Not Quite Over Yet


I’m 100% sure if privatization at Southbridge Towers had lost by 10 votes, privatizers would already have hired a lawyer and called for a recount. I’m also sure they would not need to beg for money. There were problems with duplicate proxies and co-operators receiving other people’s proxies in their mail. The DHCR, the state agency that oversees Mitchell-Lama, should be forced to do their job.

It is easy to see from listening to people at Southbridge talk that they were quite confused about privatization. I heard one woman say that she voted yes when she read in a flyer that rent control would be available at SBT. Another person was overheard saying “We’re now home owners.” And what is one to make of the woman in the elevator saying, “I know the overhead is going to triple, but I just went with the flow.”

People are now asking real questions after the voting. One question I heard is what is going to happen with car owners that use the Icon garage and opt out. We don’t know because the Board of Directors at SBT – sponsors of the privatization plan – kept the lease a secret. Someone else wants to know about the internal list and deposits made by co-operators; what about storage lockers – we don’t know because this is also not even mentioned in the Black Book. I would like to ask people at SBT why they voted for something they didn’t fully understand, that could have dire consequences for them? Why did you fall so easily into the deception and greed mantra being sold? But that was the game plan: Lie, Misrepresent, Bully – and repeat as needed. This was never a fair fight because the sponsors of privatization also happen to be  the Board of Directors at SBT. The DHCR and Attorney General office should have been playing close attention to what was going on at SBT – they didn’t. They dropped the ball big time on this. Case in point: Where did the money for additional printing related to privatization come from? Under DHCR’s own rules for a Mitchell-Lama, money for privatization has to be voted upon by co-operators. Wasn’t the $300k originally allocated for privatization spent long ago? The recent SBT President’s Report shows a mysterious increase in operating expenses. This is only one of the questions that I have, and would like to ask DHCR to look into. But then the DHCR should be replaced by people who want to do an honest day’s work.


8 thoughts on “Not Quite Over Yet

  1. So many people were coerced, bullied and lied to,about privatization. No one came forward and no one wants to file an affidavit – they would rather be homeless. These same people will think “I’m afraid to donate” to help hire an attorney -what if the privateers and the board find out? They’d rather be homeless. I was a victim of an attack from one of the radical privateers. It wasn’t enough that I wound up in the emergency room, but she needed to spread lies about me. One of which is that I called the police, told them that someone was in her apartment with a gun, and that police went into her apartment with their guns out. None of this is true. I saw the police report. My attesting to this would not change anything – but I had the courage to stand up. I will be donating to our legal fund. Privateers have stopped talking to me – I say Thank God! Just know that you cannot get an apartment such as you have here at SBT for even triple the money elsewhere – I have looked. So keep your heads in the sand, pretend nothing happened to you and – you will be homeless, or at least very unhappy when you look for a decent place to live.


  2. I would like to contribute. I am not a shareholder,I am on the waiting list. So whatever I can do to help out I would like to do it.


  3. For every “no” (to remain Mitchell-Lama) vote there were THREE “yes” (to reconstitute) votes. That’s a narrow margin? The threshold to pass was 66.6%. This was not a “majority” (>50%) rule vote; this was an OVERWHELMING MAJORITY vote to APPROVE. Then again, folks can twist the facts anyway they want to. Anyone who does not understand basic simple statistics is showing just how much they don’t know.

    Secondly: operating/owning a car in Manhattan (New York County) isn’t cheap. It’s the most expensive county in the country to own a car. I don’t think folks who own cars in Southbridge will opt out. If they can afford to own/operate a car in Manhattan, then are very likely NOT living on a tight budget. Car owners are far more likely to remain shareholders, and NOT opt out. Thirdly, I don’t know if the parking lease for Southbridge Towers specifically states “Cooperator SHAREHOLDERS” are entitled to reduced rates. Remember, even though someone may be a shareholder in SBT, they still have a tenancy lease in place as “tenant/cooperators”, as SBT shareholders are legally titled.

    Lastly, the Honest Ballot Association (or corporation) has never been successfully challenged in court for DECADES. There have been numerous “sore losers” raising false claims. Each and every time they did, the STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL has found NO CAUSE and the charges were dropped. The Honest Ballot Association has an unblemished IMPECCABLE PERFECT record. Mr. Hovitz and his crew think they can single-handedly prove otherwise. Good luck.

