Comment Policy

All comments to posts have to await approval. Please be aware that, depending on when I'm logged onto the internet, it may take me hours, even longer, to moderate comments, so if they don't turn up in a speedy fashion, they are still in the queue. Comments that cross a line I'm not comfortable with will not get approved.

NOTE: Comments reflect the opinions of the person writing them and should not be assumed to reflect the opinion of the blog. Because of the anonymous nature of the commentary, specific agendas can be pushed by a sole individual and may not reflect a more popular belief by the residents of this community.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Giant Spiders Attacking Stuy Town Residents

Coming to the Oval Lawn Soon?

Okay, I'll admit the above headline is a bit too 1950s sci-fi film-like, and I wouldn't joke like this if things hadn't turned out well, but there is some truth to the headline, unfortunately. A resident of Stuy Town went into anaphylactic shock and had to be taken to Beth Israel Hospital when a spider bit him four times on the arm. The doctors couldn't tell what kind of spider it was, other than it was "a big one."

I'm pretty sure that residents shouldn't fear getting bit by spiders, giant or not, unless they have an allergy to such bites, but this is another concern for us who live in these, yes, projects. And just how in the hell did large spiders get into Stuy Town in the first place?

You can read the full story over at the Town & Village blog:

http://town-village.com/2014/08/29/reaction-to-spider-bite-sends-stuy-town-man-to-hospital/

Sunday, August 31, 2014

OK or not OK?

PCVST LIVING introduced a new game this week for residents. You may have seen it all over the complex. THE OK OR NOT OK GAME. The rules were never clear to me, but I think game players had to guess or discover how many OK mattresses and sofas were on display throughout Stuy Town and Peter Cooper Village and how many were not OK. Winner is expected to be announced when NYU officially begins classes. First prize: a cup of lukewarm coffee from Oval Cafe. No second or third prizes. (Sorry, CWCapital is frugal when it comes to tenants, as you know.) Below is a sample of exhibits--which speaks well of the luxury housing we have. Those paying market rate rents for living in an environment like this, please repeat: "I am not living in the projects, I am not living in the projects...."










Friday, August 29, 2014

Garodnick Positioning Himself to be the Next Mayor


Our councilman has been sending out emails, subject-headed as "In Case You Missed It," notifying recepients of a Capital NY profile on him, titled "The Careful Dissenter in the Council Majority."

While the piece may appear to prop up Garodnick's hopes of becoming the next mayor of the city, it actually reveals the reasons why New Yorkers may not want Dan as their next mayor. Aside from the vote on raising school bus drivers' wages (Dan voted no), it basically exposes Dan as the type of politician we've seen in STPCV: an overly smooth-talking politician-lawyer who travels the middle road and voices "concerns" while ultimately supporting the policy he is concerned about. This way, if something goes wrong, it still remains a win-win for him.  "I had my concerns...."

We in this community are all too familiar with Dan's "concerns"--from his concerns about the commercialization of the Oval, which he initially fought against before giving in, to his concerns on other issues, like student housing, construction noise, etc. If his "concerns" are not enough, there is always the promise of "new legislation" to keep residents stringing along with hope, despite the only thing being needed most of the time is enforcement of current legislation. I well remember those god-awful crating bins that were being moved around on the 20 Street Loop, screeching a discordant and loud wake up call to residents in the area at hours like 5am. Despite the noise at such an hour being clearly illegal, Dan seemed powerless to do anything of an immediate and necessary nature (as was the TA, btw). It was a couple of years at least before those bins were moved to another area of Stuy Town, to terrorize residents there, before they were placed in garage-like houses on the perimeter of the complex.

Garodnick is also positioning himself on city issues as someone who will be acceptable to both Democrats and Republicans, and gets props from the Council's Republican minority leader in the article:

"Dan is clearly not shy about making his positions known when he agrees, and particularly when he disagrees, with the Council leadership or the administration," said the Council's Republican minority leader, Vinny Ignizio. "I think that's an important role to play in the Council."

