Change Sweeps Dayton Beach Park Board
With the sting of a big increase in monthly carrying charges fresh in their minds, Dayton Beach Park shareholders ousted five board members up for reelection this week, The Wave has learned.
The first order of business following the ratification of the new members was the election of board officers – which also resulted in a thorough turnover.
Incumbents Aldo Lanci, Joanne Larcheveque, Nancy Leffler, Pauline Owens and Gail Rosenberg were each denied another term on the Board of Directors at the five-building Mitchell-Lama cooperative located between Beach 81 and 88 Streets on Shore Front Parkway, according to election results obtained by The Wave.
“As soon as they started talking about the increase everyone was up in arms,” Larcheveque, who served for 8 years, offered as her explanation for changes.
The winning candidates are newcomers Joanne Smith and Maralyn Kaufman, Delores Lyons and Mary Reed, who both have served terms before and Bruce Jacobs, who helped rally his neighbors against the carrying charge increase last spring.
In the subsequent officers vote, Smith was elected president, Jacobs vice president and Kaufman secretary. Ann Lyons, who was a sitting board member, was elected treasurer and Delores Lyons was named assistant treasurer. Out as president is Delores Orr, who said she had held the office for the prior six months and for a total of about 10 years at different times.
About 40 percent of shareholders voted in the contentious election where criticisms of former board president Delores Orr and other members flew like beach sand in a hurricane. Shareholders were apparently angered by the 16.5 percent increase in monthly carrying charges – part of a 24 percent increase over three years – which took effect on July 1. Charges for parking and air conditioning also jumped, and combined with construction projects and police issues sparked a movement for change. The increase was requested by the board and approved after review by city Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).
Smith, Kaufman, Lyons and Reed joined forces about two months ago to form the “Your Voice Your Choice” team (http:YourVoice YourChoice. Tripod.com) and accused board members of spreading misinformation, abusing power and violating the same rules they were entrusted with establishing and enforcing.
“The shareholders (the ones I spoke with) felt the board was stagnate and needed fresh people in order to move forward. Plus, we got out there and let people know who we were and what we wanted to accomplish,” Smith wrote in an online interview with The Wave. “They must have liked our ideas.”
Orr would not speculate as to why shareholders and board members alike wanted new people in leadership positions and said she held no animosity towards them. The 15-member board needs to begin working together towards the goals of the co-op she told The Wave.
A total of 449 ballots out of a possible 1,144 were either mailed or cast at the annual shareholders meeting on October 28. The Voting Group, an independent polling company based in Bellrose, prepared certified results. Jacobs, who placed 8th and was cer-
tain there was a mistake, immediately contested them.
Jacobs contacted Voting Group President Brian Gittens, who identified a typographical error that shorted Jacobs by 70 votes – which would have put him in 6th place – higher on the list but still short of a seat on the board.
Dayton General Manager Bruce D. Braithwaite, who was advised of the discrepancy, fired off a letter to the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development asking for a recount. “[T]his very significant change in the tally for one candidate gives rise to serious concern that other errors may have been made in counting the votes cast. It would be appropriate, under the present circumstances surrounding this election, for HPD to recount the ballots in order to ensure a final count that is unquestioned and conclusive,” Braithwaite wrote.
A recount was held in the community room at 8600 Shore Front Parkway on Monday, November 8. Dozens of shareholders turned out again to observe the process where it was determined that Jacobs had more votes than Ella Van Zanten, who had been in 5th place. Van Zanten, after the recount, missed becoming a board member by only four votes.