    What I find shameful is the endless FEAR TACTICS and BAD FAITH these people have resorted to so as to frighten and terrify folks who live (on a tight budget) at Southbridge. These fear mongers have claimed “No apartments will sell”; that there will be an “80% increase in maintenance”; that “proxy votes will be become public record” (that the public will read the proxy voter’s voting decision); that banks will grant no mortgages to new prospective shareholders because of asbestos; that “most folks” will opt out; that the Real Estate Transfer Tax will be invoked and cause huge maintenance increases; that multimillionaires (and Board members) will privately acquire the shares of those who opt out; that a “few select Board members will become the exclusive realtors for Southbridge and make tens of millions of dollars on realty fees”. ONE AFTER ANOTHER of threatening, FALSE claims. At least they didn’t say outright that hundreds of folks will be evicted. We’ll leave that false claim to Miriam Friedlander. IF ANYONE OPERATED ON BAD FAITH, it has been those who write anything, say anything, to incur fear and terror. Nothing they have claimed has a single shred of truth to it. Everyone knows, and in the eleventh hour, some folks (just before they entered the voting booth) probably did switch their “NO” vote to a “YES” vote as they saw how underhanded some were behaving to prevent the process from moving forward.

    Over “1200” letters were sent to the Attorney General requesting additional clarification of the Black Book. That meant that more than 73% of Southbridge cooperators sent a letter to the A/G. What if those 1200 letters were instead sent by a handful of folks opposed to privatization? What if they falsely ghost wrote letters and then asked a few folks to sign those letters? I think upon further examination, those 1200 letters can be proven to have come from a handful of cooperators…and maybe even folks OUTSIDE Southbridge, people who don’t even live here “posing” as cooperators? That’s an investigation I’d like to see. Then we’ll see who really has been acting on bad faith!


    • You haven’t been reading this blog from the beginning have you? I have documented a hell of a lot more bad faith from privatizers than Mitchell-Lama people, starting with the Pace meeting, where a whole lot of lies were bandied about. In fact, 99% of the bad information I saw was coming primarily from privatizers. The only thing that various groups for Mitchell-Lama were advocating was that SBT co-operators vote No to keep what they already have – since privatization shapes up as real estate speculation with many levels of risks for uninformed co-operators.

      Privatization at Southbridge Towers IS pure speculation, but you wouldn’t know that if you were listening to privatizers. Their spin was that this was all win-win – we’re all going to get rich and live in a utopia, and have our cake and eat it too, which led to a lot of gullible people falling in line. Anyone with common sense can see that privatization at SBT is not a good idea for everyone, especially people with fixed or moderate incomes that cannot easily accommodate increases in their overhead. (Remember, unless you’re ready to sell and have a place to go to: What you get won’t replace what you have.) I hear many people here say that they want to remain at SBT until they die. This becomes a lot more difficult in an open-market co-op than a Mitchell-Lama complex. That you can get people to vote against their own interests is not a good thing, just look at our country’s political system. Confuse and divide is the politician’s tactic. And we have had a lot of that here at SBT from privatizers.

      So, where do you get “1200” letters sent to the AG’s office? According to the attorney for the sponsor (Saft) there were 1200 pages – not letters.

      Whatever going to happen to SBT car owners in the garage (if privatization goes thru) is going to remain a secret until Day One of privatization. All thanks to the top-secret lease put in place by our Board. Why is that, and there is a lot more not mentioned in the Black Book that we will only find out after Day One. I am 100% certain Icon has taken very good care of their interests. Something I cannot say about our board with regards to the interest of SBT co-operators. My problem is not with Honest Ballot, but with the sponsors of privatization – our board of directors and their history of manipulation of proxies, give-aways to commercial tenants, etc. And they will become de facto dictators at a private SBT.

      What does Miriam Friedlander have to do with anything? She died 10 years ago.


  4. I am seeking $ 100 from everyone to sue Cooperators For Mitchell lama. We can hire an attorney and keep them occupied in court so they go broke. I would also like an investigation as to who has been funding their operation. Could the be getting funds from sources outside of Southbridge?


  5. Oops…thought you rejected my comments of October 26. Looks like you did post them. Thanks. Sorry for my not seeing that they were posted…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s