We moved this co-op from the brink of bankruptcy to probably one of the most, if not the most, financially sound co-op in Queens. I’m an accountant by trade, but we did it by running this place like a business — by making sure that people are doing their jobs, by creating accountability, which is essential, and by bringing in the right team of people. I’m talking about the top-level individuals here. They look at their jobs not as a paycheck but as a career. They understand housing, they understand co-ops, and they have a mission of excellence.
The one issue that won’t let me sleep at night is Local Law 97, the Climate Mobilization Act, which is the largest unfunded mandate ever imposed on residential housing in the City of New York. It seeks to require us to spend $20 million we don’t have for boilers we don’t need. And if we don’t do this, we are going to be hit with a fine of $1 million every single year, starting in 2030. It’s unaffordable, it’s outrageous, it’s a crushing penalty that’s being imposed on working-class people. And I’m working very, very hard trying to get the City Council to exempt co-ops or postpone these penalties.
They’ve created this one-size-fits-all monstrosity of a bill that makes no sense. We’re a garden apartment co-op on 125 acres of mostly grassy, wooded areas. We’re not producing pollution in any measurable form. And yet they are requiring us to spend tens of millions of dollars on things we don’t need. It’s the largest challenge any co-op has today. The second would be property taxes, which are completely out of control. But there is nothing like Local Law 97 that’s going to cripple co-ops. It’s horrible.
Board president (15 years)
Glen Oaks Village Co-op
70-33 260th St., Glen Oaks, Queens
Years of board service: 30
Year built: 1947
Operating budget: $28 million
Current assessment: No
Maintenance increase: 3% in 2022
Property management: Self-managed
Attorney: Hankin & Mazel
Accountant: Laufer & Co.