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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Tenants Association Problems

The Tenants Association message board has been down for maintenance (supposedly, that's the reason) for what seems three weeks. Initially there were promises of it being offline just for several days, but then the end day kept being progressively pushed back when the expectation never met the reality. It's still down, as of today.

I know some basics about message boards, but at this point I've no idea what is keeping that board offline for so long. It could very well be that one person is handling it all and doesn't have much time to spare to work on it. Or something else may be up.

Whatever the situation, the Tenants Association has been recently catching some flack from a small group of people over its perceived inactivity in the face of numerous concerns of the people who live in Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village. Knowing what I know about such matters, it is my educated guess that the persons doing the work at the Association are limited in their time to handle all the matters that are either placed before them or that they can see for themselves. Perhaps the Association needs something as simple as volunteers, so that the gears can move more quickly and expeditiously.

There are, however, some genuine communication and transparency problems that should be addressed. Though I belong to the Association, I don't have a grasp of how decisions in the organization are made and who makes them. When the Tenants Association has a meeting, it is usually with politicians, who listen and address tenants concerns. And nothing gets done. What the Tenants Association should have are periodic meetings (certainly once every three or four months) for just the tenants, in which problems are brought up and potential solutions and strategies discussed and some hopefully set in motion.

The idea of tenants picketing Stuy Town's leasing office is a good one, but there are no voices in a tenants group situation, or leaders, who can chart a course for something like that without there being some get-together of tenants as I've suggested above.

Some of the problems with the TA have to do with the transitory nature of a good number of tenants in Stuy Town and Peter Cooper. NYU students, for instance, could care less about what happens here in five years or in one year. I even wonder how many market rate tenants are sincere about living in this complex for its duration, or if they have a sense that they may be transitory, too, given how much they are at the mercy of the landlord regarding their rents.

TA meetings are chiefly attended by seniors, which is unfortunate. Not because these are seniors (seniors can give Tishman Speyer more fight and hell than the youngesters can), but because we need everyone at those meetings who can possibly make it. Perhaps many people don't come because they have surrendered to the feeling that nothing can be done and that no positive change can occur. Which is also unfortunate. Because I do believe that with numbers and with planning we can accomplish much to make Stuy Town and Peter Cooper a better community than it currently is and where Tishman Speyer wants to take it.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

It’s November 26 " Do You Know Where your form is???
Just a little bit of deserved complaints and boom, gone. Don't look to the transient Market Raters—they don't give a hoot about the conditions, there only here for a year.
Why is Al Doyle looking for new members among the MRs ? Is it because some people on the form are calling for some more proactive leaders?

AnnieMae said...

It really is a pity that the forum has been taken down. Maybe the moderator had had enough of the bickering and no doubt is very busy at this time of year. Hopefully, the board will be back at some point in the future.

hsloane said...

There is a new version of the PHBB software. Maybe they are upgrading to that version.

MarkHand said...

Well is now the new year and the forum is still dead... And since STPCVta is probably gonna die anyway with almost no funding... I'm sure its a matter of time before the whole website dissapears
I;m sure Tish-Spy is just thrilled at the idea since tenants won't have a central place to trade ideas make complaints... and the forums in LifeAt.com are barely used