I seriously think that if De Blasio pisses off the power elite of the city with his more radical agenda, Garodnick can emerge as their safe choice to replace the current mayor. (Of course, Scott Stringer is aching for the job, too.)

Someone once wrote a comment on this blog that, I think, nailed what Garodnick is about: He loves the demographic that is upper middle-class and that's into the artificial lifestyle of the cheap amenities that a landlord can offer to make a residential area more than it really is. These are the people, young and progressive like him, who can fill his campaign chest up with nice contributions. (Big real estate has already donated to his campaigns, and will continued to do so in the future.) These are the people who don't care if the soul of New York City disappears, as long as a Starbucks and a Duane Reade are around the corner, as well as some nice restaurants offering artisanal food. These are the people for whom Dan wants to see condo conversion happen in STPCV.  "Affordable housing"? The meaning of that has changed, and while Dan may have some nostalgia for the type of real middle class, working class families that use to live here in genuine affordable housing, the world changes and it's time to move on.

Guterman Responds



GUTERMAN PARTNERS, LLC

Gerald Guterman
stpcv@gutermanpartners.com

8.26.14
To the STPCV Tenants:
I received the following message in my stpcv email (stpcv@gutermanpartners.com) earlier today;
"We are intrigued by your proposal for PCVST. Our only reservations for joining with you, strong reservations, are your efforts for:
The Community Housing Improvement Program

The Rent Stabilization Association of New York
These organization's very existence is to tear apart middle class communities and rip working people out of their homes.
Please would you tell us how we can trust you to steer us when you are entrenched with those opposing us? I am asking this by email rather than on the STR Blog so you have a chance to address it with us without the Tenant Association using this against you if it is true you are genuine in your intention to help us save our community. Our homes are worth protecting, our community is worth saving. We need help from your expertise and guidance. Would you just clarify this one reservation we have."
Guterman says: To the writer.
I am sure that you found this information within our i-site entitled, "gutermanpartners.com"
This site was produced by and is owned by Guterman Partners and is a true summary of where we have been, what we do and how we do it.
In the interest of full disclosure, a portion of the website contains a fair presentation of my personal background, including a number of organizations that I have had the sincere pleasure of being affiliated with and some organizations that I affiliated with for the sake of business goals.
I can tell you directly, that that about thirty years ago, at the time of my affiliation with The Rent Stabilization Association of New York and The Community Housing Improvement Program, my beliefs were more black and white and I had a "them or us" mentality. In those early years, my prospective concerning responsibilities to others, wasn't yet as developed and my beliefs weren't well shaped. As the years have passed and life has happened, circumstances have modified my beliefs and attitudes.
However, while I my personal beliefs have changed to a degree and my concern for the welfare of tenant families has matured, my basic beliefs have not changed with regard to the continuation of RSA and CHIP. These organizations have been and continue to be necessary, as a force for moderation. The organizations play an important part in the financial protection and stability of owners.
My partners and I are offering a consulting and representation arrangement to the Tenants of STPCV. We believe in the positions previously stated, can be achieved through negotiations with the landlord, or from the Court through litigation. 
We are further convinced, that significant tenant participation (5,000+) will be necessary to accomplish the program we have presented.

Gerald Guterman
stpcv@gutermanpartners.com   

Monday, August 25, 2014

STPCV Street View Mobile

I was going to post about this vehicle the other day, but other matters intruded. Since a post on the mobile camera vehicle has already appeared on the TA Facebook, I may as well add what I know about it. On Saturday, I saw this golf cart-type vehicle, with a camera attached to its front, going about the Oval and even on, and around, the Oval lawn. Being a "reporter," I went up to the people inside when they parked nearby the Public Safety office. (There were also two guys not part of the vehicle taking photos, separately, of a portion of the Oval walkway and the human traffic there.) I asked what was up, and the reply was that they were taking shots of "the beauty of the complex for Stuyvesant Town."  At which point, I mockingly repeated: "The beauty of the complex???" We shared a nice quick laugh.  (Actually, parts of the complex, with everything abloom, are looking very nice when the weather is nice, but this was a cloudy, chilly day, and ST looked like the project housing it really is.)

