The latest in a series of town-hall style educational forums for co-op and condo owners is scheduled for tonight in Queens, and we hear that some local co-op board presidents are none too pleased.
The forum--organized by the Alliance of Co-op and Condo Owners (ACCO), a grassroots advocacy organization formed last year--is billed as an attempt to help “frustrated apartment owners…held hostage by an entrenched Board…penalized by unfair charges and assessments, or unable to secure the most basic information about their building…[or] faced with spending a fortune on legal action… to assert their basic rights.”
But some Queens co-op board presidents--unhappy over the ACCO-supported Ombudsman Bill, which would create a state office to educate apartment owners and an alternative to resolving disputes in court--are said to be plotting a flyer-wielding counterattack outside the forum.
We reviewed an early draft of the flyer that apparently made the rounds this week.
Among other things, it notes that “[ACCO] is a Manhattan-based organization that has long been hostile to Co-op Boards with little knowledge of the Queens Co-op Community. It has used inflammatory language on its website to ferment dissent among shareholders in co-ops…. ASKING ACCO TO SPEAK ON BEHALF OF CO-OPS AND CONDOMINIUMS IS LIKE ASKING THE POPE TO SPEAK ON BEHALF OF ROE VS. WADE.” [Update 8:25 AM: We have been informed that the Pope reference did not survive later revisions.]
From what we know about ACCO (see links to our previous posts below) and the Ombudsman Legislation, the objections did not seem particularly persuasive.
The plot thickens.
Hosted by City Councilmember Mark Weprin, tonight's forum will take place from 7-9 pm at P.S. 186Q, 252-12 72nd Avenue, Bellerose, NY 11426. We can’t attend, but we would be interested in hearing from anybody who does.
Meanwhile, ACCO’s first Manhattan forum this year, hosted by State Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, is scheduled for Feb. 2nd, 6:30-8:30 pm, at B’nai Jeshurun Synagogue, 257 W. 88th Street.