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Wednesday, May 16, 2012

It's a Secret!


Yeah, I know.  That's the way "things are done."  But why is everything a secret around here?  Why was the Tenants Association decision to go with Brookfield kept a secret until the deed was done?  Why are the discussions Councilman Dan Garodnick had with the Dept of Buildings over the Greenmarket and zoning not available anywhere in a spirit of transparency?  Why are the negotiations on the Roberts' decision, and any movement on it or non-movement, merely a persistent "no comment" from the principles involved in these negotiations? Why are those tenants waiting for the financial resolution of the Roberts' decision (for some, important as to whether they renew their lease) being kept continually in the dark? Why is CW Capital silent on its intent regarding this complex and whether it welcomes, or not, a tenant bid on the complex?  Why does CW Capital and management not send out timely press releases, with details, on what is going to be developing/built/"refreshed" in Stuy Town/PCV and what residents can expect to see in a month or a few months' time or later?

Most everything is a damn secret around here until it gets actualized.  Secrecy like this compels tons of gossip (which can veer off into tangential ridiculousness), and destabilizes and demoralizes a tenant body that is on edge over what changes may or may not be around the corner. Tenants--young, old, new renters, long-time renters--are being treated like little children who must not know unless there's a critical need to know.  Not good.

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

Amen, brother.

Anonymous said...

So glad the cat is out of the bag about what is happening with Oval Amenities....we'll be just like the cast of Friends hanging out in the the oval amenity coffee shop - RoseBucks.

Anonymous said...

Shhhh, This is a big secret. The TA couldn't muster up enough voters to make a quorum so they have to extend the voting period as they go around and try and convince people to vote. Talk about failed leadership and apathy!

Anonymous said...

But I don't know who and what you are demanding be told and when? I don't really understand "who" is or isn't getting told. It's not Dan's duty to distribute press releases after every meeting or post on this board. It's not the lawyers' duty to summarize every court appearance for us residents. It's not within the TA's power, given they are a volunteer organization, to take notes at every house meeting and post all the questions and answers. Hold your own house meeting if you want one. I don't know what information you are hoping gets "disclosed."

Obviously, I'm not talking about Rose/CW, because they clearly wouldn't share anything before it happens. But really, I think you are imposing an undue burden on I don't know don't even know "who." Dan has dozens of meetings/day. The lawyers may not have anything interesting to tell us or it may be too premature. Same with the TA. They don't have to keep minutes of every single conversation they have.

Start attending these meetings, court appearances, calling your own meetings, etc. if you want information. And then report back to us.

Anonymous said...

So run for TA and do a better job inspiring people. Did you vote?

Anonymous said...

What is happening with Oval Amenities? Are you referring to the increase in monthly dues to $30?

Anonymous said...

that's exactly why I decided to run for the TA board - a promise of transparency on all things. As residents, we have a right to know everything at all times, including who is talking to who, what the current thinking is, ect. Sure, there are lots of things that are still not yet resolved, but residents have a right to know what is going on.

The TA elections have been extended until May 23rd, so if you have not voted, please consider me as one of your choices.

Regards,
Maurice Michaane - PCVST Resident

Anonymous said...

So glad the cat is out of the bag about what is happening with Oval Amenities....we'll be just like the cast of Friends hanging out in the the oval amenity coffee shop - RoseBucks.>>

I think we'll be more like the cast of Seinfeld hanging around Tom's Restaurant, sipping RoseBucks listening to yada yada yada. All we ever get from the TA and Rose is yada yada yada.

Anonymous said...

Good post, I couldn't agree more. Lack of transparency breeds suspicion, all right. See the comment about there not being enough voters to make quorum as evidence.

It's my understanding, however, that there were enough voters for a quorum – the meeting was adjourned to try to get a number of unsigned, invalid ballot envelopes validated.

Easy enough for a blogger to clear up with a simple phone call.

Anonymous said...

