Thursday, January 25, 2018

Summary of the January 17, 2018 Tenants Meeting

COMING UP: Valentine's Day table on Feb. 10th
and ShapeUp NYC (Free!) on Feb. 12th

NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer said that President has changed the dynamic of the City and State. The new tax law (see below) is part of that change.  He discussed several campaigns he’s working on, with a little historical background.

Permanently affordable housing.
In the 1930’s and 40's, NY’s Mayor LaGuardia developed NYCHA housing with large federal investment. In the 1950's and 1960's, the City and State developed Mitchell-Lama housing (like this building used to be). But under Mayor Bloomberg, the developed housing wasn’t affordable, and Mayor de Blasio is working, the Comptroller says, too closely with mid-town developers. The Comptroller would like to see the City invest in permanently affordablehousing on the vacant space we have, to be run by community-based organizationsand funded by housing and land trusts.  Private developers who have to pay their investors cannot develop as cheaply as groups that do not.

Renters credit scores.  While home owners’ mortgage payments become part of their credit ratings, our rent payments do not.  He wants to let renters opt in (and then out again if they wish) so that those paying regularly on time can boost their credit scores. That way it will cost them less if they need to borrow money to pay for their kids’ college education, for example.  This bill is under discussion.  (A question from a tenant there:  Will tenants have to pay landlords a fee to get their rent payments reported to the credit agency?)  If you have ideas on this or other proposals of the Comptroller, please contact Mike Stinson,  212-669-8736,

End cash bail for low-level accusedMany low-level offenders can’t afford bail even though they pose no flight risk or danger to the community. Keeping them in jail taxpayers some $100 million/year. The City is looking to end cash bail, as is the State.  State Senator Brian Benjamin has also proposed divesting from private prisons, which currently house those who cannot afford bail and immigrants, each individual at $700/day.  Sen. Benjamin joined us to hear Scott, and add a bit of his own. 

Tax law change. The new tax law won’t let New Yorkers deduct payments of state and local taxes from our federal tax returns. The loss of tax savings means less money available for investment in other things, and possibly businesses moving  to lower-tax states and cities. The governor may sue the federal government and has proposed getting around that tax deduction change by having employers pay the tax instead of the employees.  It’s not clear if that will pass or how it will work.  Meanwhile, the City will be getting less money from the federal government as the Trump administration plans to scale back infrastructure and social spending. 

Senator Benjamin noted there are now 2 vacancies in the State Senate.  Gov. Cuomo must call a special election to fill them.  If he calls the election for after the budget is completed in March, the budget will be determined by a GOP-dominated Senate. (The 9-member Independent Democratic Conference caucuses with the GOP – and that gives the GOP control even though there are more Democrats in the Senate.) If you’re concerned, contact Gov. Cuomo.

ShapeUpNYC comes to us! Thanks to tenant Jodi Brockington, a certified ShapeUp NYC fitness instructor, we will have free fitness classes in the Community Room from 6-7 on Mondays starting Feb. 12 (but not Feb. 19th – a national holiday). All ages and levels of fitness welcome. Wear comfortable clothes, and bring a yoga mat (and weights) if you’d like.  

And the Community Room Fee is back to $75 for private rental by tenants  - after the Tenant Association reminded Stellar of our Community Room contract. 

Heat and other complaints: Get a digital thermometer (under $15) and check the temperature in your apartment. If it’s under 68° from 6 AM to 10 PM, or under 62° from 10 PM to 6 AM,
1.     Fill out a requisition slip at the guard’s desk for a staff member to check your radiators and air conditioner covers.
2.     Call 311 or contact 311 on line
3.     Keep a log (time, date, temperature, complaint number) for a week.
4.     Give the log (or just the complaint numbers) to Sue in Apt. 15T  When there are 10 or more complaints, she’ll contact our City Council person for faster response from the City.

For all other complaints, (heat, hot water, etc.)  fill out a requisition slip so there’s a written record.  If you just mention it to Carlos or Santiago, they may forget.  Let Sue know if you have filed complaints but they have not been resolved after a week.

Walk your dog away from the building and its property. We all end up stepping in dog poop, and toddlers may touch it.  The park is nearby – and you can also train your pet to go on newspaper in your apartment for very cold weather.

Help avoid vermin: Please don't leave boxes with leftover pizza and other food in the compactor rooms.  Mice may be cute, but we don't need to feed them. Recycle clean paper on the top shelf of the compactor room (pizza boxes if not full of food), and rinsed cans, bottles and plastic in the blue pails.  All other trash goes in a bag and down the chute. If disposing of paint or dangerous materials, talk to the building staff.  You can leave broken toasters or gifts you don’t want (not food!) on the top shelf as well.  (Heavy items can go on the floor.)

Image result for recycling chart nyc

It’s a New Year – so time to give your household’s $10 in dues to the tenant association.  Give it to your floor captain (and get a receipt), or to our treasurer Joan Browne in Apt. 12F.  We also welcome Legal Fund contributions ($100/apartment, as you can afford it). 

Got questions or suggestions?  Contact us!

The Executive Committee of the Central Park Gardens Tenants’ Association

-    Sue Susman, president, sue dot [last name] at gmail (dot) com
-    Na’ava Ades, vice president, naavaa /at/ gmail [dot] com
-    Joan Browne, treasurer, joanbrownefaison {a  t}  gmail \dot\ com
-    Denis Hayward, vice president, denis {dot} hayward |at  | gmail (d o t) com
     Rich Jordan, vice president, rich214  [  at]  a o l {   dot   } com
-    Steve Koulish, eskoolman [a     t] yahoo {d    o    t} com
Ray Von Dohren,  vondohren |a  t| comcast  (d  o  t)  net

Join our email list (send an email to Sue) and facebook page (CPG Tenants group), and check out our website's - especially on the left side of the home page.