2009-11-06 / Top Stories

Order Election For Dayton Towers Board

By Howard Schwach

Dayton Towers will soon hold an election for several members of its board of directors despite the fact that the present board was set to reelect itself without a mandated election, The Wave has learned.

According to a spokesperson for the city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), the Mitchell-Lama cooperative's corporate attorney has ordered the present board to seek nominations and hold an election as early as January of next year.

"HPD got in touch with the coop's corporate attorney to inform them of the situation at Dayton Towers and to express our concerns," Eric Bed - erman, a spokesperson for the city agency told The Wave early this week. "The corporate attorney then instructed the board of directors to reopen the nomination process, and HPD will be monitoring the process from here on out."

The traditional January election is announced with flyers, placed under each door in October or November, asking for nominations.

This year the cooperators got an October 28 flyer under their doors stating that the nominations were closed and the corporate secretary would cast votes at the annual meeting for the present board.

"They will be deemed elected at the annual meeting," the flyer said.

That angered several cooperators who were awaiting notice of when the resumés were due.

"I wanted to run," said David Teitlebaum, who has lived in 7800 Shore Front Parkway for more than 15 years. "They said that they announced the nominations by putting up one flyer in the lobby instead of putting them under the apartment doors."

"Then," Teitlebaum added, "they told me they didn't have to hold an election because there is a lack of respectable candidates."

Teitlebaum told The Wave that he admittedly "had a big mouth" at board meetings and that the cooperative was moving to evict him after his mother lived there for 41 years and he lived there for 15 years.

In fact, the Dayton Towers Coop er - ative has moved to evict Teitlebaum.

In papers dated on October 31, the coop board called his conduct "objectionable," and informed him that his conduct "negatively impacts on the use or enjoyment of the building by your fellow tenants, their guests and families and poses a threat to the health and safety of your fellow tenants and guests."

Teitlebaum brought to The Wave a petition signed by 20 residents asking that he be allowed to remain in the building.

"They don't want anybody rocking the boat," he said.

Officials at Dayton Towers, however, tell another story.

"We placed the flyers calling for nominations on the bulletin board in the lobbies and under every apartment door on August 13," said Sharon McGovern, the chair of the election committee. "The resumés had to be in by 3 p.m. on September 9, and on that day I collected them. There were only five, and those were all from incumbents."

Joseph Holstein, the president of the coop, added that when he saw that there were only five resumés, he asked the corporate attorney for permission to skip the election, which typically costs about $10,000 because an outside company is used to conduct the election.

Holstein said that recently some people came to him and said they might have changed their minds, but he told them that the nominations were closed.

He added that it would be tough to run an election prior to the December meeting, but that he is working with HPD to resolve the problem.

He declined to discuss any individual cooperator, except to say that a person who threatens others and is disrespectful to his fellow tenants becomes a real problem.

The co-ops by laws require that elections be held at the annual meeting each year.

Dayton Towers encompasses seven buildings in Rockaway.

Dayton Tow ers West is made up of 102-00, 103-00 and 105-00 Shore Front Parkway.

Dayton Towers East is made up of 7400, 7600, 7800 and 8000 Shore Front Parkway.

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