The Oval Atrocities monthly fee goes up while Film isn't offering films and the lounge is closed indefinitely? You'd think the members would get a credit! Half the spaces are useless!

Anonymous said...

The answer to your question...why no transparency...universal & simple. Making moves. It's a part of the whole ego thing. They know a bunch of people will be affected, and it's a power boost when they finally whip it on you, and they see people react, affected, and then they can view themselves one more time (in their own minds) as powerful and making moves.

Anonymous said...

that's exactly why I decided to run for the TA board - a promise of transparency on all things. As residents, we have a right to know everything at all times, including who is talking to who, what the current thinking is

Well with thinking like that, you can be assured that not much will be accomplished and people who deal with these issues will simply stop dealing with them. I don't know what Mr. Michaane does for a living but I can't imagine that surely, whatever business he is in does not reveal all to all of its customers, clients etc.

JT448 Jr. said...

What a serious sense of entitlement!

The TA is "elected" by residents and should be doing a better job of distributing information, however, they come across as self-interested individuals who are only concerned about their needs and the needs of those that "voted" for them. If they were taken seriously, there wouldn't be a need to extend the elections.

Councilman Garodnick is a public official and absolutely MUST distribute press releases before something happens. Big failure on his part.

With regard to CW, residents need to realize that we DO NOT own the property. For all intents and purposes CW does and they can do what they want as long as it's legal and they DO NOT need to seek our opinion or approval.

It's time to realize that as with like most things, the PCVST of the past is long gone and we need to move on. Quite frankly, this idea that we will own our apartments has so many hurdles that most of us will be long gone, in one form or another, before that ever sees the light of day.

Anonymous said...

Right on, STR!

CW is playing the usual corporate game, complicit with Mister Rosie.

The TA is yet again demonstrating their irrelevance by failing to get a quorum among the few members they still have.

Fast forward to the Fall...Brookfield will be approaching NYU to get support to launch a new bid. Mister Doylie will be appropriately flummoxed and indignant and nothing will change.

Business as usual. But don't tell no one...it's a secret!

Anonymous said...

Nice post STR. I don't agree with all your assertions but I get the sentiment.

At the very least, Rose could give tenants more details on Oval plans, landscaping progress, reminders on dog rules, etc., in their weekly newsletter and on the website. I think everyone would find this equally or more important than info on the latest special event.

As for the TA, I don't take issue with them selecting Brookfield. They were elected, and have this authority, like it or not.

And I would think them not very savvy if they provided details on the bidding process. If you were going to make an offer on a house, you wouldn't share your intended offer or contract terms in a public place. Maurice, sorry, but you don't sound like a very experienced negotiator. Total transparency just shows one's hand and possibly jeopardizes a deal.

That said, more communication from the TA would be most appreciated, even if it's "things are taking a little longer than planned, and we hope to have an update by X date."

It would be nice to hear from CW, but their obligation is to the bondholders, not us.

Me, I'm thrilled to have the Greenmarket; I consider it a real amenity and feel pretty certain that Greenmarket detractors are in the minority. As far as I'm concerned Dan G. represented my interests here and I don't need or expect to know the details. But obviously others here don't see it that way.

You're totally right STR that the lack of info makes people nervous and breeds gossip (as evidenced here all too frequently).

Let's hope we have some real news soon.

Chris

Anonymous said...

speaking of secrecy...WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH PLAYGROUND #10 ????

I suppose they're just waiting to put the ice rink back in...why let kids play in a playground all summer. What a waste of space.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>The Oval Atrocities monthly fee goes up while Film isn't offering films and the lounge is closed indefinitely? You'd think the members would get a credit! Half the spaces are useless!<<

Credit should definitely be given. It's the fair thing to do.

Anonymous said...

Did anyone notice that what used to be called "Security" became "Public Safety" which is what NYU calls its "security" force?

