Some Queens co-op boards said to fear "inflammatory" forum for owners

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By Teri Karush Rogers  |
January 19, 2011 - 7:17AM

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.

Related posts:

Unhappy co-op and condo owners crowd Queens forum for help with boards

Co-op and condo owners unite

Coming soon to a co-op and condo near you: Transparency and fair play?

Approval, schmoovel! Renovation perks for board members

4 neat ways to use an investigative lawyer in a co-op or condo


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Teri Karush Rogers

Founder & Publisher

Founder and publisher Teri Karush Rogers launched Brick Underground in 2009. As a freelance journalist, she had previously covered New York City real estate for The New York Times. Teri has been featured as an expert on New York City residential real estate by The New York Times, New York Daily News, amNew York, NBC Nightly News, The Real Deal, Business Insider, the Huffington Post, and NY1 News, among others. Teri earned a BA in journalism and a law degree from New York University.

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