New York's Cooperative and Condominium Community

Habitat Magazine Business of Management 2021

HABITAT

ARCHIVE ARTICLE

Board President Ray Hoey

Ray Hoey
Board President, The Clebourne
924 West End Avenue/255 West 105th Street

The real estate tax in this building has gone up 200 percent since 1999. Fuel has gone up 216 percent. And it just might take a few items – fuel, labor, and tax – to wipe out our whole maintenance. These things are so hard and very little is under your control. You can’t say you’re not going to pay the tax any more. I think the most challenging part of being a board member is finding ways to reduce the financial
burdens on a shareholder.

BEGINNINGS
I was born in a rough part of town, Hell’s Kitchen. At one point, we couldn’t pay the rent, and my mother, my aunt, and I were put out of an eight-dollar-a-month railroad flat, with the furniture out on the street. The marshal comes along and says, ”Everything out!”

WESTSIDER FOREVER
My wife found this apartment in 1953; it was a rental. We moved up from 70th Street; we had just been married a year or so. It’s a beautifully laid out building. I happen to like the west side – the Village, Chelsea, the whole Upper West Side is great – and what you have to know about it is it’s a neighborhood. It really is a neighborhood.

SKILL SET
I had three jobs in my life – Texas Instruments, Sperry-Rand, and Ma Bell [the phone company]. I spent over 30 years at Ma Bell as an engineer. I enjoyed going to work every day. The experience helps me on the board [because] I bring to the board a strong math and electrical engineering background, and, also, for the last eight years of my career, I did a technical and financial review of all the capital investments above a million dollars. At one point, I had 50 people reporting to me. That all helps.

CHANGE AGENT
I was the head of the conversion committee. Our building was rent-controlled and I felt rent control was going to go by the boards somewhere down the line, so I wanted to be somewhat in control. That’s why we pushed for conversion.

IF YOU’RE THINKING OF RUNNING
People shouldn’t just run for the board, they should bring some expertise that would really enhance the board. I’m a civil engineer. We have four attorneys on our board. Four attorneys will really drive you up the wall.

TEN YEARS MORE?
No, no, no, no, no. I’ve got to keep digging. I’ve got to find something else to do.

 

PERSONAL STATS

BIRTHPLACE Hell’s Kitchen (Clinton), Manhattan

 

AGE 75+

 

MARRIED Patricia (childhood sweetheart)

 

RETIRED 1997. Subsequently did consulting on engineering and energy

 

BOARD SERVICE
-77; 1999-present

 

CHILDHOOD ASPIRATIONS Bus driver (“When you’re growing up during the Depression times, the only ones who [seemed to be] working were the bus drivers”), baseball player

 

WHEN I EAT OUT La Mirabella

(86th and Columbus Avenue)

 

CURRENTLY READING Willie Mays: The Life, the Legend

 

WOULD SEE AGAIN Casablanca, Gigi

 

ROLE MODEL PRESIDENT Harry S. Truman

 

BUILDING STATS

THE CLEBOURNE
924 West End Avenue/255 West 105th Street

BUILT 1913

UNITS 65

ELEVATORS 4 (including 1 service)

BOARD MEMBERS 7

RECENT PROJECTS Windows replaced; Local Law 11 repairs

WENT CO-OP 1974

MANAGER Wallack Management

ATTORNEY Arthur Weinstein

ACCOUNTANT Marin & Montanye

 

—Edited from an interview with Tom Soter

 

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