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH PLAYGROUND #10 ????<<

With no official news (why not?), we can only speculate, but it seems obvious (?) that the ice rink did some serious damage. Last week's mini-golf was originally scheduled for this playground, but had to be moved to Playground 9.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>Did anyone notice that what used to be called "Security" became "Public Safety" which is what NYU calls its "security" force?<<

That's funny.

Anonymous said...

It's great that we have this blog to keep people in ST-PCV informed. But it can also be used by certain interested parties as a vehicle to disinform. Now two commenters have suggested that the election adjournment was due to not having enough voters to make a quorum. That is not my understanding at all. Someone is lying. You have provided the forum STR, so IMO it's your responsibility (and in your best interest if you care about credibility) to clear this up. A quick phone call should be all it takes.

Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Chris--Dan actually DID represent my interests.

Anonymous said...

JT448--"What a sense of entitlement"

That is classic projection b/c I am saying you folks are the ones feeling entitled to endless time from Dan (who again, has NO duty to issue a press release of every phone conversation he has. He'd never get any actual work done.

And the TA is disorganized, I'll get you that, but they are just working people who are doing this in their spare time. Yes, they have a duty to inform us on the election process, but you somehow think they have the ability to take minutes of every house meeting and post them. No, it's your duty to request a house meeting and learn for yourself.

And because I know this, I have no conspiracy thoughts running through my mind like you do. Everything here is so negative and insulting, every time you don't get exactly what YOU want you start insulting, insinuating, stereotyping everyone else. It's such ineffective "advocacy."

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the TA's bylaws are also a secret?

Extending the election for the board of directors seems like a strange development. An election is an election. If ballots are not properly executed by the voter, should they be counted? I'm looking on the TA website for their bylaws but haven't found. All I found so far is this:

http://www.stpcvta.org/kb/41/

Anonymous said...

Good God...can't believe there's anyone out there dumb enough to believe and actually advocate that the TA was elected & represents the entire community. That comment has to have come from someone on the TA Board. Either dreaming, delusional or completely self-serving. The TA has made itself nothing in all this. Absolutely Nothing!

Tommyboyardee said...

I think the problem with Danny G. Is that in the beginning of the proposed tenant buy out, he had press conferences, daily press releases, etc.. All under the guise of running for higher office. Months latter after both tenants and public backlash, Dan Garodnick maintains he is working quietly behind the scenes for the tenants. After several flip flop's on important tenant issue's stating its what the tenants want.

Anonymous said...

If you knew anything about public relations, you'd know you don't maintain a full-court publicity press the entire time. Working behind the scenes IS as important as publicizing in certain cases. And no, you aren't entitled to a blow-by-blow.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>If you knew anything about public relations...<<

Are we really talking about PR or about transparency?

Anonymous said...

What does it mean that the "TA is self serving?" Self serving to whom? To themselves for collecting a salary of zero dollars/year to get slammed by anonymous posters on this blog? The TA seems to work hard with a thankless task - they have fought hard for rent regulations, fighting MCIs, getting rid of the food trucks in the Oval, and positioning tenants for a purchase should a sale ever go through. They don't win every fight, but at least they do fight.

And as to Garodnick - I also don't know what more folks want from him. A daily press conference in the Oval? I mean the guy probably fights harder for his community than any other member of the City Council and we are lucky to have him.

It is all too easy to complain from a computer.

Chris said...

I really don't get the strange notion of transparency that keeps coming up on this blog. What is the expectation,that all Stuy Town business details are to be shared publicly?

Where else does this happen?

Anonymous said...

We're really talking about obfuscation by TA apologists. The TA has NEVER been forthcoming about ANY issue with the ST/PCV tenancy. I gave up going to their meetings when it became all too clear that I was simply seeing a repeat of the dog and pony show I saw last time. Maybe if the TA treated the tenants like adults instead of acting like condescending monarchs, there would be a little more understanding and participation by their alleged constituency. Until then, the TA is simply acting out "Kejserens nye Kl├Žder" (google it).

