1-16-2014 Loft Board Meeting Highlights

Updates to this post (as of June 1, 2014):

 Fellow Loft Tenants,

The recent Loft Board meeting was a little under 2 hours and featured, among other highlights, an ‘executive session’! The executive session was on matters concerning 13 and 15 Thames St and we members of the public were asked to take leave and wait outside the board room.

The meeting started with an amendment request (Daniel Schachter) of the previous mtg minutes to include a conversation on possible outreach efforts to tenants.

Early on in this meeting, Chuck DeLaney asked that the Board formally add to it’s policy issues for the future Chairperson the concern of a application deadline rush and outreach. He asked the Board to officially weigh in on and comment on the good of extending the deadline for new applications, and executive director Lanny Alexander seemed interested and well disposed to the idea. (They spoke to each other about it more after the meeting.)

The main highlight was a substantial chunk of time given for a very involved (close to passionate!) discussion and debate about an application case recommendation from Oath (for disqualification) regarding 59 Crosby St. There are some new 2010-era tenants there who applied for coverage even though their unit had been bought out in the early 90’s. They contended (represented by Sanger) that they should be covered under 281.5 even though there had been a buyout, because the owner never did any compliance work and had only paid fines for almost 20 years, and, that there was nothing in 281.5 that excluded them. DeLaney spoke up and went to bat for them, which initiated the long discussion and debate (Matthew Mayer being the main counter to DeLaney). Elliot Barowitz and Daniel Schachter had lots and lots of questions and misgivings. This is the most fractious I’ve ever seen the Loft Board to be. For the vote, Elliott and Schachter both stepped back and abstained. DeLaney voted “no”. Chairperson Pagoda, Martha Cruz, and Alexander all supported the disqualification. Unfortunately Chief Spadafora was not in attendance… wondering what his vote would have been.

The Thames St business included 2 coverage claim recommendations from Oath plus a request from tenants for non-compliance fines against their landlord. This is routine stuff, but because some of the tenants are suing DOB over a partial vacate order, and because litigation is still pending (and 4 tenants from the building plus one of their lawyers were in attendance), several members of the Loft Board saw fit to go into an executive session. DeLaney successfully requested this action be voted on. Besides them, I was the only other member of the public in attendance.

Also, afterwards, Lanny gave an impromptu clinic on the definition of “family” as per the multiple dwelling law 705 for the Thames St tenants, also on the recording.

February 1, 2014

Special thanks to Eliza