From what I saw, I took away a few impressions:

1) This footage and the photos are being shot for prospective owners of STPCV to show them, without their needing to actually set foot on the property at this point, how the complex looks.

2) This footage and the photos are being shot for NYU to show prospective student renters how the complex looks.

3) The footage and the photos are being shot for brokers to use in their sales pitch for STPCV.

Important point: The "crew" was made up solely of young people, college age. Would CWCapital hire young folks like these for something as important as buttressing a prospectus for the sale of the complex? Or would they hire seasoned professionals?

As was mentioned on the TA Facebook, footage and photos of residents cannot be used for advertizing purposes.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

New Letter from Guterman



GUTERMAN PARTNERS, LLC

Gerald Guterman
E. stpcv@gutermanpartners.com


To the Tenants of STPCV:

It has been almost two weeks since my previous letter together with the Consulting Agreement, was published in The Stuyvesant Town Report.

I would like to clarify any questions you may have concerning the Consulting Services we are offering and the reasons for you to favorably consider our proposal.

The first and most important reason for using Guterman Partners' consulting subsidiary, is the very high level of knowledge and experience being offered. The six principal partners, have been owners and operators of New York City rental housing since 1978. During this period, we have successfully operated over 60,000 apartments in New York City. All of the apartments have been under at least one of New York City's rent regulation programs and in a number properties, have been operated under both Rent Control and Rent Stabilization.

All of these years of "hard fought" experience, has given us very practical knowledge about the positions we can take and the positions we expect to win.

I have also tried to be very clear, that we are offering Consulting Services. We are not attorneys and cannot give you legal advice or represent you in Court. However, that said, the partners do understand how the system works, and how to use the system to your best advantage.

In my previous letter, I posed a series of questions to you. Now, I will state for the record, that the questions presented were in actuality, the actions that we believe can be undertaken and won, with the backing of the residents in the Community.

We propose to coordinate a series of actions that will require several different law firms and several engineering firms,  each with a certain specialty.

We anticipate that the law firms will concentrate on a number of different areas of litigation, including; landlord/tenant, construction, zoning, safety and negligence.

We propose that the engineering firms be retained to do a complete "due diligence" inspection of all the buildings (and all individual apartments where possible) in the Community.

We will suggest the attorneys and engineers. Each firm that we suggest, will agree to receive the substantial portion of their fees based on the success of our litigation strategy. We also propose to have an accounting firm conduct an audit of all of the STPCV individual lease records held by the Homes and Community Renewal Department of the City of New York, to determine whether the correct rent was originally recorded and subsequent rent increases accurately charged. 

We will also seek to obtain a copy of the Landlord's rent roll for a comparison of accuracy with New York City.  

This is of paramount importance because of the history of rent increases in the Community and the  Roberts Decision. The Roberts Decision from the New York State Court of Appeals, ruled that all (11,232) of the apartments at STPCV were (retroactively) and continue to be, subject to New York City's Rent Stabilization Laws.

We will review the full Roberts Settlement Agreement, to understand how many actual leases were audited and whether the audit was conformed with the information maintained by the City or an artificial "cut off" date was imposed as part of the Settlement.  

We propose to have the MCI applications audited, to determine whether they were and are completely accurate and to determine whether MCI increases should have been allowed during the various periods when the landlord was not in compliance with Rent Stabilization Laws.

We believe that the high population, dormitory housing conversion, has created unnecessary physical stress on the building structures, including; electric, plumbing, elevators and smoke and fire protection. Additionally, no changes have been made to the accommodate the large population increase (brought on by the conversion to dormitory housing), therefore creating significant danger to the residents under certain circumstances.

All of the buildings together with their individual structural components must undergo complete property inspections and where necessary be immediately upgraded, to insure the physical safety to each building's residents.

All apartments previously converted to dormitory housing, must be reversed.