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>I really don't get the strange notion of transparency that keeps coming up on this blog. What is the expectation,that all Stuy Town business details are to be shared publicly?<<

Not all, but it would be helpful if more information was put out there by the parties already named.

Anonymous said...

Why don't you TA supporters come off it. Here the TA makes the worst deal of the century...throwing their lot in with a high powered money grubbing real estate firm before they even know what the company intends and then they run around trying to soft-soap everyone & sell what they've done. And now that Brookfield is starting to act like the cagey sharks they are & the tenants see this & are starting to fall away from the TA, you start crying about how hard working the TA is as if that's supposed to make up for the bad judgment & trying to lead tenants down the primrose path. Forget it! Here's another joke. Listen to Garodnick talk about what a sterling job the TA has done leading the effort...as if he's been in the backseat through all of this. Baloney! He's been in the front driving this whole thing from day one. The TA has just been like those old bird novelty items that just bob their its heads up and down.

Anonymous said...

"TA Apologists?" What are we Chamberlain and the TA are Nazis???? Seriously, get your perspective, please!

And APPLAUSE to 4:38. You said it. Yeah, Dan owes you anonymous cheetohs-eaters a daily press conference on every conversation he had. And I just LOVE the "I gave up going to the meetings because..." So many excuses, and you complain about not getting info? Get your rear to a meeting and ask questions.

I must get more info than you all, because I feel adequately informed and understand the process.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>> Dan owes you anonymous cheetohs-eaters a daily press conference on every conversation he had.<<

That's an absurd exaggeration, which renders a perspective null and void. While Dan doesn't owe anyone a press conference "on every conversation he had," please remember that Garodnick works FOR the people, not the other way around. Sorry for the inconvenience. It was Garodnick himself who stated that he would work with management to MOVE the greenmarket to another area, it was Garodnick himself who stressed the negative effect of having a fee amenity like the ice-rink in a playground that has been historically a free playground since Stuyvesant Town's inception. Somehow, these stances, firm at one time, have been loosened quite a bit.

Anonymous said...

At the end of the day we have lost a big chunk of the Oval to this so-called "Greenmarket" which could easily be placed off the Oval and isn't up to the level of other local farmers' markets, anyway. And we have lost Playground 10, which was a very popular and well-used FREE playground and we don't know what kind of flim flam deal CW/Rose is thinking up for future use of the space. Right now it is unusable and that in and of itself constitutes a reduction in services we have always had available (and availed ourselves of). Rose and CW are reducing services all the time in their pathetic efforts to wring more money out of the grounds that used to be beautiful and free for residents' use. The TA and Garodnick have done FUCK ALL to address and cure these problems.

Anonymous said...

Remember the Speyers telling us there was no reason for any residents to be concerned about the future, promising that within one year we would all be extremely pleased with the changes they make to improve and upgrade ST/PCV.

Anonymous said...

I don't feel screwed AT ALL (other than in rent). But the greenmarket ENHANCES my Sunday Oval experience, I mix and mingle with my neighbors, enjoy the interaction, buy local food. It's a draw for me, not a detraction.

Dan DOES fill us in on things, but you just want more. You love to call everyone "selfish" and "self-entitled." But I can't believe you can't see how you are being these things. And this is how this gets reduced to name-calling, because you don't have an actual reason to complain half the time.

And I completely agree with STR. If you are so hell-bent on fomenting this bitterness, it's your responsibility to go find some answers for yourself. You are now officially a journalist. Act like one and don't tell half truths to fit an agenda. Go find the truth and report now.

Anonymous said...

Isn't CW a private company, like TS and Metlife before? Is the level of transparency any lower than Metlife? Long time residents?

Anonymous said...

Anon @ May 17, 2012 11:20 PM is RIGHT ON!

Anonymous said...

