Letters to the editor, July 13

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

This tenant doesn’t want to be ‘public’

To the Editor:

The Tenants Association is up to its old tricks again – forcing residents to list their name publicly (even if they don’t pay dues), or the TA will not act on their behalf, as a tenants’ representative.

I received an official looking letter from the TA, even though I have never paid dues to them.   The letter said I must choose between two unappealing choices:

Choice A:  I must list my name as a “Public Member” of the TA. The letter says that the TA will only speak for those who are willing to be listed publicly as Public Members.

Choice B:  If I do not list my name, the TA states that I waive all rights to any benefit that a Court may award to residents of Stuyvesant Town. Choice B states:

“I do not wish to become a Public Member and hereby grant to the STPCV TA, its President or Secretary, and any legal counsel chosen by the Board of Directors standing permission to enter into settlements of legal claims with benefits which may accrue solely to those who sign the Public Member Pledges, and we waive any claim to such benefits.

What the TA is saying is that, if you don’t sign this “Unity Pledge,” then you are not entitled to receive any benefits that the TA would obtain in any action on behalf of all the tenants in STPCV.

Then, the TA threatens that if you do not agree to make your name public, you are “opting out” of the benefits that the TA might obtain in challenging management.

If the TA purports to be a “tenants association” and file claims on behalf of tenants, then it cannot legally exclude non-dues paying tenants from the benefits it obtains in Housing Court.

Name Withheld, ST

In response to the resident’s concerns about the letter, sent in May, Susan Steinberg, president of the ST-PCV Tenants Association, said it’s a bulletin  that was also posted on the TA’s website. Steinberg also said:

“A tenant who is not comfortable need not sign. It will not affect his/her standing in a DHCR decision on an MCI. However, when it comes to a settlement outside of the DHCR, our attorney needs to be clear about whom he is representing, as does the owner’s attorneys who are not likely to offer settlements to those who are not parties to an open claim. The purpose of the PMP (Public Member Pledge) is to ensure that as many TA members as possible will be entitled to a piece of a settlement outside of the usual DHCR process.”

Steinberg also said the TA didn’t ask for the pledge in anticipation of any particular legal action.

“But if an opportunity arises to negotiate a settlement, we don’t want to be scrambling to get tenants on board with the Public Member Pledge,” she said.

Associated a necessity for residents

Dear Editor,

I am responding to two letters in Town & Village from June 29, “Well done, Tenants Association” and “Stuy Town no longer fit for a dog.”

I agree wholeheartedly with Pat, thanking Stuyvesant management for keeping Associated Supermarket in our neighborhood. We need a traditional supermarket in our community. While Trader Joe’s and Target will be an asset, I believe the new stores will not fill our general grocery shopping needs.

In response to Bobbie Martowicz, I sympathize with the frustration about the lack of space for dogs in Stuyvesant town.

However, dogs should not be permitted around the flagpoles. Residents and children sit and play at the base of flagpoles. Dogs frequently use the flagpole bases as urinals.

I hope you can understand residents’ needs for a clean, safe environment.

Barbara Bienenfeld, ST

Welcome back to the neighborhood

To the Editor:

I want to say a big “Thank you” to Maria Rocha-Buschel for the article she wrote in the May 18 issues of the Town & Village paper about Sal Anthony’s Restaurant that closed ten years ago but that has reopened at Third Avenue and East 19th Street this Easter on April 16.

My husband and I were warmly welcomed by Anthony Jr. on Saturday night and then had a hard time choosing from the many Italian dishes on the menu. We were not disappointed. Anthony Macagnone is also an environmentalist and with his family often visits Stuyvesant Cove Park.

When he closed his garden shop some time ago, Anthony sent a truck over with beautiful plants to be given to attendees at the Stuyvesant Cove Park Association annual meeting in the Stuy Town Community Center. While so many stores and restaurants are closing due to high rents, I think we are so fortunate to have Sal Anthony’s and Frank’s Trattoria within walking distance. I hope they are here to stay a long time.

Joy Garland, ST

Dropping bombs in ST dog war

Re:  “Stuy Town no longer fit for a dog,” T&V letter, June 29

I do not dislike dogs but I’m not embarrassed to say that I preferred Stuyvesant Town when dogs were not allowed. Ms. Martowicz ends her letter by calling on dog owners to stage a peaceful protest against these “deplorable changes.”  Based on the number of piles of dog droppings one can encounter on property on any given day, it would seem that dog owners are already staging their protest leaving the rest of us with a “deplorable change” we could well do without.

J.M. Polise, ST


13 thoughts on “Letters to the editor, July 13

  1. Susan’s response is such a bunch of crap. She doesn’t talk about the scare tactics that the TA used in the mailing. All she says is that you don’t need to sign, but why not explain all of this initially?

    Hey Susan, what are membership numbers these days?

  2. Steve,

    I can only guess that the TA is down to about 200 members, which is about 1% of all of the residents who live here.

    The TA does not release its financial statements — if they did, we could see if they even have 1% support.

    However, there is something called the “STPCV Foundation,” which received $85,000 of the Roberts money that nobody claimed (because they had moved away when their rents were illegally raised).

    One day, the Attorney General will investigate whether the Roberts lawyers really tried to find the Roberts plaintiffs — or if they were in cahoots with the Tenants Association.

    I suspect Susan and Johnny said to Ms. Roberts, “don’t look too hard for those plaintiffs”. and then whatever was leftover went to “the Foundation”.

    Follow the money.

    A.F. Coleman

        • There’s a difference between an opinion and an accusation. And it’s Frances, not Francis, June.

      • Frances – when they are more transparent with the tenants of this property, then we wouldn’t need to come to our own conclusions about what they are/aren’t doing. The fact that they hide so much from us can only make us assume that they are up to no good.

  3. So, as a unaligned tenant you’re entitled to any crumbs the DHCR throws us, but not any awards from an outside lawsuit.

    Which begs the question, what monies has the TA ever won for tenants in court?

    (( crickets chirping ))

    • Please Austin, that T&V article is nasty and probably libelous. Do not post factual articles that show the shadiness of our ever powerful TA.

      • I get the message. I hadn’t seen that article. I know the TA is as useful as tits on bull, but I don’t think they do anything illegal, which I thought was the inference In Austin’s post. I stand corrected.

        • I know Frances, that was why I was surprised with your comment which was semi-defensive for the TA.

          I think we can all agree that the TA opening its books would put a lot of this to rest. They don’t do it because I can only imagine it would be the end of them.

  4. Steve and Austin, instead of attacking these volunteers who give an extraordinary amount of their free time, why throw your hat in the ring and run for director? No, instead you hurl insults and accusations. Get a spine. And a brain too. The TA is a 501 (c) 4 and the foundation a (c) 3. If you knew anything about that you would know that the books are open. Every organization of this type has to file with the NYS Charities Bureau.

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