2011-08-05 / Columnists

It’s My Turn

The Truth About Dayton Beach Park
By Several Dayton Beach Park Stockholders

This column was written by five Dayton Beach Park stockholders who have asked to remain anonymous in light of the actions taken against several other stockholders by the cooperative’s president.

Although Dayton Beach Park’s board president would like to believe she has all the facts correct, she doesn’t.

First, let us start by saying that Dayton Beach is NOT Jennifer Grady’s cooperative as she stated in the opening line of her article. The cooperative is a corporation in which 1,144 shareholders own stock. Ms. Grady states that the Dayton residents have suffered six increases in a few short years. The fact that she so eloquently twisted is that over the last eight years, Dayton Beach has had two increases, each increase spread out over a three-year period.

The first increase, 33 percent, was the first in many many years and was necessary to cover the $31.5 million mortgage that was needed for repairs to the buildings. The application for the second increase was for 22 percent over three years, which was changed, thanks to Ms. Grady, to 27 percent compounded. At both public hearings Lew Simon attended trying to have the increases lowered, the second time was at the request of Ms. Grady. Since Ms. Grady has been president, all board meetings have been closed and the shareholders have absolutely no idea what is going on in OUR coop, with the exception of memo’s put forth by the president, and even those are speratic to say the least. She claims to have had them closed due to numerous dis-ruptions; of which she herself was once the cause. Maybe Ms. Grady should reopen ALL board meetings so the shareholders can actually speak their minds. Maybe, just maybe things would be better here; it’s like living in a prison.

Second, yes, it is a fact that Lew Simon does not live at Dayton, nor does he represent Dayton Beach Park, but he has done more to represent the shareholders of Dayton than our actual elected officials. It is also a fact that he was not directly responsible for organizing the rally with Local 32BJ members, but instrumental nonetheless. Surprising as it may be, a group of shareholders called the union and told them they have our support and would stand by our workers, not disgruntled old (as in past years) board members. One has to ask, why the president was so concerned as to why Lew Simon was there anyway; desperate for community attention, I think not. Was he just as desperate two years ago when the president herself called upon him for help with Dayton Beach issues, more specifically the water bill (she neglected to mention that in her article)? At the request of Ms. Grady, Lew had met with the DEP and had gotten the city to accept a deal to pay the water bill in a span of three years, yet she chose to pay it off all at once using capital improvement money from a 2003 loan. Lew Simon is a fixture in the Rockaways, and his voice is always heard. He was asked by the shareholders on this occasion and numerous other occasions over the years, to come and support the workers and the shareholders, and for that we are, as always, grateful to him.

The board president claims that the workers are not Rockaway residents; while checking our FACTS, 20 out of the 28 union workers are lifelong Rockaway residents, one of whom is her next door neighbor. As for the other eight, we’re not sure where the president works, if at all, but not everyone resides in the neighborhood where he or she works. We would guess she meant the current and retired 32BJ members who gathered to help support our staff who are Rockaway residents but do not live or work in Dayton Beach Park.

To address her statement that all shareholders’ income is a mere $22,800, first, one has to wonder, how the president knows this since all income affidavits in shareholder files that are kept in the management office are supposed to be kept confidential. There is a median income for ALL incoming shareholders; 22K is the amount for a single person coming into a studio or efficiency, not the median for ALL shareholders. Secondly, ANY and ALL staff member salaries, be it administrative or maintenance, should NEVER have been made public, put forth in several memos, (that the SCAB cleaning staff, the shareholders are paying for, put under the doors in the dead of the night) sent to every shareholder by Ms. Grady; there is a name on that list of a maintenance worker who has since passed away; how pathetic is that. Perhaps Ms. Grady would like to disclose her salary, if she had one.

Maybe the president should focus more of her attention on her spending of nonessential things here at Dayton. For example, there is currently a lawsuit against her and several current and old board members for falsely removing a board member from the board. By all accounts, this was a PERSONAL issue for Ms. Grady. Ms. Grady fired the RAB as she believed she knew more about arbitration than they did. In the RAB’s stead, she hired a $350 an hour attorney who has been on retainer since last summer. Ms. Grady also states there are a number of serious repairs that still need to be done to these buildings, and yet she spends thousands of dollars on plants, that have since died, and monuments. She spent money which was allotted for pool repairs on cameras in each building’s lobby. What are we paying an armed security company for? Meeting minutes that are up in the lobby state that the board approved a $70,000 motion to purchase new doors with swipe card locks, (why, so certain shareholders can be monitored) for the front doors, yet we would still need the keys for the gates. Most importantly, with the door knobs that were installed, they are NOT handicap accessible. More useless spending.

These are just a few of the FACTS that the president was misinformed about. Maybe an independent investigator needs to come to Dayton and fix us, because at the rate we are going now... The shareholders welcome any assistance from the District Attorney’s office as well as the Department of Investigations.

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