Thursday, March 28, 2013

Co-op City ‘Enslaved?’

Treasurer Blasts Management for Wasting $,
Running Development as a ‘Dictatorship’ 

By Michael Horowitz

BRONX, NEW YORK, March 28- Riverbay assistant treasurer Daryl Johnson charged, this week, that Herbert Freedman and the Marion Scott Real Estate, Inc., have “enslaved” Co-op City by enforcing a dictatorial management in the local community and wasting the community's fiscal assets.

In November, Johnson was the lone board member who opposed giving a one-year contract to the Scott firm as a supposed price for finalizing the community's $621-5-million mortgage through Wells Fargo Bank and HUD.

Johnson, who is expected to endorse the candidacies of Frank Belcher, William Craft, and Dr. Amrendra Singh in the May 22 Riverbay board election, stressed, this week, that his overriding goal in this year's board election is replacing the Scott firm as managers of the Riverbay Corporation's day-to-day operations.

“Replacing Marion Scott is the overriding issue in this year's board election,” Johnson stressed. Real change in Co-op City, which is desperately needed, starts with changing the management firm that is responsible for a debt that is way out of control.”

Johnson, in recent weeks, has been the subject of repeated attacks from Freedman, who has attacked the board member's urgings for budgetary restraints as baseless “rants.”

Commenting this week, Riverbay board member Evelyn Turner, a sponsor of a board resolution calling for competitive bidding for Co-op City's real-estate-management, condemned Freedman's personal attacks against Johnson, calling them highly inappropriate.

Turner stressed, in a Co-op City News article and in a Director's Viewpoint this week, that Freedman and the Scott firm work for the board and the people of Co-op City, not the other way around.

Johnson, commenting this week, stressed that his attacks on the stewardship of Freedman and the Scott firm have never been personal in nature.

“What my comments are all about is trying to bring sanity to Co-op City's operations,” Johnson stressed, this week. “I have spoken repeatedly about ways Co-op City can cut its budget, but, rather than cut the budget, my fellow board members recently voted to increase the budget for Co-op City's various department by 11 percent.”

Johnson added, “I know, for sure, that we could have cut Co-op City's budget by at least 10 percent, but, instead, Scott management proposed unconscionable increases in the budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. Unfortunately, I was the only member of the board who voted against this budget, which carried with it approval of a one-percent increase in carrying charges.”

No comments: