Joe Hanania resigned last week from the house committee, citing discontent with the committee’s powerlessness in the face of opposition from the board of directors.
Joe built his reputation in the neighborhood as an advocate for improved public transportation. He initiated a petition for a Grand Street ferry stop that attracted the attention of local politicians and recently received the stamp of approval from Mayor de Blasio.
Joe explained his resignation by pointing to the controversy around the board’s decision to renovate the community room without any input from cooperators. “The House Committee voted unanimously to send a flyer to all residents, soliciting ideas on renovation and what residents wanted,” said Joe. “After a phone call between the Presidents of the Board and the House Committee, however, that flyer never went out.”
“The President of the Board had promised to consult the Committee about plans to redo the Community Room before greenlighting the project. This never happened, either. Instead, the Board voted to fund a $73,000 renovation while showing us not a single rendering of what the room would look like.”
Joe also objected to the way cooperators were treated when they met in February to share ideas about how the community room might be renovated and better used:
“Rather than encouraging — or even listening to — this discussion and building a democratic consensus on what we Cooperators wanted, the Board charged those of us who met $300 plus for use of the room — and a week later pushed through its own plan. It was not that Board members did not like the ideas expressed; they never even listened, then let us know how little we matter while using our rent moneys to fund their scheme.”
“It seems obvious that the Board, which in the past it has threatened to abolish the House Committee, intimidated and ignored the House Committee, and then ignored the Cooperators when they separately met. I refuse to further waste my time in this charade, or to lend legitimacy to the Board’s actions.”
Joe was elected just this past December for his first term on the house committee. He received more votes than any other candidate.