Tag Archives: feature

Annual report shows deficit for second consecutive year

The coop’s annual report was released today showing a shortfall of $182,620, a big improvement from last year’s record $2.3 million deficit. That’s the second deficit in a row even after maintenance increases, with the budget for 2017-2018 showing yet another deficit looming.

The coop also borrowed an additional $2 million this year.

The full financial document can be downloaded from the coop’s website. (A memo posted by the elevators today said that the annual report was not being printed for everyone in order to save money.)

Some highlights from the annual report:

  • Operating expenses continue to outstrip general revenue by $4 million. Only by spending the full flip tax revenue does the coop approach a balanced budget. (We wrote earlier this year about why that is a vulnerable position to be in.)
  • General revenue increased $1.8 million from last year, after a large maintenance increase had a full year to play out.
  • Operating expenses actually decreased slightly, which is an accomplishment given the fact that real estate taxes alone rose nearly $1 million. (This year’s decrease is mainly due to the high cost of laundry room repairs in the previous fiscal year; nothing of that magnitude happened this year.)
  • Flip taxes were essentially flat year over year.

Is Silver planning a comeback?

Just in time for the holidays, someone has made available “I’m with Sheldon Silver” t-shirts at online store teespring.com. If you want one, you’ll need to act fast — merchandise is available to order only through Thursday.

The product page has a brief but accurate bio of the former pol: “Sheldon “Shelly” Silver is a former lawyer and Democratic Party politician from New York City, who rose to become the powerful Speaker of the New York State Assembly in 1994 until his arrest on federal corruption charges in 2015.”

Silver’s conviction on those charges was overturned this summer.

His old Assembly seat is now held by Yuh-Line Niou, who faces re-election in 2018. Is Silver planning a comeback with an army of supporters wearing these snappy tees?

Grand Street Democrats meeting Monday at 7:00

With the election of new Democratic District Leaders in September, there’s also a new official Democratic club in the neighborhood called Grand Street Democrats. GSD is holding its first regular meeting on Monday, November 13. This meeting will be mainly focused on getting input from new members about what the club’s goals and priorities should be.

With city elections just finished, there’s still a lot to talk about. For one thing, we have a new State Senator, Brian Kavanagh, and a new member of City Council, Carlina Rivera, representing half of the East River buildings. There are hyper-local issues to organize around, including Grand Street traffic and development of nearby skyscrapers. And 2018 will be an important year to participate in Democratic campaigns beyond the lower east side.

Anyone is welcome, but becoming a member will give you a chance to vote on club actions and endorsements. See more information at grandstreetdems.nyc.

CB3 land use committee to consider waterfront zoning tonight (Wednesday)

You can’t miss the skyscraper going up on the waterfront right next to the Manhattan Bridge. And if developers have their way, you won’t be able to miss three more skyscrapers along the same short stretch of real estate just to our west.

Neighborhood groups have been pushing back on these developments since they were first announced. Elected officials have belatedly joined the fray. Tonight at 6:30 pm, our Community Board’s land use committee will be taking up a proposal for new zoning of the area, based on a zoning proposal first released in 2014.

If you are interested at all in the future development of our neighborhood, you are free to attend the meeting:

Wednesday, October 18
6:30 pm
82 Rutgers Slip
2nd Floor Community Room

Corlears Hook “It’s My Park” Day this Sunday

Your local park needs your love! Join your neighbors for “It’s My Park” Day at Corlears Hook Park on Sunday, October 22, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm.

You can help plant daffodil bulbs, rake autumn leaves, prune and weed the gardens, and spruce up the park all around.

Tools and supplies provided … snacks and water too!

Corlears Hook Park is our main entrance to the East River, and a jewel right in our backyard. Please join us!

Co-Oktoberfest 2017: October 28

Join us Saturday, Oktober 28, 4pm – 9pm for the third annual East River* Co-Oktoberfest. Warm up around the grill and bring the kids to play some games. Also: please help! Sign up to bring food, paper plates, or help with games. This is a loose, cooperative, potluck-style afternoon/evening, just a chance to hang out with your neighbors.

