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So far James Graff has created 4 blog entries.

Co-Presidents’ Potpourri – November 2017

November 2017

As 2017 comes to a close, we can say it most certainly was an eventful year. Your board started the year with a very ambitious agenda, only to find it largely derailed by the flood that occurred in early May. Affected shareholders are either finally back in their homes or making progress toward that goal. We hope things move as smoothly and efficiently as possible from here, as those shareholders have endured a challenging and disruptive summer.

Shareholders should take note that the Board has implemented several new protocols in order to prevent an event of that magnitude from occurring again and if a leak does occur, to mitigate it as soon as possible. A professional firm has completed a full mapping of all shut-off valves in the building. This is now posted graphically on the basement for our staff members, all of whom have been trained on what to do in an emergency leak event. Moreover, we interviewed and retained a new master plumber, who has been working successfully in the building since May under the watchful eyes of Sergio and our building architect, Ethelind Coblin.

It goes without saying that with the leak and everything else that happened at the building this year, Sergio and his staff have done a phenomenal job in their day-to-day responsibilities and in going the extra mile. We cannot thank them enough for everything they do.

Although the pace of sales in our building has moderated, we have seen several transfers and valuations continue to be healthy. One component of this is the very strong financial condition of our building. We now are working on the 2018 budget.

Regarding renovations, we had many projects occurring simultaneously over the summer. In addition we have learned that several shareholders are contemplating renovation in the winter and spring months. It is wonderful the apartments in our building continue to be upgraded, thereby improving the value of our co-op. However, concurrent renovations create a tangible strain on our staff and our shared elevator resources. In view of that, your board needed to implement certain measures to better distribute this extra workload. We have instituted a detailed alterations schedule and managing it monthly. Future projects may be deferred and/or supplemental charges for renovation projects may be assessed to cover the cost of additional staff support. The board is doing its best to manage this dynamic and we […]

Co-Presidents’ Potpourri – November 2017 2017-12-11T18:12:01+00:00

Storm Kings

For most of us, the fierce nor’easter that clobbered New York on January 23 was a minor inconvenience: a little more jetsam whirling through the streets, an extra button done up on a jacket. Not for building super Sergio Ochoa and porter Juan Gomez–they had to confront the storm head-on. Around 10:30 that night, elevator operator Flavio Perez noticed water in the rear elevator. Sergio and Juan suited up and carried a ladder and some rope out on the dark roof to inspect the giant skylight over the rear elevator shaft. Finding water blowing in through a faulty caulking, they wrestled a heavy plastic tarpaulin into place over the shaft and lashed it down like sailors on a windswept sea. An inspection of all the caulkings around the building’s seven skylights is under way.

Storm Kings 2017-03-05T12:26:22+00:00

Special Meeting

All shareholders should have received proxy and voting instructions for the Special Meeting of the 336 Tenants Corp. at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 28 at the Alexander Robertson School at 3 West 95th Street. The meeting is to consider and vote on two matters: a new proprietary lease for the building and a window repair and replacement program. Along with the explanatory material in the packet, please turn to the Building Documents section of this website for an FAQ on the proposed window program and a comparison of provisions of the old and new proprietary lease. Please consider the documents and deposit your proxy in one of the ballot boxes in the lobby. And do mark your calendar for Feb. 28!

Special Meeting 2017-04-27T20:46:35+00:00

President’s Potpourri May, 2016

May 2016

Dear 336 CPW Friends and Neighbors,

The 2016 Annual Meeting has come and gone. It was a bittersweet affair for yours truly. As was observed from the floor, it was likely the last one I will be attending – certainly the last in my current role. Perhaps I will come back for old times’ sake – somewhat in the manner that we like to visit our kids. In any event, I am moved to use this letter for a bit of reminiscence – perhaps burdening you without your indulgence. Maybe we can agree to call it “transition advice.”

My engagement with the co-op and my fellow shareholders began with my taking up the cudgel to ensure that someone in the building (resident or employee) got a fair shake. Mostly it was the staff “guys” but on at least one occasion it was a rather young single mom who had somehow got crosswise with the board. Looked at from today’s perspective, I can imagine I was an enormous nuisance to those boards back in the early days of our 31-year run at 336 CPW.At the same time, it was how I got to know people in the building – again with special focus on the “guys.”

So, at the beginning of the last of our three decades in the building there was a staff “guy” I thought wasn’t getting a fair shake. I wasn’t alone, but still it took three or four months to straighten out the issues. I got to know the union rep, as did some others who joined the fray, and a number of our group went to the union hall to attend the grievance hearing. It all came out as it should, and as a result I got to know many of my neighbors who had been anonymous for me until then. That was truly the happiest of unanticipated happy by-products. And the “guy” is still working at this same old stand 10 years later.

The next chapter did not take long to open. We needed a new superintendent – the incumbent having somewhat abruptly departed. By that time (roughly sometime in 2006) a number of residents knew Sergio Ochoa well enough to believe he was not only qualified to be considered for the appointment but also undoubtedly the best and only choice by a wide margin. For some reason there was resistance to appointing Sergio. Perhaps it was that he was a handyman and had no experience as a superintendent. Whatever the reason, agroup of us lobbied on his behalf and, in the end, […]

President’s Potpourri May, 2016 2017-03-05T12:26:22+00:00