2013-06-07 / Letters

Dayton Towers Horror For Some

Dear Editor:

A few months ago, we sent you a letter entitled Dayton Towers Horror and you printed it, which we greatly appreciated. Now the horror continues.

A short time ago, our management hired a construction contractor to remove the asbestos from our buildings. Asbestos is a dangerous substance. It is a fine powder that is easily airborne. It clings to the lungs and other internal body parts and can cause cancer in the future. Based upon research that we have done, the required procedures for removing asbestos were not followed and occupants who were in their apartments during the asbestos removal and were exposed to it, and were never told of the danger or to evacuate during the work.

This faulty asbestos removal is just the most recent of a long list of abuses by our management upon us starting before Hurricane Sandy. The following is a brief summary: Bigotry against many of the occupants and racial slurs; after Sandy, the management and the board of directors disappeared, providing no leadership; we formed our own support group, had lobby meetings to provide some leadership, comfort, and discuss our grievances while our management was nowhere to be found; we were able to obtain free medical assistance for the senior citizens of our Coop who were particularly traumatized by the hurricane, and got free food delivered to us once a week. The food was particularly useful for many of our occupants who were unable to travel to food stores, many of which were closed.

When our general manager found out about our lobby meetings, he told us to stop. We laughed at him and told him that he had no authority to bar them. We also reminded him that we are shareholders and he was, in effect, our employee. We then scheduled, publicized, and had our next lobby meeting. The General Manager called the cops during our next lobby meeting to break it up. We told the cops very assertively that we are shareholders of the Coop, had a right to have a lobby meeting, and the general manager had no authority to ban our meeting. The cops agreed and left. Our meeting continued. Unfortunately, many of the attendees left in fear.

The board recently took away our right to ask verbal questions at the open board meetings. We have to now write down our questions on a piece of paper and the board (actually the three dominant members) decides which ones they want to read and answer, and ignore the rest. We are not allowed to ask any verbal questions after that.

We currently have legal action against management and the board. The management and the board members have been spending our money very irresponsibly. We are not sure if it is just incompetence or fraud. We requested to see the books which is our right under our Coop’s by-laws and under general corporation law. One of our members is also a board member. Yet the management and the board keep refusing us in direct violation of corporate law. We wonder, what are they hiding?!

We fear that our Coop may go bankrupt based upon the recent financial report that we received from our board recently. We do not know if this is due to incompetence or by design. Our Coop complex contains over 1,700 apartments.

We had our lawyer write to the general manager and to the board president addressing the issue of access to the books and on other issues. The board members and their children drive fancy expensive cars. We are curious on how those board members can afford such cars on their salaries and their children seem to have no jobs.

The legal fees are expensive and only a few of us are making contributions towards the legal fees since most of the occupants have low incomes, and most are afraid of the general manager and the three board members. Having a low income does not mean that we should be abused and exploited.

This Coop is our home. It is our place of refuge. It is not meant to be a cash cow for a few individuals!

We have sent letters to the DEP and the president of the board. We have other documents and photographic evidence. For additional information contact Yvonne Ward or Marie Ledger.


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