but not too much . . . only overhead!’” As things stand, there are enough of us drawing energy from Con Ed, enough of us placing demands on our sewage treatment plants, enough of us jamming our transportation system.

In detail, I wonder whether Mr. Mack knows that the L train is, believe it or not, already taken, that the 14D bus offers a standing room only amenity, that Con Ed does not have infinite capacity, that our ability to clean our own (politely called) wastewater, faces challenges posed by our increased numbers — all as our numbers are brought by our own actions to swell thoughtlessly without the remotest regard for what those decisions mean.

John Giannone, ST

2 thoughts on “Letters to the Editor: Feb. 18

  1. There is a reason membership is under 5%. There hasn’t been a real TA here in over 10 years and shame on you and all the other board members for putting Dan Garodnick’s career above the people you were meant to serve. RESIGN ALREADY so we can get real representation,.

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