Last Wednesday night’s Southbridge Towers Cooperators for Mitchell Lama meeting crowded the community room, and once it began many questions were asked regarding reconstitution as a private co-op (better late than never). Paul Hovitz oversaw the meeting. A few responses to questions include: Residents that opt out and become renters are not subject to assessments, which would only apply to people that opt in. One resident asked how the number of non-voting apartments was arrived at and was told that this is still under review by the DHCR after the vote was contested (see below). At one point Hovitz mentioned that letters mailed to all SBT co-operators by Southbridge Towers Cooperators for Mitchell Lama before the vote had quite a few pieces returned by the post office as undeliverable due to unknown addressee.
Roberta Singer updated everyone regarding the in-depth review of the vote:
The plan cannot be finalized until DHCR certifies the results.
SBT Cooperators for Mitchell-Lama requested DHCR conduct a complete audit of the voting procedures with particular attention to how proxies were handled.
Our request was followed up with a letter to DHCR from Barry Mallin, the lawyer we engaged; he is paid entirely by contributions from Shareholders.
DHCR agreed to conduct an in-depth review and ordered all material related to the vote secured.
Mr. Mallin also wrote to the AG who responded that they will hold off accepting the amendment until DHCR certifies the vote.
A week or so later we asked DHCR for an update on the progress of their in-depth review; the DHCR lawyer conducting the review stated they were continuing their due diligence analysis. – October 20th
Honest Ballot certified the vote but their certification begs several questions that we have requested DHCR to examine. We are particularly interested in having a breakdown of the number of ‘yes’ and ‘no’ votes cast in person and by proxy.”
At one point a resident stood up to say how much he appreciated the ability to ask questions in an open forum at SBT – something not allowed in Board of Directors public meetings. According to the Black Book a reconstituted SBT would allow the Board to become even less responsive to co-operators.
A letter from board president Wally DImson was distributed the same day which revealed that the DHCR has asked for “Additional information regarding the development of the list of apartments that were disqualified from voting” and “Specific information relating to some of the apartments that were disqualified from voting.”
in·ves·ti·ga·tion, n – an examination or inquiry into something, especially a detailed one that is undertaken officially.