* We are compelled to let you know that the East River Board and Management have nothing to do with this event. Don’t bother them with questions.

Council 2 candidates debate September 7

If you live in East River buildings 1 or 2, your City Council representative is Rosie Mendez, who, because of term limits, is not running for re-election. This open seat has six candidates on the ballot next week: Ronnie Sung Cho, Erin Hussein, Carlina Rivera, Jasmin Sanchez, Mary Silver, and Jorge Vasquez.

The last debate for these candidates will be on Thursday:

Thursday, September 7
6:30-8:00 pm
Grand Street Settlement
80 Pitt Street
Sponsored by NYCHA Branch of the NAACP, Inc. and NYC Campaign Finance Board

If you can’t make the debate in person, here’s a full video of a recent debate:

Council 1 candidates debate September 5 at 7 pm

Margaret Chin, Christopher Marte, Dashia Imperiale, and Aaron Foldenauer.
September 12 is primary day, and local Democrats will have choices for several local positions, including City Council Member, Assembly District Leaders, and Democratic County Committee Members (who may be called on to select our next State Senator).

City Council District 1 covers East River buildings 3 and 4 (sections G, H, J, K, L, and M). Margaret Chin is running for a third term against three challengers: Christopher Marte, Dashia Imperiale, and Aaron Foldenauer.

If you want to learn more about them than what you read on their campaign mail, you’ll have a chance on Tuesday evening at Manny Cantor Center, when the four will meet for a debate.

Tuesday, September 5
7:00 – 9:00 pm
Manny Cantor Center
197 East Broadway

Truman Club under fire for violating campaign finance laws

Last week the NY Post ran a story about the Truman Democratic Club violating campaign finance laws for years:

The Lower East Side political club that for years served as the home base for disgraced former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has failed to publicly disclose its finances, as required by law, for nearly two decades, an activist charges.

Full disclosure: that “activist” is me. First I noticed that neither the Truman Club nor its two candidates for Democratic District Leader, Karen Blatt and Jacob Goldman, had registered campaign committees with the state board of elections. Then, by searching for payments other campaigns have made to the Truman Club over the years, I found close to $100,000 in contributions to Truman that the club has never disclosed. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, because most donors — individuals and corporations — are not required to report their own contributions.

All of this information comes straight from the board of elections database of contributions, which is searchable online.

In contrast, Caroline Laskow and Lee Berman, who are challenging Blatt and Goldman, registered their campaign committee earlier this year and filed their first disclosure report on time.

The Post article appeared last Sunday; on Monday, Blatt registered “Committee to Re-elect Blatt”. This is the second time she’s running for office, but only the first time she’s registered with the state. Her first financial disclosure is due in one week.

Silver’s “enforcer and gatekeeper” still working Grand Street

Meanwhile, NY1 ran a report on Sheldon Silver’s appeal to the Supreme Court, making a sideline to report on Silver’s continued influence on Grand Street in the form of his “enforcer and gatekeeper” and former chief of staff, Judy Rapfogel, who is actively campaigning for the Truman Club’s District Leader candidates, Blatt and Goldman.

Blatt, in a statement to NY1, welcomed Rapfogel’s involvement, calling her “an asset that any campaign would want to have on their side.”

Blatt appointed by Silver to patronage job

Finally, a newspaper in Albany revealed what Blatt herself has not: her current job. Blatt’s online bio does not disclose her current occupation; neither does a color flyer distributed to voters in Seward. Turns out she is co-executive director of a state agency called the Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Appointment (LATFOR). LATFOR is essentially responsible for redistricting in New York State, though that authority was shifted to an independent commission following a constitutional amendment passed by voter referendum in 2014.

Critics contend that the agency is now toothless and just “a place for patronage”. The report notes, “LATFOR had faced criticism for drawing district lines that favor the candidates of majority Assembly Democrats and Senate Republicans.” Blatt’s position was made on appointment by Assembly Democrats, who at that time were still controlled by Sheldon Silver.