By Michael Horowitz
BRONX, NEW YORK, January 7- Civic activist Sally Kya-Hill said that members of Co-op City's board of directors have become hopeless puppets of Herbert Freedman and Marion Scott Real Estate, Inc.
Kya-Hill noted, in a recent letter to the editor, “State Senator Ruth Hassell-Thompson recently said to me that she has never seen a board of directors so totally dominated by a management company.”
The civic activist said that she has concluded that the “puppet” board members are following Freedman's marching orders either because they are getting perks or locked into a “ghetto mentality.”
Kya-Hill noted that the “ghetto mentality” was evidenced when board member Al Shapiro got “so totally bent out of shape” over plans for a footbridge connecting Section 5 to the rest of Co-op City even though he doesn't live in Section 5.
The activist stressed that the “ghetto mentality” of board members is in evidence when board members campaign on platforms of reform, but become “gutless and spineless” after they are elected to the board.
“You go with the flow, and that has been into a sea of debt,” Kya-Hill stressed, in her open letter to board members. “You don't seem to care how many others your actions are causing to drown.”
The civic activist added that she is concerned about plans for the revamping of Co-op City's three shopping centers because other major Riverbay initiatives, like the window-replacement and floor-replacement programs and exterior-façade work, have been fraught with cost overruns and rank incompetence.
Kya-Hill stressed that in Co-op City, the “ghetto mentality has taken the form of paying “experts” outrageous sums of money or consenting to their getting the lion's share of what input they have in projects --- as the shopping mall's revamping.”
The civic activist added that members of the Riverbay board are in lockstep with Freedman's persistent, wasteful spending.
Kya-Hill noted that board members, like Freedman, are “blindsighted” by taking credit for the mounting debts that they approve for those who live in the local community.
The civic activist challenged members of the board to insist that Public Safety officers take action against those who have been illegally moving into the community in the middle of the night.
Kya-Hill added that she is appalled that those running Co-op City's Apartment Sales and Commercial Leasing departments aren't professionally licensed.
“They are unlicensed, so Freedman can control them, too. Too many apartment are sitting vacant for overly long periods of time,” Kya-Hill noted.
The civic activist added that the board's primary responsibility is to enforce economies and enact efficiencies that will assure Co-op City's fiscal solvency.
The HUD mortgage won't assure Co-op City's solvency,” Kya-Hill stressed.
The civic activist challenged members of the Riverbay board to put Co-op City's house in order and “put the brakes on Herbert Freedman.”
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