Issue of the Week

Would you support Nassau County imposing a five-cent fee on plastic and paper carryout bags?

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On January 1, 2018, a new Suffolk County law will go into effect, charging a five-cent fee for plastic and paper carryout bags, at a variety of retail stores. Those in support of the fee believe it will protect the environment. Those against view it as a tax that will hurt local businesses. Would you support Nassau County imposing a five-cent fee on plastic and paper carryout bags?

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Sat, 05/30/2020 - 13:51


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With the proliferation of new condos – there is a tremendous need for regulation. Unfortunately being on a board is in essence a license to steal and there is no governmental oversight. There are Ombudsman Bills sitting in the Senate that are not able to be passed. Perhaps you might create a panel and ask for horror stories from owners. Lots of Republicans own condos and this would give you more votes. I would volunteer to help with this matter.


You are correct

You are correct. (im talking about the proposal)

Condo boards?

Correct me if I'm wrong but condo developments generally have homeowner associations which cannot deny purchase of a unit or its sale. Coop boards have been the subject of this criticism for decades. They have virtual dictatorial powers. As is the case in the real world I don't believe that soliciting republicans for help in passing an ombudsman law would yield results. They are control freaks and most likely relish the power they have over mere mortals.
The power of coop boards resides in their lack of transparency. Most boards are under no obligation to divulge the reason(s) why an applicant has been denied. This not only allows them to deny people for financial and credit reasons it also allows them to hide from discriminatory practices. An ombudsman would not be necessary if laws were passed that obligate coop boards to publicly reveal the reason(s) that an applicant was denied.
As a NYS Certified Residential Appraiser I can tell you that this can also be a way of diminishing(or enhancing in some cases) shareholders equity. As an appraiser when I do a coop valuation I need very specific information from the coop board or management. On this one assignment I went to the management office of a self managed building. Since coops are not real property, sales information is difficult to get. I asked the manager for a list of sales for the past 12 months for units similar to the one I was appraising. She appeared reluctant so I asked if there was a problem. She told me that the board president didn't like that information being given to anyone other than a shareholder. I told her in essence this was for a shareholder since I could not submit a report without knowing the sales in the building as well as similar buildings in the area. Reluctantly she opened the closed sales book and let me look. Just as I finished getting the information I needed the board president walked into the office. She arrogantly asked who I was. When I told her she turned to the manager and loudly said that she was not to give me any sales information. I would have to get it somewhere else. (This was during the housing boom).
As I was ushered out she mumbled that this was originally a subsidized coop development and needed to continue as affordable housing. She was tired of people and appraisers coming in and inflating prices so that working people were enticed to move out and new, richer people coming in to gentrify the neighborhood. She indicated that they needed to keep prices low to maintain the integrity of the community. I was surprised at her candor but she certainly was not frightened of me.
Although I was aware of the power of boards in terms of discrimination this was the first time I had considered it in terms of value. Most boards do things to enhance value since they own apartments in the same building. But to deliberately try to moderate value during a real estate boom? Due to my legal obligations to privacy I could not interfere in the transaction but that board president cost her fellow coop owners a lot of money just to promote her own agenda. She was probably not the only member of the board with the same agenda but I sincerely doubt that other coop owners knew what was going on.


Discrimination is not a problem in condos; corruption is and there is no oversight from governmental agencies.

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