2008-05-23 / Letters

Smith Was All Wrong

Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to former Dayton Beach Park #1 Board President Joanne Smith's letter to The Wave regarding Democratic Leader's Lew Simon's presence at our Board Meeting. There were a number of inaccuracies in her letter and I would like to publicly address them as Mr. Simon is being unfairly attacked for standing up for Dayton's shareholders.

First, Mr. Simon was not invited by Ms.Hazel McLean or myself to any Board of Directors meetings as Ms. Smith falsely stated. But I for one am glad he attended. Mr. Simon answered the call of countless Shareholders who asked for help after it was exposed by The Wave and other newspapers that Dayton's management company and the Board of Directors, took the shareholders' maintenance fees that were supposed to be allocated to the upkeep of the buildings and did not pay the city for any building's water bills in the past two years. Now, Dayton owes nearly 1.2 million dollars in past due water bills, and faces a multi-million dollar lien on the property. Ms. Smith shares direct fault regarding the non payment of these bills, as she was advised repeatedly by the corporation's accountants about Dayton's dire financial situation including the mounting water debt. Ms. Smith can be heard on the recordings of the Board Meetings expressing non-concern on the water debt, and repeatedly downplaying Dayton's financial crisis to the shareholders.

Further, Ms. Smith complains that it was New York City HPD who did not assess the shareholders enough of a maintenance increase in 2004 (which by the way was over 23.55 and generated $3,000,000 plus). But she fails to mention that she was one of the people actively campaigning in the cooperative as someone who would reduce or eliminate that increase as head of "Your Voice, Your Choice" with fellow board member Anne Lyons. She was elected to the Board only to repeatedly mislead Dayton's shareholders abusing her authority as Board President to exonerate herself from thousands of owed arrears to Dayton shareholders. She shamelessly tried to justify herself dealing in clearing her debts in several published letters to Dayton's residents in 2007 and 2008.

It took two elections and three recounts to get her off the Board, each time Dayton's shareholders overwhelmingly voted her out. It's quite alarming to see Ms. Smith attack someone of integrity such as Lew Simon simply for doing what she failed time and time again at doing, representing the best interests of Dayton Beach Park #1.

Dayton needs more of its city and state representatives to stand up for what's right, and I for one am glad that Mr. Simon has taken the lead. And as far as Ms. Smith's empty calls for a forensic audit and legal action, the best is yet to come...stay tuned.


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