When we last left off, all parties were scheduled to go to court on June 7th. In between the last court hearing and June 7th we elected a new board here at WVH. For over two years the board headed by Katy B. pursued this baseless case with the urgings of Gail Davis, Katy Bordonaro and Navid Maqami. (who by the way allegedly felt that the board should continue with the case “no matter what the cost”. Even though the board had no case. Heck,why not it’s not Navid’s money..right?)
So what happened…
POST CASE wrap up and the Letters of Apology: by Bob
First and foremost I want to thank Jim Bozart for diligently working hard to resolve this frivolous matter. His letter of apology was heartfelt and to the point and I cannot thank those members of the board enough who agreed to settle this matter. Secondly I thank Gail for writing her letter of apology at the boards insistence but, it’s content is more than questionable and lacks of any responsibility not only to me but to the tenants of WVH. The letter presents Gail as guarded, scapegoating and insincere. And as most of you have commented “so what’s new about that when it comes to Gail”. In the letter Gail writes, “In all my entire time at West Village Houses, I have tried my best to handle all aspects of my position professionally and I hope that during the time this lawsuit was ongoing you never felt that not to be so. If you ever did I apologize.”
I apologize !?? For what, trying to have me evicted? Sending out legal letters on holidays with false and misleading claims? The overall harassment?
From day one, Gail and her cohorts lied about where the installation of the meter had to go. In my case, in written statements by their lawyer they called my meter “a fire hazard” and claimed of “rising costs of insurance to the building.” (none of which are or were true). And for two years to this day Gail nor any member of the old board chose to ever inspect the meter themselves. In late spring of 2011, Gail also blocked (by omission) the Department of Buildings from inspecting on court order, the apartment in question.Why did she block the D.O.B.? You’ll have to ask her. Most likely though it was because she knew that nothing was wrong with the meter in the first place. And she also knew that the meter had already passed two inspections from city officials and three inspections from licensed engineers including Rand Engineering. Instead of allowing D.O.B. to follow through with their court order, she and the old board were fine with going to court again and again and costing us tenants more and more fees even though they were in the wrong. The judge in the case was also beginning to find in favor with defendant (Peterson) and was outraged that the building manager (Gail) did not comply fully with the court order/agreement.
So how could this have been handled differently? Well, if Gail were acting “professional” as she claimed in her apology, not being an engineer herself, she could have requested at NO COST that the D.O.B. inspect the meter in question. She could have even had the installation plan and placement of all the meters in WVH be reviewed before the work was even started. So many of you had also asked if the submeter could be placed somewhere else in your apt. and you were told “no” or that it would be “against code”, which was never true. Had she (Gail) done her homework , had she had done her job, many of you could have had the submeter installed almost anywhere you wanted. Instead it seems someone wanted to rush the job and someone wanted her “bonus” for the submeter installation. So to meet those goals, when it came to the installation of the submeters, Gail told us what she wanted us to hear and what she wanted most of us to believe but she wasn’t telling us the truth. In reading this, she will probably try to explain it away as it not being her fault or she that she was misled by others. I guess this is her version of “acting professionally”. Who am I to judge, I am only a tenant, a shareholder and technically her employer via Douglas Elliman.
By July of 2011, along with a few members of the old board, Gail had cost our co-op an estimated $70,000 to $80,000 in legal fees. Over $30,000 more since Peterson won and tried to settle the case back in Jan. of 2011.
According to House Committee minutes on 6/6/11 at 6:45pm. House committee member Phyllis asked about the costly court battles here at WVH. (copied from the house committee minutes) :
Phyllis asked whether the co-op has recourse to other enforcement options
when shareholders violate their lease, options that do not require
starting off with costly court proceedings against the shareholder in
Gail noted that the only recourse the co-op has to respond to violations
of a shareholder’s proprietary lease is either to send a letter asking
them to stop (which they can ignore), or to initiate eviction proceedings
against them, but nothing in-between. The co-op was described as having a
Katy further explained that changing the co-op’s enforcement procedures to
allow for other types of enforcement action would require amending the
It’s interesting to note that as a “professional” that Gail’s response recorded in the minutes, is not to sit down and mediate with the tenants, not to investigate the matter at hand, nor wasn’t prudent of her to ask the opinions of professionals but, instead her resolve in any matter is to go straight to costly litigation, now known as the “sledgehammer option”.
Is this the “professionalism” we seek here at WVH or could someone else do the job better? Let’s hope the new board removes the “sledgehammer option” from all of us and removes those managers and managing agents from office who see this as the only option to resolve any matter or issue.
Bottom line I am glad the court case is over and we have Jim Bozart to thank (thanks Jim) for doing something Katy and a few members on the board couldn’t do or wouldn’t do. This matter is now closed but, with this level of self-proclaimed “professionalism” by our managing agents, perhaps the board should reconsider renewing the Douglas Elliman contract.