Here’s an update to an ongoing disagreement with the board about whether Cooperatively Yours should be allowed to use the community room for free when holding meetings for all cooperators to discuss matters of general interest to the coop.
- In 2012 we held our first meeting to discuss the after-effects of Sandy and coop preparedness. When reserving the room, I asked management to waive the fee given the unique need for cooperators to share their blackout experiences; my request was denied.
- Subsequently, it was brought to my attention that New York’s landlord-tenant laws require that a group of tenants holding an open meeting about tenant issues be granted common space for free. I wrote a letter to then-president Lenny Greher and was told the matter would be discussed by the full board of directors. (I never heard from him again.)
- In 2014, in response to a letter from the board about increasing our monthly maintenance, Cooperatively Yours called a meeting to discuss coop financials. We were given free use of the community room by management. The full board later called that one-time exemption a mistake.
- When we requested the room again later that spring for a follow-up meeting, we again made the board aware of the law in question, but were denied in writing the free use of the room and met outside in the courtyard instead.
- So now we’re trying to make our point again. I paid for tonight’s meeting about the community room renovation — $325 — but I also delivered a letter to each director and house committee member asking that they refund this money, not as a matter of policy but as a matter of the law. You can read my note to them below.
I can’t say I expect them to change their minds, but I think it’s important to remind them that their policy not only limits the free expression of cooperators’ concerns but also disregards the law.