Wag the Dog, June 22, 2011

Daniel Benedict pulled off a major Michael Bloomberg Monday night. Just as New Yorkers overwhelmingly voted for term limits two times, WVH resident shareholders, by a 2 to 1 margin voted for a break-with-the-past board. Term limits didn’t really work for Bloomberg so he squashed them. So to, a board that was not of his own design didn’t really work for Benedict. Each man used his political muscle to get his own way. It may be legal, but it sure ain’t right. Apparently, some businessmen feel entitled to override basic principles of democracy when they get in their way. A big mistake when the seat you occupy is ultimately determined by an electorate. The will of the people is a beautiful, wild, and vengeful force, a reality Benedict will have plenty of time to ponder as he serves out his last year on the board.

Things could have been different. I saw a legitimate place at the table for the investor who, after all, still controls about 80 apartments. But that would have required that he play well with others. Benedict could have sat out this election, just voted for himself, and let the residents decide the rest. Unfortunately, he could not resist playing “Father Knows Best” and as a result, he is a dead man walking.

Who knows why he selected the group he did. One thing I do know is that our neighbors will never side with him over us. And as a lame duck, he has no leverage anyway, nothing he can legitimately put on the table. This could be a productive and exciting year for the resident board members, all of whom want to represent our community and not some special interest. And for the first time, we have a chance for an all-resident slate of officers.

And next year we will have the first all-resident board at WVH! I particularly look forward to new post-conversion neighbors running for that board. Some of them have raised troubling issues about things they were promised by BRG that have not materialized and we may need to address these issues as a co-op.

The puppetmaster has overreached and so he’s finished. This particular tail has wagged the dog for the last time.



6 thoughts on “Wag the Dog, June 22, 2011

  1. To “Ariel B.” your comment was removed. Two reasons: One, no one is your “honey” – we try to steer away from the use of derogatory tone name calling here, and two you keep using fake names and or fake email addresses…save the bullying, low class trash talk in your own home.On this blog some anonymous posts are allowed as for years some of the residents here at WVH lived in fear of retaliation and had no other resource to ask for help. Trash talk here isn’t tolerated if the writer is too afraid to stand behind their comments. For those readers who don’t like the policy, sorry you can always start your own blog.

  2. The phrase lame duck was coined in the 18th century at the London Stock Exchange, to refer to a broker who defaulted on his debts.[4][5] The first known mention of the term in writing was made by Horace Walpole, in a letter of 1761 to Sir Horace Mann: “Do you know what a Bull and a Bear and Lame Duck are?” [6] In 1791 Mary Berry wrote of the Duchess of Devonshire’s loss of £50,000 in stocks, “the conversation of the town” that her name was to be “posted up as a lame duck”.[7] In the literal sense, it refers to a duck which is unable to keep up with its flock, making it a target for predators.

    • Suzanne, perfect and completely apropos.

      Benedict is a lame duck because he no longer controls enough shares to get elected to the board. His command decision to engineer a board this year means he will have no credibility when he faces the electorate next year. No one will vote for him. As Suzanne wrote, he can no longer keep up with the flock which makes him an easy target for predators. He’s done.


    • Thanks for the clarification. I was confused at first because nowadays the U.S. President is called a lame duck when he is in his second term because of the term limits rule in the U.S. Constitution. I see that is not precisely the situation with Benedict. He’s a lame duck because he will not likely be able to control enough votes in next year’s election to win a Board seat as a result of the way he conducted himself in the most recent election.

  3. Sorry for my ignorance, but I don’t understand why Benedict is a lame duck? Are there actually term limits for Board membership?

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