Articles

From the Editor 24: Discipline

(DON’T) LET THEM EAT CAKE

Being on a board is like being on a diet. You know it’s for your own good, but it can get very tedious. Sure, you should eat soup and salad but doesn’t the cream-filled chocolate cake seem so much tastier?

From the Editor 23: Board Service

NO THANKS

I was with my boss in her car, waiting at a stop light at 23rd Street and Eighth Avenue. A woman in a wheelchair was proceeding slowly across the street. The traffic light was blinking red and it didn’t look like she would make it across by the time the signal turned…

From the Editor 22: Racket Squad, 2010

IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU
Scams, Both Large and Small

Sometimes being on the board of a cooperative is like being on Racket Squad. Only baby-boomers with long memories will recall Racket Squad, a sort of Dragnet wannabe from 1950s television that supposedly re-enacted cases ripped from the police files…

From the Editor 21: Local Laws

LOCAL LAWS GONE LOCO

Ellen Kornfeld is on a tear. “The city goes ahead and changes the elevator code in December, not giving people who have already done their budgets an opportunity to know what costs they are going to incur in terms of retrofitting things to code. You don’t find out till January or February what these things are going to cost and by then, every budget is out of whack. Nobody expected $10,000, $15,000, $17,000 in expenses to bring the elevators up to code. All the elevators are going to need new equipment because the city is changing the code.” Kornfeld, vice president at the Lovett Group, is fired up because the city keeps adding new regulations…

From the Editor 24: Discipline

(DON’T) LET THEM EAT CAKE

Being on a board is like being on a diet. You know it’s for your own good, but it can get very tedious. Sure, you should eat soup and salad but doesn’t the cream-filled chocolate cake seem so much tastier?

From the Editor 23: Board Service

NO THANKS

I was with my boss in her car, waiting at a stop light at 23rd Street and Eighth Avenue. A woman in a wheelchair was proceeding slowly across the street. The traffic light was blinking red and it didn’t look like she would make it across by the time the signal turned…

Financing Flavors

Sheldon Gartenstein, a senior vice president at the National Cooperative Bank, is matter-of-fact about the refinanced loan he handled recently for the 74-unit cooperative at 760 West End Avenue. “This particular co-op needed capital improvement funding of about a million dollars,” he recalls…

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Devil or Saint?

The 22-unit cooperative had its share of troubles. The managing agent was unresponsive, problems were mounting, and the board – in the person of one director in particular – seemed to be doing all the legwork on capital projects. Why not just pay that director to run the place?

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Breakfast With a Board Member

Paul Backalenick has been the president at 24-42 Bennett Avenue, a 56-unit cooperative in the Hudson Heights section of Manhattan, for three years. Replacing an autocratic, unpopular chief executive, Backalenick brought an easy-going style to his role, seeking out consensus, not confrontation. ..

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Biondi and Me

Many in the co-op world know something about the sad case of Nick Biondi. Over 20 years ago, his name became a word used to describe racism, much as “Pullman” (the surname of a nasty owner) became shorthand for objectionable resident who gets kicked out…

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Bed Bugs & Me

BLOODSUCKERS FROM HELL

One little bug, and then a major upheaval in your life.

For me, it started a year ago, when I came home to my 22-unit Manhattan co-op to find a long-winded message on my answering machine…

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Admissions

Tom Sinclair and Liz Roberts, a married couple who owned a co-op on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, felt like they’ve been sandbagged. They brought a buyer for their apartment to the board and expected an easy approval…

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