First let me apologize for not attending Meet the Candidates last week. I had been looking forward to the chance to participate, and had even pushed a business trip back two days in order to be in NYC that evening. Unfortunately, my 2-year-old son fell ill after I came home from work and I didn’t want to leave him even for a couple hours. I hope you can understand.
I was glad to hear that there was consensus among all candidates about the need for a reserve fund, which would not only contribute to the coop’s financial security but also minimize the impact that large upcoming capital expenses will have on our own personal finances.
But there are other financial matters that we need to address in order to ensure the coop’s strong footing. Our coop ran a deficit in fiscal years 2011 and 2012, and we were bailed out in 2013 only by a sharp uptick in flip tax revenue. In fact, we rely more and more on the flip tax every year, even though it is the most volatile revenue source we have. We need to find more sustainable ways to balance our budget with new sources of revenue.
We also need a better handle on costs like our out-of-control legal fees. Legal fees are up 462% since 2011 — this year we spent more on legal fees than we did on 24-hour security. Had legal fees not skyrocketed, we would now have an additional $1.25 million — a good start to a meaningful reserve fund.
I’m confident that with new forward-looking directors focused on financial security we can ensure that no resident is priced out by unexpected assessments. If you agree, I would be proud to have your vote.
PS. If you can’t make it to the annual meeting on Monday — or even if you’re just not sure — sign a proxy to make sure your vote is still counted. If you’re supporting Lee Berman, Peter Herb, Don Mathisen, and myself you can download a proxy online and deliver it to the apartment indicated on the form.