The TA has rendered itself impotent by placing itself in the position of interested buyer, kicking the tires while at the same time, pretending to represent tenants day to day interests. If the TA is expecting to negotiate with CW, rhen how xan we expect them to put pressure on CW over QOL issues? BTW, feel free to substitute the word "Garodnick" where you see "TA". The post works either There

Anonymous said...

If the Greenmarket doesn't make money they won't be back. It can't be advertised off property, the vendors can't advertise it and if we don't buy they'll be gone. Then GrowNYC can move on and destroy someone else's park.

Anonymous said...

STR - Somehow, these stances, firm at one time, have been loosened quite a bit.

Dan is a Democrat, so it is clear that his position has "evolved". If he were a Republican, it would be a flip-flop

Anonymous said...

Remember the Speyers were/are pathological liars and as heartless as the devil himself. They tried to put people who were legally renting their apartments out onto the street on all kinds of flimsy pretexts. They even tried to evict a severely disabled lady who had gotten behind with her rent and dragged her through Housing Court. The NYT came to her rescue and helped her sort out a way to catch up on the arrears. The Speyers were/are the most heartless, disgusting, reprehensible bastards who ever drew breath and I just hope that Karma catches up with them.

Anonymous said...

right. Sort of like our President, who never flip flops.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>The TA has rendered itself impotent by placing itself in the position of interested buyer, kicking the tires while at the same time, pretending to represent tenants day to day interests. If the TA is expecting to negotiate with CW, rhen how xan we expect them to put pressure on CW over QOL issues?<<

I've wondered for a while now, what the TA would do if it found another Roberts-type infraction, something that would tie up the present and past owners of PCVST in the court system for a good while. Would the TA pursue legal action, or would they leave such action alone, as it would delay considerably, if not remove the possibility of, tenants buying the complex.

Anonymous said...

"I've wondered for a while now, what the TA would do if it found another Roberts-type infraction"

I think you have answered your own question ;)

frustrated with haters said...

Yes! Why is it secret that Con Ed's emergency vehicles are near the fountain and in the oval for a few days in a row late at night? Or did I miss something?

Anonymous said...

I'm not really understanding why you say the TA is being secretive?

http://www.stpcvta.org/ta/post/annual_meeting_and_election_adjourned

It reports the following and so how much more info do you want? Are you saying you don't believe them?

On Friday May 11, 2012 the Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village Tenants Association convened its Annual Meeting for the purpose of the Election of Directors. At the meeting, a substantial number of proxies could not be exercised because they were not properly executed. As a result, in the interest of fairness and to ensure that every member’s vote is counted, the meeting and the election were adjourned. The meeting will reconvene and the election will take place on Wednesday, May 23, 2012 at 7:00 PM at the Neighborhood Services Center located at 300 First Avenue, New York, NY 10009.

Defective proxies as of May 11, 2012 will be returned to the Members and they will be able to cure the defect by signing and returning the proxy by postal mail or by voting in person when the meeting is reconvened. Defective proxies received between May 11th and May 18th will also be returned by mail for curing. After May 18th, due to time constraints, defective proxies will not be returned. The time for the election is extended until the new meeting date. Proxies sent by mail must be received not later than five o’clock PM, Wednesday, May 23, 2012.
Members who voted in person on May 11 or who previously submitted a valid proxy do not need to take any further action.

Members who choose to vote by proxy are reminded that they must sign their proxy by initialing or placing their full signature on the back of the proxy envelope and selecting one of the two check boxes. Members who did not vote or send a proxy and who no longer have their ballot may vote in person at the meeting.

Anonymous said...

Who really cares what the goofy TA is going with its goofy elections? The reason people distrust the TA is because of the way they've handled the whole thing with the conversion. That's been a closed book. They proven that they're nothing more than Garodnick puppets on larger issues. People see the sham and now want little to do with them. They've wrecked their credibility to handle anything bigger than the smallest, isolated issues.

Anonymous said...

People need to remember that the TA only represents about 10% of the entire population of ST/PCV. They are not really very relevant.