On June 10th, “4 For Responsible Change Committee” [Lawrence Winslow, June Polichetti, Maureen Burnley and Jim Jacobson], hosted an event unprecedented since the WVH conversion. The event was neither pre-scripted nor content controlled and was all inclusive of both shareholders and renters. For three full hours, all the candidates participated in a fair and honest unedited debate over the issues and policies affecting WVH. It was a bold move to say the least as any and all in attendance could make a comment and ask the board any question they wanted. Michael Markowitz hosted as M.C. for the event. Current board members running for reelection Mark Hallenbeck, Katy Bordonaro, Jim Bozart, Navid Maqami and Karen Jaronski were in attendance as well as new candidates, Lawrence Winslow, June Polichetti, Maureen Burnley and Jim Jacobson.
Excitement and tensions ran high at various parts of the evening. Each of the candidates received applause while in a taste of “bad sportsmanship” Katy Bordonaro’s husband Peter Bordonaro angrily “flipped the bird” to some of those in attendance at the meeting. When called out for his disturbing behavior by another tenant he responded “I can act anyway I want to.” Then proceeded, in the middle of the meeting, to approach that tenant to tell his side of the story and explain defensively why “giving the middle finger” to some of the tenants was appropriate. After the room calmed down the “4 For Responsible Change Committee” presented their platform while the some of the current board seemed a little on the defensive. Topics freely chosen by the tenants for discussion included “open board meetings”, “sub metering” and the recent expense of $75,000 for the new lobby sketches. Lawrence Winslow, June Polichetti, Maureen Burnley and Jim Jacobson encouraged the open board meetings. The current board with the exception of Jim Bozart did not seem in favor of them citing “time constraints” and that it was “highly untraditional to do so”. When asked about the $75,000 lobby design, the current board’s only comment was “The designer is angry at us for our delays and we haven’t paid the entire fee yet”. In response, Maureen Burnley pointed out that choosing to incur this expense at this time was a poor prioritizing of funds that could be better used to fix the roofing and infrastructure of the buildings.
In all it was a highly spirited and informational meeting. Most of those in attendance were pleased to finally have their voices heard and their questions answered. Hopefully this format will become a tradition here at WVH.
Love them or hate them, win or lose in this election season there’s certainly no debate that the “4 For Responsible Change Committee” has made a huge impact here at WVH. They held up a mirror to the positions and procedures of the current board and management. And already without a single vote being cast, have significantly affected a change for the positive here at WVH.