More openness needed at co-ops

Posted

To the editor:

There are quite a few housing co-ops in the The Riverdale Press community, and occasionally they make the news.  An analysis (Thursday, July 14, 2016) covered, among other points, board governance and transparency.

Co-op members and board members may find interesting some guidance from Robert Szold, the attorney who created the legal foundation for Amalgamated Houses, Park Reservoir, and many other New York cooperatives.  It is taken from “The Functions and Duties of Directors of a Housing Cooperative,” a statement delivered by Robert Szold in 1956.

“A housing cooperative is a unique combination of a business corporation and a residential community.  It has many attributes which are not found in an ordinary business corporation.  Nevertheless, it is important to emphasize that the functions of the directors of a housing cooperative are in large measure those of the directors of an ordinary business corporation….”

“The relation of the Board of Directors to the stockholders in a housing cooperative differs from the relation of the Board to the stockholders of an ordinary corporation.  Stockholders of a housing cooperative are not only interested in profits and dividends as in an ordinary business corporation, but in a housing cooperative the stockholders also are, in effect, sole consumers of the corporation’s product.

More important, however, a housing cooperative is a cooperative.  It is the duty of the Board to build up and maintain the cooperative spirit, the atmosphere and morale of a cooperative community.

The Board of Directors should furnish to the tenant stockholders not only periodic balance sheets and operating statements but information on all pertinent aspects of the operations as well – vastly more information than stockholders of an ordinary business corporation are entitled to receive.  From time to time also the Board will no doubt consult the stockholders or groups of stockholders about various phases of operations which as a matter of precedent, custom, logic, efficiency and law are within the province of the Board alone to decide.”

Cooperatively,

Ed Yaker

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MGrobien

Now this sad piece of work. Ed Yaker, who allegedly had himself appointed director emeritus in secret session. Ed Yaker, who allegedly worked with co-op lawyers, perhaps using co-op funds, to overturn shareholder-elected co-op-board term limits. Ed Yaker, who definitely occupies an outsize apartment according to his man-spinster status. Ed Yaker, who allegedly tried to strong-arm the board into buying fuel from HIS alleged fuel-oil company, Twin Pines. Ed Yaker, who appears to be maneuvering a buyout of Park Reservoir (an alleged shell company) without keeping Amalgamated shareholders apprised. Suffice it to say that the Amalgamated Housing Corp. board meets for a secret "executive session" after every on-the-record board meeting and then some. I rue the day I decided to use my entire life savings as equity in what now appears to be a ponzi scheme and for what continues to be advertised as democratic housing yet is overseen by Ed Yaker's longstanding alleged tyranny. Allegedly, Ed Yaker acts about as "cooperatively" as Donald Trump does. Dark times ahead, people—and that's the truth.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016
MGrobien

This is to Ed Yaker: I assume that with letters such as the one you wrote that's printed above, you are attempting to establish your legacy as a uniting, socialist-leaning, cooperative wunderkind. But, Ed Yaker, your legacy is this: Excepting the adulation of your ever-diminishing fan base of elderly widows and your ever-expanding coterie of sycophantic freeloaders, you are—allegedly!—reviled among the shareholders you—allegedly!—bleed. Do you think you can control your legacy once you are gone? No, Ed Yaker, you cannot. You and your henchmen have destroyed what you claim to have built—literally, as the buildings are falling down around us and the money has disappeared. All this, under your long, oppressive watch. That's your legacy. We will make sure of it.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016
MadHatter

Hold up.

Yaker the Dictator is quoting a lawyer who helped create the Amalgamated and Park Reservoir to make his point?

Yiggy recently had a nice plate glass window installed in his apartment overlooking his terrace at the expense of the Shareholders since Contractors were hired to repair terraces and facades of the buildings. Ordinarily, Board Policy and Family Composition would disqualify Yiggy from occupying a two bedroom apartment in the first place. How did he bypass DHCR Rules and Regulations? Cooperative Spirit? This is the same guy who hired a FELON convicted of taking bribes and kickbacks from the last Coop he "managed" to "manage" the Amalgamated Housing Corporation and Park Reservoir Housing Corporation right before a $100 million dollar loan was secured from the National Cooperative Bank. Interestingly enough, Education Director Doris Spencer tried to get on the Board of Directors of the National Cooperative Bank a few years back. Employees were given substantial raises and the "manager" has also nearly doubled his salary since taking the helm of a housing development for moderate to middle income taxpayers. Yiggy and his illustrious crew have driven BOTH Coops into the ground while pilfering Shareholder funds, claiming people just wanted "cheap rent". The disappearance of a $30,000 generator was never investigated nor were proceeds from the sale of Coop Property to the NYC Department of Education ever distributed to Shareholders. The over $900,000 in interest the Coop accumulated when the Department of Finance failed to issue a tax bill to the Coop (under the management of Pat Goldwater) was kept by the Coop when the City supposedly admitted to an error in calculations, but where did that money go exactly?

Yiggy continues to assert his white male privilege into the game he is running on everyone. He is part of the problem that is destroying affordable housing in NYC. No different from any other slumlord, Yiggy and his Board of miscreants decided long ago to neglect much needed infrastructure repairs in all of the buildings, allowed them to fail into various stages of disrepair and then gamed the system by applying for low interest loans and commencing with a bogus RFP and RFI process knowing already they hand selected Contractors who would be generous with Board Members.

Twin Pines Fuel Oil was a debacle that should have sent the Yiggy to the BING. After securing the fuel oil contract for the ENTIRE Pennsylvania School System, the Company folded. Perhaps it had something to do with Yiggy and friends being sued by an elderly investor who discovered Yiggy & Co were swindlers and bamboozlers of the highest order. Of course, Yiggy had his attorneys SCRUB the information from the internet but with a little DUE DILIGENCE you can find it. Yiggy's speciality is shell corporations! Also interesting to note is that Twin Pines is located on Zerega Ave in the Bronx in very close proximity to where the Orloff Organization was storing their drugs.

When you start to see the Yiggy for who and what he REALLY is, you have a better understanding of why the Coop is a Criminal Enterprise disguised as a Housing Project. That "cooperative spirit" he consistently invokes is a just another brainwashing tool used by the best of Cult Leaders. Please do not drink the kool aid.

Friday, August 5, 2016