We believe that STPCV must not be separated, sectionalized or segregated into moderate priced, "ghetto type" rental housing and market rate rental housing or ownership housing.

Any conversion to ownership housing, must be under the control of the residents of the community.
 
The Oval must be restored to resident use only.

We believe that only specific dog breeds and weights can be allowed in the Community.

As your consultants, we will:

Advise you as to the specific engineering and legal action to be taken,
Suggest legal and engineering representation,
Monitor the work of the suggested firms,
Make sure that all fees for representation are success based,
Advise you (if we are not acting as sponsors) on any proposed conversion to ownership housing.

Our services, including conversion advise, are only available on an individual, apartment by apartment basis. However, the partners continue to believe that to be effective in any negotiation with the landlord, at least 5,000 tenants must be represented. 

Please feel free to write to me, with any questions or concerns.

Gerald Guterman
stpcv@gutermanpartners.com

-----------------------------------


GUTERMAN PARTNERS, LLC
AGREEMENT
FOR CONSULTING SERVICES

AGREEMENT dated ___________ 2014 (the “Agreement”) by and between GUTERMAN PARTNERS, LLC, West Palm Beach, Fl (“Consultant”) and ___________________________, located at; ______________________________________________ (“Client”).

WHEREAS, the Client desires to engage Consultant to provide certain consulting and representation services (“Services”) related to Stuyvesant Town & Peter Cooper Village ("STPCV") and Consultant is willing to be engaged by the Client as a Consultant and to provide such services on the terms and conditions set forth below;

NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual covenants and agreements contained herein, the receipt and sufficiency of which are hereby acknowledged, the Consultant and Client agree as follows:

1.            Consulting.         The Client hereby retains Consultant, and Consultant hereby agrees to provide such Services to the Client, upon the terms and subject to the conditions contained herein.  During the Consulting Term (as hereinafter defined), Consultant shall represent the Client provide certain services as requested by the Client.  

2.            Term.  Subject to the provisions for termination hereinafter provided, the term of this Agreement shall commence on __________ ____,2014 (the “Effective Date”) and shall continue for one ( 1) year period ending on __________  ____, 2014 (the “Consulting Term”). (2) Upon the mutual agreement of the Client and the Consultant, the Consulting Term may be extended. The Consulting Term will be automatically extended for additional six (6) months periods, unless Client shall have notified Consultant in writing, at least thirty (30) days prior to the end of the Consulting Term. 

3.          Compensation.  In consideration of Consultant’s Services during the initial Consulting Term, the Client agrees to pay to Consultant and Consultant agrees to accept, the sum of ten ($10.00) dollars, payable to Guterman STPCV Partners, LLC, at the time the Consulting Agreement is executed.

4.        Termination.   The Client or the Consultant may, in the sole discretion of each and at the option of either, terminate this Agreement at any time after the Term.

5.        Confidential Information.   Client and Consultant each recognize and acknowledge that by reason of Consultant’s retention by and service to the Client before, during and, if applicable, after the Consulting Term, Client and Consultant will each have access to certain confidential and proprietary information relating to the other’s business, which may include, but is not limited to, trade secrets, trade “know-how,” and certain techniques and plans, formulas, and relationships, financing services, funding programs, cost and pricing information, marketing and sales techniques, strategy and programs, computer programs and software and financial information (collectively referred to as “Confidential Information”).  Client and Consultant acknowledge that such Confidential Information is a valuable and unique asset of both the Client and Consultant and each specifically covenants that they will not, unless expressly authorized in writing by the other, at any time during the Consulting Term use any Confidential Information or divulge or disclose any Confidential Information to any person, firm or corporation except in connection with the performance of Consultant’s duties for the Client and in a manner consistent with the Client’s policies

