Today’s news:

Co-op, condo owners have to back bill creating ombudsman agency

Having lived in a co-op for the past 15 years, I cannot speak out enough on supporting bill 7958-A, introduced by state Sens. Liz Krueger (D-Manhattan), Velmanette Montgomery (D-Brooklyn) and George Onorato (D-Astoria). This bill would create a government agency that would hear the cries of hundreds of thousands of residents who own shares in co-ops.

Presently, our only course of action in the event of a conflict between shareholders and the board or management is to hire an attorney and be at the mercy of a corporate checkbook and the numerous ways of abusing the judicial system to protect what may not be in the best interest of shareholders.

For example, I question whether or not an area which is subsidized by shareholders is considered a common area that should be accessible by the people paying the cost. I have seen over the years what were expected to be common areas when I moved in being turned over to a country club or private vendors doing business on the property.

Is this a diminishing of service under my proprietary lease? Should I be paying less because I do not have the advantage of the use?

Questions like this cannot be brought to the same boards that created the situations and the cost of bringing them under business corporate law is a financial burden to the average shareholder.

Creating an ombudsman agency would be the perfect solution in handling problems such as these. The monies saved by not using our overly burdened court systems would more than cover the cost of this agency, which could work with an already-existing governor and attorney general.

I applaud the Alliance of Condos & Co-op Owners for organizing a uniformed group that will speak for us and give shareholders an advantage we have not had up until now.

If you are one of the many co-op or condo owners, please contact your local politicians. Put it on your question lists when attending events and ask incumbents their position on this important bill.

Barbara Leonardi

North Shore Towers

Floral Park

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