Even directors are kept in the dark

A message from East River Board Members Lee Berman and Peter Herb.

Dear Neighbors,

We know many cooperators are concerned about East River’s closed-door policy-making. But the hard truth we have learned in the year since you elected us to the board is that, when it comes to essential information and analysis, even directors are kept in the dark.

  • At only half our board meetings have we seen even basic financial reports, and those were a month or more out of date. We were the only two directors who asked for current financials.
  • The budget was presented to the board three months late and we were given only ten minutes to look it over. That budget contains inflated flip-tax forecasts that will leave us in a $1.5 million hole unless the real estate market heats up again. And the budget is missing the huge expenses for laundry room repairs — at least $500,000 not accounted for at all. Yet we were the only two directors to protest the last-minute vote.
  • A new sublease policy passed with only back-of-the envelope analysis. Endless sublets will reduce first-time sales and cut into our flip-tax revenue, which accounts for 20% of our income. We were the only two directors who asked for a more thorough analysis.

Now we know that only two directors on a board of eleven is not enough to bring about positive change. We need four more forward-thinking directors to preserve all the things we love about East River while strengthening our financial security and sharing information and ideas with openness and respect.

Let’s come out of the dark — vote for Jim Keenan, Faith Schreier, Julian Swearengin, and Mike Turner. With all four of them beside us on the board, we will reaffirm the guiding principles of cooperative living and enrich East River Co-op for the next generation.

Cooperatively yours,
Lee Berman
Peter Herb

PS. With the holiday, it may be too late to mail in a directed proxy. Please fill out the general proxy for your address (find it here) to make sure your vote is counted for Jim, Faith, Julian, and Mike.