6.         Regarding Confidential Information.  Client and Consultant also covenant that at any time after the termination of this Agreement, directly or indirectly, they will not use any Confidential Information or divulge or disclose any Confidential Information to any person, firm or corporation, unless such information is in the public domain through no fault of the Client or Consultant or except when required to do so by a court of law, by any governmental agency having supervisory authority over the business of the Client or Consultant or by any administrative or legislative body (including a committee thereof) with apparent jurisdiction to order Client or Consultant to divulge, disclose or make accessible such information.  All written Confidential Information (including, without limitation, in any computer or other electronic format) which comes into Client’s or Consultant’s possession during the Consulting Term shall remain the property of the originator.  Except as required in the performance of Consultant’s duties for the Client, or unless expressly authorized in writing by the Client, Consultant shall not remove any written Confidential Information from the Client’s premises, except in connection with the performance of Consultant’s duties for the Client and in a manner consistent with the Client’s policies regarding Confidential Information.  Upon termination of this Agreement, the Consultant agrees to return immediately to the Client all written Confidential Information (including, without limitation, in any computer or other electronic format) in Consultant’s possession. 


7.             Independent Contractor.  It is understood and agreed that this Agreement does not create any relationship of association, partnership or joint venture between the parties, nor constitute either party as the agent or legal representative of the other for any purpose whatsoever; and the relationship of Consultant to the Client for all purposes shall be one of independent contractor.  Neither party shall have any right or authority to create any obligation or responsibility, express or implied, on behalf or in the name of the other, or to bind the other in any manner whatsoever.


8.             Conflict of Interest.  The Consultant and the Client hereby agree that there is no conflict of interest in connection with the retention by the Client of the Consultant, pursuant to this Agreement.


9.             Waiver of Breach.  The waiver by any party hereto of a breach of any provision of this Agreement shall not operate nor be construed as a waiver of any subsequent breach.


10.          Binding Effect; Benefits.  None of the parties hereto may assign his or its rights hereunder without the prior written consent of the other parties hereto, and any such attempted assignment without such consent shall be null and void and without effect.  This Agreement shall inure to the benefit of, and shall be binding upon, the parties hereto and their respective successors, permitted assigns, heirs and legal representatives. 


11.          Notices.  All notices and other communications which are required or may be given under this Agreement shall be in writing and shall be deemed to have been duly given (a) when delivered in person, (b) three (3) business days after being mailed with a nationally recognized overnight courier service, or (c) three (3) business days after being mailed by registered or certified first class mail, postage prepaid, return receipt requested, to the parties hereto at:


If to the Client. Name:  ____________________________

                            Address:  __________________________

                                  ________________________________



If to the Consultant:  stpcv@GutermanPartners, LLC



12.          Entire Agreement; Amendments.  This Agreement contains the entire agreement and supersedes all prior agreements and understandings, oral or written, between the parties hereto with respect to the subject matter hereof.  This Agreement may not be changed orally, but only by an agreement in writing signed by the party against whom any waiver, change, amendment, modification or discharge is sought.


13.          Severability.  The invalidity of all or any part of any provision of this Agreement shall not render invalid the remainder of this Agreement or the remainder of such provision.  If any provision of this Agreement is so broad as to be unenforceable, such provision shall be interpreted to be only as broad as is enforceable.


14.          Governing Law; Consent to Jurisdiction.  This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the law of the State of New York, without giving effect to the principles of conflicts of law thereof.  The parties hereto each hereby submits herself or itself for the sole purpose of this Agreement and any controversy arising hereunder to the exclusive jurisdiction of the state courts in the State of Florida.


15.          Headings.  The headings herein are inserted only as a matter of convenience and reference, and in no way define, limit or describe the scope of this Agreement or the intent of the provisions thereof.


16.          Counterparts.  This Agreement may be executed in one or more counterparts, each of which shall be deemed an original and all of which together shall constitute one and the same instrument.  Signatures evidenced by facsimile transmission will be accepted as original signatures.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties have caused this Agreement to be duly executed as of the date first above written.


Client:

____________________________________

By: _________________________________

By: _________________________________



Consultant: Guterman Partners, LLC



__________________________________

___________________________________

Authorized Signature
 

LINK TO PRINTABLE AGREEMENT